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Only 3 dinners, where would you go?

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dhenry18 May 8, 2010 11:18 AM

My wife and I are 29 yr. old foodies from New York. She, for all intensive purposes, is a pescatarian. We are going to be in SF for three nights in June. Given, the Bay Area's proud and extensive food culture, we are having a hard time trying to decide where to go for dinner. Right now, it looks like Perbacco is considered a must. True? Also, Slanted Door? Is Chez Pannise Cafe still a must experience? Sebo? Absinthe?

In other words, we need some direction. We will use the day to hit up the likes of the Hog Island Oyster Bar, etc ... But we could really use some local, experienced help with dinner.

THANKS!

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Slanted Door
Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

Perbacco
230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

Sebo
517 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102

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  1. d
    dhenry18 RE: dhenry18 May 8, 2010 02:29 PM

    wow my hook must be bad!

    2 Replies
    1. re: dhenry18
      wolfe RE: dhenry18 May 8, 2010 02:38 PM

      Chez Panisse may be a must experience but hard to suggest the downstairs for a pescatarian with its set menu and no way of knowing what is on it at the time of making a reservation.
      Of course you could get lucky like this Saturday.
      Saturday, May 15 an all-fish menu $95
      An apéritif
      Crudo of sea scallops, salmon, and halibut with nasturtiums and capers
      Tomales Bay clam risotto fritters
      Grilled yellowfin tuna tagliata with basil pesto, wild rocket, and fava beans
      Lucero Farms strawberry and rhubarb feuilleté

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      Chez Panisse
      1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

      1. re: wolfe
        m
        ML8000 RE: wolfe May 8, 2010 04:02 PM

        If you hit CP on a seafood day...it can be simply awesome. They get great fresh stuff and their hands off approach lets the fish shine. I still remember a fire roasted lobster tail wrapped in grape leaves...10-12 years ago.

        I was at the cafe a few weeks ago and had roasted halibut with cannelli beans and it was great. It was deceptively simple. Upstairs at the cafe almost always has a fish/seafood and veggie option but I don't think I'd use up a dinner...a lunch however might be ideal.

    2. a
      abstractpoet RE: dhenry18 May 8, 2010 02:43 PM

      If looking for an alternative to Chez Panisse in the East Bay, I'd recommend Commis. Should be at least a few vegetarian/pescatarian friendly options on the menu.

      It would help if you posted some of the NY restaurants you like and/or what specific types of cuisine you're interested in, besides the pescatarian stipulation.

      -----
      Chez Panisse
      1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

      Commis
      3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

      1. tvham RE: dhenry18 May 8, 2010 03:30 PM

        My favorite meal that I've had in some time was at Frances. They book up weeks (if not months) in advance so I'd get on it now for June!

        1. steve h. RE: dhenry18 May 8, 2010 03:44 PM

          Not a local but I visit San Francisco from time to time.

          You might want to consider Bar Crudo for a good meal at a good price point. I like it a lot. Haven't been to the new location yet but I wouldn't be worried.

          FISH in Sausalito should provide a good excuse to ride the ferry. Lunch or dinner, your call. Cash only.

          Lots of others places.

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          Bar Crudo
          655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

          1. Ruth Lafler RE: dhenry18 May 8, 2010 03:50 PM

            "for all INTENTS AND purposes" ...

            Note that Chez Panisse is two restaurants: the original Chez Panisse and Chez Panisse Cafe. Some people actually prefer the cafe, which does the same style of food but is more casual and doesn't have a fixed menu. You might be just as happy with the cafe if you want to have a Chez Panisse experience. BTW, in the past, Tuesday has been "fish night" -- if you're going to be in town on a Tuesday you might give them a call and ask if this is still true.

            While Perbacco is very good, I think it might be too similar to other places in NY. You might want to check out La Ciccia instead, Check out reports from fellow NYer j.jessica.lee: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6944... Actually, if you click on her name in the first post you'll get a list that includes her other extensive reports going back a couple of visits -- a perspective from another NY visitor might be helpful.

