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Oysters, dim sum and more!

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I'm returning to San Francisco for the fourth time and looking for your recommendations.

In particular, I need a good dine-at-the-bar kind of place in or near Union Square. I'm thinking about something casual -- maybe some place that will be showing some sort of sports game so I don't feel too awkward.

And location-agnostic ...

Your recommendations for the best dim sum brunch.

Your recommendations for the best oysters/beer ... is Hog Island THE place for that?

Thanks everyone!

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  1. How did you fare with the recommendations the board made for you in 2007?

    Most places in SF have a bar to eat at. There's not all that much within a block or two of union square. (BurgerBar in Macy's maybe). If you're willing to go a quarter mile or so, like where y*lp defines "union square", you'll get access to Gitane at least. The same site lists about 150 restaurants in that district, but few are recommendable.

    In SF, search Yank Sing. Some difference of opinion. If you're willing to get out to the suburbs, I rather like Zen Peninsula.

    Hog Island is great for oysters and beer. Hard to beat. Other spots are Sea Salt and Zuni (both stronger in cocktails and weaker in beer).

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    Zuni Cafe
    1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

    Sea Salt
    2512 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94702

    Zen Peninsula
    1180 El Camino Real, Millbrae, CA 94030

    Yank Sing
    49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105

    Gitane Restaurant & Bar
    6 Claude Lane, San Francisco, CA 94108

    8 Replies
    1. re: bbulkow

      Thanks for the suggestions. I think I did report back on my last trip -- and it was delicious -- but I'm looking for something more specific this time around. And if SF is anything like NY, I'm sure you must have a number of new places to recommend.

      I've definitely heard of Yank Sing -- who hasn't? It's in literally every SF guidebook and article -- but I was wondering if there might be hidden gems.

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      Yank Sing
      49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105

      1. re: NYCfoodgirl

        Here is a recent Chinatown dim sum thread.
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7101...

        1. re: NYCfoodgirl

          Here's your report from 2007
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/443393

          When you write such a short post, it's hard to know what you might or might not know.

          The dim sum gems are out of town down the peninsula, about 20 minutes away by car. Search Zen Peninsula and Koi Palace. There aren't really hidden gems when it comes to dim sum, most of the operations are large and well-covered. If you're not wiling to go out of town, then you're pretty much at one of the Chinatown places covered in the post wolfe states.

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          Koi Palace Restaurant
          365 Gellert Blvd, Daly City, CA 94015

          Zen Peninsula
          1180 El Camino Real, Millbrae, CA 94030

          1. re: bbulkow

            Not to go too far OT but can anyone tell me if Sauce is still there (name is too generic to search on Chow). That Guinness sundae sounds just weird enough to be good, and the SO loves his Guinness. TIA.

            1. re: grayelf

              http://www.saucesf.com/
              If this is it it came up just putting sauce in search above. If not sorry.

              1. re: wolfe

                I am such a dork. I just searched Sauce again and it was the first thing that came up. My bad. And thanks wolfe and SteveG for being so patient with me.

              2. re: grayelf

                Yep, still around. I had a guinness float or something like that there once that was delicious. I still miss their smoked NY steak sliced over a crisp romaine salad--was a great rush meal at the bar before the symphony.

                The hotel upstairs has a similarly generic name, like "Sleep."

                1. re: SteveG

                  Sleep over Sauce.
                  http://www.sleepsf.com/

        2. Have done a search on this board for dim sum? There are a few very long threads about it.
          For a smaller low key place I really like Mayflower 6255 Geary Blvd San Francisco, CA 94121
          for huge and crazy busy Koi Palace in Daly City .

          -----
          Koi Palace Restaurant
          365 Gellert Blvd, Daly City, CA 94015

          1. Hog Island has delicious oysters and an absolutely fantastic view of the Bay. HOWEVER:
            -- Today's menu has seven types of oysters and four beers. Not exactly a world-beating selection.
            -- For a spartan place with spotty service, it's not inexpensive.
            -- The Ferry Building can be a bit of a zoo at times. Be prepared to wait in line.

            There are other places with larger selections of oysters and beer (For instance, Waterbar has 15 kinds of oysters on today's menu.), full bars, less spartan ambience, and that are open later, including Waterbar and Zuni. Hog Island is nice, but definitely not "THE place."

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            Waterbar
            399 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA

            1. If truly location agnostic, consider taking some beer (and wine) and going straight to the source.
              http://www.hogislandoysters.com/farm/...

              1. If you scroll to the bottom of this page, you'll find plenty of discussion,esp. about dim sum.

                1. I'd rather go to Bar Crudo for oysters and beer. They have enough oysters to keep me interested, and a truly notable beer list that is NOT an afterthought.

                  Based on your take-away of salty food from Brandy Ho's, I think you might like City View for Dim Sum--just straight forward standards done well enough with a minimum of pretense.

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                  Bar Crudo
                  655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

                  City View Restaurant
                  662 Commercial St, San Francisco, CA 94111