What's the SF equivalent of LA's Animal or NYC's Momofuku Ssam?
I have one night in SF next month and will be meeting up with another friend from out of town. I'm looking for the kind of moderately-priced, casual but fun restaurant that pleases both foodies and less adventurous diners - which, for me, tends to be exemplified by restaurants like Animal or Momofuku Ssam. What'll be my best bet? For what it's worth, I'm going to be staying at the W, and my friend will be coming in from Mill Valley.
Much obliged for any suggestions...
I hate to say this, but having eaten at both Animal and Ssam, that San Francisco really has nothing like either restaurant.
Casual and fun in San Francisco tends towards Frances, perhaps Gitane, Ame, or SPQR.
1911 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115
Gitane Restaurant & Bar
6 Claude Lane, San Francisco, CA 94108
If you're thinking of pricey Asian fusion (I don't think of Momofuku Ssam Bar as "moderate") you might give Heaven's Dog a try.
1148 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
I absolutlely love going to NOPA, but I wouldn't necessarily consider it adventurous. Their menu is basically familiar "comfort food" done extremely well with innovative techniques (brining the porkchop all day), everything from scratch (making the brioche buns for the hamburgers every day), with extremely high quality ingredients, but it's still just burgers, pizza [flatbread], fries, steak, fish, roast chicken, soups, salads
I had a few dishes at Namu that reminded me of Ssam Bar (I don't think it's as strong of a restaurant overall though). CAV wine bar might fit the bill too - more creative than your average SF restaurant, but with enough familiar tastes and textures to please the less adventurous.
439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118