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            La Ciccia
            291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

            Perbacco
            230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

            Chez Panisse
            1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

            8 Replies
            1. re: Ruth Lafler
              w
              whiner RE: Ruth Lafler May 8, 2010 04:19 PM

              FWIW, while I've never dined at Del Posto, I've never had an Italian meal in NY as satisfying as those I've had at Perbacco. That said, Esca is certainly more diverse of choice for fish lovers.

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              Perbacco
              230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

              1. re: whiner
                steve h. RE: whiner May 8, 2010 04:41 PM

                Esca is a really good spot: wonderful fish, good pastas and a solid selection of Italian wines. It's part of the Batali empire. My modest take is that chefs/restaurants in the Bay Area aren't "wired" that way just yet. I suspect they will be down the road. Maybe cooks from Perbacco (one of my favorite FiDi restaurants) will lead the charge. We'll see.

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                Perbacco
                230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                1. re: steve h.
                  w
                  whiner RE: steve h. May 8, 2010 04:50 PM

                  Well, I actually prefer Perbacco to Esca. But I pointed out Esca because, if I were someone who exclusively ordered fish, I'm not certain that I would have such a strong preference. Esca's fish selection is simply outrageously good. Of course, it is also mostly southern while Perbacco is northern.

                  I must disagree on wine selection, though. Esca's is truly excellent, but as is Perboacco's... and less expensive.

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                  Perbacco
                  230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                  1. re: whiner
                    steve h. RE: whiner May 8, 2010 05:27 PM

                    ahh, that's what makes a market.

                    1. re: whiner
                      d
                      dhenry18 RE: whiner May 9, 2010 02:14 PM

                      Esca is my wife's favorite restaurant in NY. We have been going there since we went to Positano as part of our honeymoon because the food is so similar.

                      1. re: dhenry18
                        steve h. RE: dhenry18 May 9, 2010 02:52 PM

                        I think you'll enjoy Bar Crudo if you want to fit it into your schedule. It's a bit of a hybrid and well worth the effort.

                        -----
                        Bar Crudo
                        655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

                        1. re: steve h.
                          steve h. RE: steve h. May 9, 2010 07:25 PM

                          You might want to consider Incanto out in Noe Valley. It's a swell ride on the J-Church line if you don't mind mass transit. Chris Cosentino is an east-coast guy who hit his chef stride in San Francisco. His pastas are very good, fish is usually on the menu. Pig parts are the attraction. Wines are pretty good. Something for everyone. One of my favorite places.

                2. re: Ruth Lafler
                  d
                  dhenry18 RE: Ruth Lafler May 9, 2010 02:12 PM

                  Ruth. First, thank you for the lesson. I actually did not know that. Second, thank you for the suggestion to look at suggestions from fellow New Yorkers.

                3. v
                  vulber RE: dhenry18 May 8, 2010 04:00 PM

                  If you don't end up doing Hog Oyster, I would recommend Anchor Oyster Bar in the Castro. Similar food, but Anchor is better and cheaper, as you're not paying for the view (well, there's a different type of view at Anchor).

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                  Anchor Oyster Bar
                  579 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: wolfe
                    steve h. RE: wolfe May 8, 2010 05:39 PM

                    The beauty of the Hog Oyster bar at the plaza is sitting at the end of the bar, swilling sparkling wine, slurping oysters and watching people walk in, deal, etc.. I keep my back to the glass wall so I won't be distracted. I read the FT, purchased at Book Passage, when things get dull.

                    1. re: steve h.
                      wolfe RE: steve h. May 9, 2010 10:52 AM

                      How about it, Hog Island in the beautiful Ferry Building with it magnificent view of the bay or Anchor with its view of a tree and a parking meter (checked on Google street view).

                      1. re: wolfe
                        steve h. RE: wolfe May 9, 2010 11:35 AM

                        I'll see your Hog Island at the Ferry building AND Anchor with its view of a tree and a parking meter and RAISE you slurping oysters at Hog Island, overlooking Tomales Bay, knocking back IPAs.

                        1. re: wolfe
                          steve h. RE: wolfe May 9, 2010 12:23 PM

                          Here today, gone to Maui.
                          So many oyster joints, so little time.
                          Zuni does a nice job. It's my first stop when I touch down at SFO. I pair 'em with at least one vodka gimlet. One of my (harmless) fantasies is to sit outside at Zuni, slurp oysters/sip gimlets while my huge rent-a-dog curls up by my feet. We'd watch the action on Market and mumble snide remarks about passersby.

                          -----
                          Zuni Cafe
                          1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

                          1. re: wolfe
                            steve h. RE: wolfe May 9, 2010 02:24 PM

                            ...very cool.

                      2. re: wolfe
                        d
                        dhenry18 RE: wolfe May 9, 2010 02:16 PM

                        the selection at Grand Central Oyster Bar is terrific as are their oysters. However, as Oyster lovers, specifically West Coast Oysters, we are just looking forward to enjoying them.

                    2. w
                      whiner RE: dhenry18 May 8, 2010 04:15 PM

                      Given value... yes. Perbacco is a must.

                      Slanted Door is an... experience. Some love it, some find it over-hyped and mediocre. I actually fall into the "love it" camp, but I think it is a bit overpriced for what it is.

                      I would say right now, especially coming from NY, my two top pics for you would be Perbacco and Ame.

                      These are sample menus:

                      http://www.perbaccosf.com/menus/store...

                      http://www.amerestaurant.com/dinner.html

                      Yes, Ame is a splurge, but it is excellent and unlike anything I've had in NY.

                      The third night I would go to Boulevard for another splurge, or to Slanted Door, A16, Aziza, or cross the bay depending upon what you want... but I would say Perbacco and Ame are musts.

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                      Slanted Door
                      Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

                      Perbacco
                      230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                      A16
                      2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: whiner
                        d
                        dhenry18 RE: whiner May 9, 2010 02:20 PM

                        Thank you for this post. Ame looks great, and I had not looked into it before.

                      2. j
                        Judgem RE: dhenry18 May 8, 2010 04:39 PM

                        I second the rec for Bar Crudo -- best seafood I've had in SF. Be sure to try the seafood chowder!

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                        Bar Crudo
                        655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Judgem
                          d
                          dhenry18 RE: Judgem May 9, 2010 02:19 PM

                          Bar Crudo looks amazing, especially for my wife! Thank you so much as this was not a restaurant I had looked into previously! Also, it could be similar to Sebo with the raw fish. Interestingly, no one commented on Sebo!

                          -----
                          Bar Crudo
                          655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

                          1. re: dhenry18
                            CarrieWas218 RE: dhenry18 May 10, 2010 08:56 AM

                            I think Sebo has jumped the shark. It was *the* kick-ass sushi restaurant when it opened but recently, the owners have been absent, air conditioners in the restaurant have been broken during VERY warm days (making the consumption of raw fish less than enjoyable), and service haphazard.

                            Just my opinion...

                            -----
                            Sebo
                            517 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                        2. b
                          bendite RE: dhenry18 May 9, 2010 03:32 PM

                          Having been to most of the restaurants on this list (and if price were not a consideration) I would choose Gary Danko over all of them. For a seafood lover their lobster risotto and the branzino are top notch. Hard to get reservations only a month out, but you could always go early (6:00 or so) and grab a spot at the bar where you can order the full menu.

                          Also, Perbacco is good, but I prefer Quince for great Italian -- again, if price is not a consideration. That said, Danko, Perbacco and Bar Crudo would be a pretty good line up... different types of food, different neighborhoods, etc. Commis would be good if you wanted to get out of the city...

                          -----
                          Perbacco
                          230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                          Bar Crudo
                          655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

                          Gary Danko
                          800 N Point St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                          Commis
                          3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

                          1. yancaneat RE: dhenry18 May 9, 2010 03:41 PM

                            Manresa, about an hour's drive south of SF, is a MUST for all foodies and is head/shoulders above any restaurant in San Francisco proper. I'd also strongly recommend Quince over Perbacco. Sebo is the best sushi in SF but there are better (although far more expensive) options in NYC. If you do go, arrive before they open so you can sit at the bar, as the experience improves significantly if you can snag one of the 6 bar seats.

                            I'm a fan of Chez Panisse (an increasingly unpopular stance among foodies in the Bay Area) but you will more often than not encounter a meat main course when dining in the downstairs restaurant, which offers one menu per evening with no choices. I have no experience with the upstairs cafe but have heard good things.

                            Commis is interesting and, depending on how you order, can yield a good meal. I'd recommend avoiding Slanted Door, Zuni, and Ame, as well as old standards like Gary Danko, La Folie, and Fleur de Lys.

                            -----
                            Manresa Restaurant
                            320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

                            13 Replies
                            1. re: yancaneat
                              d
                              dhenry18 RE: yancaneat May 9, 2010 07:32 PM

                              thanks yancaneat. That is now 2 people who prefer Quince over Perbacco. Quince's website does not have a menu so it is hard for me to judge. Are they in the same price range? Also, how do you feel about Bar Crudo? I like that Bendite said that Perbacco and Bar Crudo are in different neighborhoods.

                              -----
                              Perbacco
                              230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                              Bar Crudo
                              655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

                              1. re: dhenry18
                                n
                                nocharge RE: dhenry18 May 9, 2010 08:41 PM

                                If you are into stuffy places, go to Quince, otherwise go to Perbacco. For interesting places, you should also consider Coi, the only place in SF with two Michelin stars. Eat a la carte in the lounge if you're not into long and expensive tasting menus. In general, if you are used to high-end Manhattan places, there is little point in going to Gary Danko or the high-end French places in SF. Ame or Coi would be far more unique and interesting. I also like Zuni. I would consider going to Bar Crudo for the chowder, but for the neighborhood, never. Sushi -- not very compelling if you're from NYC.

                                -----
                                Zuni Cafe
                                1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                Perbacco
                                230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                                Bar Crudo
                                655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

                                Gary Danko
                                800 N Point St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                                1. re: nocharge
                                  mariacarmen RE: nocharge May 9, 2010 09:34 PM

                                  Second Coi...

                                2. re: dhenry18
                                  yancaneat RE: dhenry18 May 10, 2010 07:45 AM

                                  Quince won't be much pricier, but this depends on how you order. There's a 4 course fixed price menu for $68 per person (where you choose 4 courses from the 12-15 they have on the menu that day), as well as lengthier tasting menus that are more expensive. They recently moved to a new location in the financial district and now boast one of the most beautiful dining rooms in the city, along with Coi. While the old place felt a bit uptight, the new place doesn't feel stuffy at all.

                                  I used to be a huge fan of Bar Crudo but my last meal there wasn't stellar. Prior to that, I've had several very good dinners here and it's entirely possible I went on an off night. But like nocharge hinted at, it's kind of in no man's land and most likely not walkable from wherever you're going to be staying.

                                  Another place out in the boonies but worth the trek for me is Contigo - a mix of traditional and creative tapas, very inexpensive relative to the quality, and the chef prides himself on getting top notch ingredients.

                                  -----
                                  Bar Crudo
                                  655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

                                  Contigo
                                  1320 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114

                                  1. re: dhenry18
                                    w
                                    whiner RE: dhenry18 May 10, 2010 08:21 AM

                                    I find Quince to be much pricier than Perbacco, especially when you factor in the difference in wine lists. (It is very easy for me to find a wine under $70 that I really want to drink off of Perbacco's list... much more challenging to find a wine under $100 that I want to drink off of Quince -- and there is higher markup at Quince. Also, Perbacco has a flat-out much better list.)

                                    I, for one, think Perbacco has better food, too. However, certainly the ambience is more sophisticated at Quince. Of course, it is apparently re-opening at a new location, so I have no idea. This is a sample menu here: http://sanfrancisco.menupages.com/res....

                                    -----
                                    Perbacco
                                    230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                                    1. re: whiner
                                      yancaneat RE: whiner May 10, 2010 01:08 PM

                                      Of course you can always try both Perbacco and Quince, since you do have 3 days in the area :)

                                      1. re: yancaneat
                                        d
                                        dhenry18 RE: yancaneat May 10, 2010 02:47 PM

                                        thank you all for your suggestions. This has certainly left me with more questions than answers. Oh well! It seems though I wont go wrong with any of these places. I've heard good things about Zuni (especially the chicken) and maybe I should consider it if it is more "California" than the other places.

                                        -----
                                        Zuni Cafe
                                        1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                        1. re: dhenry18
                                          w
                                          whiner RE: dhenry18 May 10, 2010 03:22 PM

                                          Zuni is super-famous for the chicken. But along the same lines in terms of style of cooking, I prefer NOPA. http://www.nopasf.com/ Young (we are the same age) trendy, loud, but OH so good. Very CA.

                                          I stand by Ame, still as my #1 rec for you just because (1) it is awesome and (2) as a frequent guest of your city, I don't think NYC has anything like it.

                                          But if you wanted a more traditional CA thing, I would go to NOPA or (much quieter, more expensive, older crowd) Boulevard for classic N. CA cuisine over Zuni.

                                          http://www.boulevardrestaurant.com/me...

                                          -----
                                          Zuni Cafe
                                          1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                          1. re: whiner
                                            d
                                            dhenry18 RE: whiner May 10, 2010 06:56 PM

                                            Thanks Whiner. So Perbaco, Ame, and NOPA? No Bar Crudo, Slanted Door, Sebo, Chaz Pannise, etc ...?

                                            -----
                                            Slanted Door
                                            Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

                                            Bar Crudo
                                            655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

                                            Sebo
                                            517 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                            1. re: dhenry18
                                              yancaneat RE: dhenry18 May 10, 2010 09:26 PM

                                              If you're looking for something quintessentially Californian, I would recommend Chez Panisse over Nopa or Zuni. It's a far more serious restaurant - better ingredients across the board, more exacting and nuanced preparations, and its ethos epitomizes Californian cuisine.

                                              Here are some photos of a recent meal: first of the season wild salmon carpaccio with fennel and radish, oysters poached in champagne butter with crispy leeks, and ribeye of grass fed beef with absolutely stunning asparagus. In 30+ years, the restaurant has cultivated relationships with the top growers in the area, procuring the best possible ingredients on any given day and cooking them deftly. It may not be a new culinary frontier but you won't find better produce in this country and the preparations, while simple, are spot-on.

                                              -----
                                              Chez Panisse
                                              1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

                                               
                                               
                                               
                                              1. re: yancaneat
                                                w
                                                whiner RE: yancaneat May 10, 2010 10:25 PM

                                                The problem with Chez Panisse are that there is no guarantee that the wife will be able to eat there.

                                                The food there can be excellent though, and certainly the history of the place alone, under different circumstances would make it a very strong choice.

                                                -----
                                                Chez Panisse
                                                1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

                                                1. re: whiner
                                                  JasmineG RE: whiner May 11, 2010 07:35 PM

                                                  Chez Panisse Cafe would certainly have food for the wife, and many people like the food at the Cafe more than at the Restaurant.

                                                  -----
                                                  Chez Panisse
                                                  1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

                                          2. re: dhenry18
                                            CarrieWas218 RE: dhenry18 May 11, 2010 08:20 AM

                                            I don't think Zuni is more "California" than the other places at all. And that chicken, while okay, is just chicken and seriously not worth $50. You will get way more bang for your buck (and better food, I think) at Canteen.

                                            Others are recommend Coi and I am a definite detractor; I find it pretentious, precious, over-priced, and way too inconsistent.

                                            -----
                                            Zuni Cafe
                                            1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                  2. Beach Chick RE: dhenry18 May 10, 2010 07:10 PM

                                    Boulevard, Slanted Door, Tadich Grill, Scoma's, Gary Danko for dinner.
                                    Lunch..Tadich, Hog Island Oyster, Boulevard, Ahi burger at Taylor's Refresher.
                                    Coffee..Blue Bottle at the Ferry building and Irish Coffee's at the classic Buena Vista.
                                    Love as a tourist wandering Fisherman's Wharf for seafood, cocktails and people watching.

                                    17 Replies
                                    1. re: Beach Chick
                                      r
                                      Ridge RE: Beach Chick May 10, 2010 07:57 PM

                                      One that hasn’t been mentioned yet that I liked more than any new restaurant in a while is Range Restaurant.

                                      Range
                                      842 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                      1. re: Ridge
                                        mariacarmen RE: Ridge May 10, 2010 11:07 PM

                                        Second Range. Coi. Canteen.

                                        1. re: mariacarmen
                                          grayelf RE: mariacarmen May 11, 2010 01:20 PM

                                          I've only been there once but I'd walk a mile in uncomfortable shoes for the chicken at Range.

                                          1. re: grayelf
                                            d
                                            dhenry18 RE: grayelf May 11, 2010 05:29 PM

                                            Thanks all. I think I decided on Ame, Perbacco, and Zuni. Hope no one objects too much ... :)

                                            -----
                                            Zuni Cafe
                                            1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                            Perbacco
                                            230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                                            1. re: dhenry18
                                              Paul H RE: dhenry18 May 11, 2010 07:00 PM

                                              Two out of three isn't bad, but don't say you weren't warned. Have a wonderful time!

                                              1. re: Paul H
                                                d
                                                dhenry18 RE: Paul H May 11, 2010 07:13 PM

                                                Paul, I didn't see your previous comment. Which was the one you don't like, Zumi?

                                            2. re: grayelf
                                              mariacarmen RE: grayelf May 11, 2010 07:22 PM

                                              Sooooo with Grayelf re Range's chicken!!

                                              1. re: mariacarmen
                                                d
                                                dhenry18 RE: mariacarmen May 11, 2010 07:37 PM

                                                Maybe Range over Zuni then ...

                                                -----
                                                Zuni Cafe
                                                1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                                1. re: dhenry18
                                                  grayelf RE: dhenry18 May 11, 2010 09:47 PM

                                                  I haven't been to Zuni yet (I know, borderline blasphemy, but there it is) so I don't know which chicken reigns supreme, but I'm still thinking about the one I had at Range in March. I get the feeling that the rest of the menu is less reliable mostly from comments around this board but I could be wrong on that. I really wanted to try their coffee ribs but they weren't on the menu that time so I lucked into the chicken, thanks to many reccos here. Based on your age, Range seems like a good fit too (we felt a bit too old there but not to an uncomfortable degree -- most diners were in their mid 20s to 30s) and if you like cocktails, you will like the ones here I bet.

                                                  The other nice thing about going to Range if you choose to is it gets you out to a different neighbourhood. I really like to wander around there and hit up the Pirate Store and Paxton Gate before going on to dinner...

                                                  1. re: grayelf
                                                    mariacarmen RE: grayelf May 11, 2010 10:22 PM

                                                    I've had the chicken at Zuni and at Range and I think Range's is much better. And vouch again for Grayelf - i live in the neighborhood and it is an entertaining walking area.

                                                    -----
                                                    Zuni Cafe
                                                    1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                                    1. re: mariacarmen
                                                      v
                                                      vulber RE: mariacarmen May 11, 2010 10:37 PM

                                                      Judging by the title of your post, I'm guessing this isn't an option, but keep in mind that Zuni, unlike Range, is also open during the day every day but Monday. Obviously you'd have a different menu, but their french toast (only served at Sunday brunch) is one of the best in the city - it used to be my favorite until I had the one at Bar Tartine

                                                      -----
                                                      Zuni Cafe
                                                      1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                                      Bar Tartine
                                                      561 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                                  2. re: dhenry18
                                                    r
                                                    Ridge RE: dhenry18 May 12, 2010 10:16 AM

                                                    If it helps here is a review of a dinner I had a Range:

                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6928...

                                                    1. re: Ridge
                                                      grayelf RE: Ridge May 12, 2010 12:13 PM

                                                      Ridge, that was the post that (finally) convinced me to try Range in March. It is also one of my BIL's favourite places to dine (he lives in the Mission). My only hesitation was that the pasta dish the SO got was just good, not great, and that the desserts seem overpriced, though also good, but again that was from one visit. And I still really want to try the coffee pork if it ever comes back :-).

                                                      1. re: grayelf
                                                        v
                                                        vulber RE: grayelf May 12, 2010 01:03 PM

                                                        What are you comparing the dessert prices to? It seems on par with similar restaurants.

                                                        Also, what was the pasta dish you got?

                                                        When I went last month, we the goat-cheese stuffed pasta with lime butter, and it was probably the best dish of the entire night (and we ordered the chicken).

                                                        I'm of course not trying to dispute your report about the pasta just being good, as I know they change their pasta dish quite frequently

                                                        1. re: vulber
                                                          grayelf RE: vulber May 12, 2010 01:29 PM

                                                          It was a ravioli with nettles that was just a little bland. Loved the wee pot it came out in though which kept it warm. Re the desserts, it may have been the contrast to the desserts at Canteen 3 days earlier which are similarly priced, bigger and tastier IMO. The contrast was particularly striking with the souffle which was miniscule at Range, and didn't have as nice a texture, plus they charged extra for two tiny balls of vanilla cream gelato (it was delicious though microscopic).

                                                          None of these quibbles would stop me from going again, or suggesting it to others as a good option with the caveat I've only been once.

                                                          1. re: grayelf
                                                            d
                                                            dhenry18 RE: grayelf May 12, 2010 01:46 PM

                                                            Thanks all. Now I'm very confused because my wife's cousin fell in love with The Slanted Door. So now I have to decide between Perbacco, Ame, Range, and The Slanted Door. I may look at the neighborhoods to help, but I also feel like I can't go wrong. They all look good. Range looks a little more reasonable price wise, which may balance out Ame.

                                                            -----
                                                            Slanted Door
                                                            Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

                                                            Perbacco
                                                            230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                                                            1. re: grayelf
                                                              mariacarmen RE: grayelf May 13, 2010 12:10 AM

                                                              yeah, it's hard to compare anything with that vanilla souffle at Canteen... so subtle and warm and delicious.

                                          2. myst RE: dhenry18 May 12, 2010 12:21 PM

                                            I know some people no longer favor it, but Kokkari does whole grilled or roasted fish and it was pretty tasty. My last meal there in April was completely satisfying (I just nibbled on small plates, my hubby had the whole grilled fish).

                                            -----
                                            Kokkari Estiatorio
                                            200 Jackson St., San Francisco, CA 94111

                                            9 Replies
                                            1. re: dhenry18
                                              wolfe RE: dhenry18 May 12, 2010 03:12 PM

                                              but I also feel like I can't go wrong.
                                              You are correct.

                                              1. re: dhenry18
                                                w
                                                whiner RE: dhenry18 May 12, 2010 04:29 PM

                                                I think you are looking at a lot of good restaurants.

                                                As I said at the very beginning, Ame would be my first choice for you, Perbacco my second.

                                                Slanted Door is a polarizing restaurant. Many, myself included, love it. Others are put off by how inauthentic it is as well as by the high prices. It certainly is a unique experience. One thing to consider re: Slanted Door... despite being Asian and having lots of fish on the menu, it is more often praised for its red meat than for its fishies. But, on the other hand, it is a very unique restaurant and NYC may not have anything like it.

                                                I can understand going to Range to balance out the price of Ame. Range is a very nice restaurant. I am not a frequent patron, but I do like it. Of course, I forget where you are staying... if you are staying downtown the back and forth cost of a cab v. walking might make Range and Slanted Door closer in cost.

                                                I also think your original idea of Zuni as the third restaurant was a good choice. By suggesting NOPA instead of Zuni I was not saying that I disslike Zuni. I actually prefer NOPA to Range or Zuni, but I seem to be one of the few on this thread who is bringing it up. But these are all very good restaurants.

                                                -----
                                                Slanted Door
                                                Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

                                                Zuni Cafe
                                                1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                                Perbacco
                                                230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                                                1. re: whiner
                                                  d
                                                  dhenry18 RE: whiner May 12, 2010 07:06 PM

                                                  Whiner, good point re: the cab. I'm staying near downtown. Closest major intersections are California and Kearney. Expensive cab ride to and from Range in Mission? Also, is Mission safe after dark? Any bars in the area?

                                                  1. re: dhenry18
                                                    bbulkow RE: dhenry18 May 12, 2010 08:43 PM

                                                    "Are there any bars in the mission?"

                                                    Are there fleas on a dog? Pine trees in Georgia? Catholics in the Vatican?

                                                    Yes, Virginia, there are bars in the mission. A *lot*. The mission specializes in comfortable divey bars, often with live music, but everything's there. Ask for the type of bar you're interested in, the exact intersection you're near, and receive a recommendation.

                                                    Is the Mission safe after dark? Medium. Large-ish people with imposing presences, or groups, are fine. There are the occasional robberies.

                                                    1. re: bbulkow
                                                      grayelf RE: bbulkow May 12, 2010 09:55 PM

                                                      As tourists, we've done A LOT of walking around the Mission both in daylight and after dark. The only time we felt a bit iffy was trying to walk from 16th to 24th along Mission during a power outage. Keep your wits about you, don't look lost or stare at a map for ages, and avoid waving large bills around and I bet you'll be fine. Of course if you take a cab that won't be an issue but if you go to Range, I'd grab BART and walk a wee bit, at least one way.

                                                      1. re: grayelf
                                                        JasmineG RE: grayelf May 12, 2010 10:39 PM

                                                        Yeah, I would never recommend for anyone to walk along Mission between 16th and 24th at night, power outage or no. If you need to go that way, just go up a block and go along Valencia, which feels fine to me (usually).

                                                        1. re: JasmineG
                                                          mariacarmen RE: JasmineG May 13, 2010 12:24 AM

                                                          The best thing about Range, compared to your other places, and besides the WONDERFUL food, is that you will be going to a totally different neighborhood. i live at 21st between Mission and Valencia and have never felt compromised - tho I am not blind nor ignorant to the fact that things COULD happen. But come on - we are not talking about the Tenderloin, and the area between Mission, Valencia, 16th and 26th streets, at night, especially on a weekend night, when there are a lot of people out - i do not feel you are putting yourself at a higher risk than other neighborhoods. that said, yes, the area on Mission Street itself, between 16th and maybe 19th? A little "unpleasant" to walk through. Dangerous? No. Just kinda smelly. And there's not much to eat on that stretch anyway. Danger may strike on Capp and 26th. there's nothing to eat over there either. If you're worried, stay on Valencia. Range is great because you not only get 2-star Michelin food, it's actually really GOOD, they have great cocktails, and you are going through one of the foodiest, most vibrant areas of the City. And no, it's not an expensive cab ride - maybe $12? or a quick 3 to 4 stop Bart ride (get off on 16th Street or 24th.)

                                                          So yeah - Range, and I agree with Incanto, skip Slanted Door, Zuni maybe if you have a lunch free, and i would say Barbacco or Perbacco. Never been to Ame so i can't comment.

                                                          -----
                                                          Slanted Door
                                                          Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

                                                          Zuni Cafe
                                                          1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                                          Perbacco
                                                          230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                                                          Barbacco
                                                          230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                                                    2. re: dhenry18
                                                      m
                                                      melcal RE: dhenry18 May 12, 2010 11:06 PM

                                                      Jumping in late here but I agree with your choices. Don't fret Slanted Door for dinner (I agree with Whiner)... it's worth a visit for lunch/late lunch though (diff. flavors, bright amb., view). Since it's at the Ferry Bldg. you'll be close enough to go there any day and I can give you a few reasons to go to the Ferry Bldg. for a quick visit every day (Blue Bottle or Peet's coffee, Bombolini donuts at Boriana Italian Foods, Hog Island, Boudette's Larder, etc.). Happy Eating!

                                                      -----
                                                      Slanted Door
                                                      Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

                                                  2. re: dhenry18
                                                    r
                                                    Ridge RE: dhenry18 May 12, 2010 07:52 PM

                                                    Many people I know love the Slanted Door, but I think it’s just ok. I always go there expecting to love it but leave disappointed with meals there. In theory I should love the place but it has never wowed me. I think it’s a bit over hyped and overrated. Ame is Asian fusion and its head over heals better than Slanted Door in my opinion. The Chef at Ame, Hiro, is highly creative and makes delicious food . And the seafood there is allways amazing. My advice: ditch Slanted Door and go to Ame instead. Perbacco and Range are both excellent choices. If you to to Perbacco make sure to get the amazing Cucumber and Gin cocktail they make.

                                                    -----
                                                    Slanted Door
                                                    Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

                                                    Perbacco
                                                    230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                                                  3. steve h. RE: dhenry18 May 12, 2010 05:29 PM

                                                    You know, at the end of the day I would take the j-church up to incanto, maybe spend a few bucks next day at La Folie. A pizza in North Beach, at the bar (Tony's), has appeal.
                                                    Lots of choices.

                                                    -----
                                                    La Folie
                                                    2316 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109

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