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Looking for a "nice" lunch - Sunset / Richmond

alanbarnes Jul 26, 2010 10:05 PM

Around noon on Friday, DW and I are dropping off our spawn in the outer Sunset and heading over to the DeYoung. Of course, the first question that comes to mind is "what's for lunch?"

My inclination would be to check out the new Chowdermobile or hit the Richmond for something cheap and tasty, but it appears to be in my best interest to make arrangements for a "nice" lunch. "Nice" precludes anything exotic, including all Asian cuisines (don't ask me why, I don't know), and requires cloth napkins.

I know nothing whatsoever about the Sunset. Crossing the park, there are places like Chapeau!, Aziza, and Richmond Restaurant, but they're only open for dinner.

There's always Park Chow, but surely we can do better than that. Ideas?

Thanks in advance...

Park Chow
1238 9th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122

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  1. c oliver RE: alanbarnes Jul 27, 2010 12:04 AM

    How 'bout the Cliff House? Not exciting but the view is great and the food (nowadays) is supposed to be good.

    2 Replies
    1. re: c oliver
      alanbarnes RE: c oliver Jul 27, 2010 10:48 AM

      Hmmm, that might fit the bill nicely. Not too far out of the way, and I'd get bonus points for the setting if the fog burns off by lunchtime. Thanks!

      Lots of people were saying good things when George Morrone took over the kitchen at Sutro's, but he left nearly a year ago, and there hasn't been much talk about the place since. Does anybody know of recent reports (second- or third-hand is better than nothing) on the food?

      Another alternative is the Bistro upstairs - still great views, and at a price point that won't break the bank. I'd like to think it's hard to screw up fish and chips or a burger, but would welcome any reports on that front, too.

      Of course, any other ideas are welcome. Thanks again.

      1. re: alanbarnes
        c oliver RE: alanbarnes Jul 27, 2010 11:29 AM

        Back in the 70s I used to go Upstairs at the Cliff House for breakfast so often that they always moved me right in ahead of the tourists and accepted my personal check I always had an omelette of green chilies, onion, cheddar cheese and bacon --- called the Hangover Omelette--- with a glass of champagne. I have three copies of their menu from over the years and Bob and I had a luncheon there after the first time we got married. I haven't been since it reopened. It holds a warm spot in my heart.

    2. m
      ML8000 RE: alanbarnes Jul 27, 2010 11:24 AM

      There's Outerlands Restaurant in the Outer Sunset.but it might be too casual but it's nice Besides that, there's Beach Chalet (triple meh) or Gold Mirror (old school Italian). Might be some places in West Portal.

      7 Replies
      1. re: ML8000
        balabanian RE: ML8000 Jul 27, 2010 11:32 AM

        I'd second the Outerlands suggestion. There's also Alembic and EOS in Cole Valley/Haight (not far from the park) and Pizetta 211 in the Richmond.

        Eos Restaurant & Wine Bar
        901 Cole St., San Francisco, CA 94117

        1725 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

        Pizzetta 211
        211 23rd Ave, San Francisco, CA 94121

        Outerlands Cafe
        4001 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122

        1. re: balabanian
          Melanie Wong RE: balabanian Jul 27, 2010 01:48 PM

          Love the food at Pizzetta, but sitting outdoors on a log stump might not be the ambiance the OP is seeking.

          1. re: balabanian
            alanbarnes RE: balabanian Jul 27, 2010 06:18 PM

            I like Pizzetta a lot, and Outerlands sounds good, but c'mon, guys - I'm trying to impress a date here! We've been married almost two decades, so she takes my good looks (yeah, right) and sparkling wit (ditto) for granted, leaving the restaurant choice as my primary way of scoring points this lunchtime.

            Alembic and EOS are good possibilities, though, and Gold Mirror might be fun, too. Thanks for the suggestions.

          2. re: ML8000
            wolfe RE: ML8000 Jul 27, 2010 06:55 PM

            Another vote for Outerlands and its cookbooks.

            1. re: wolfe
              alanbarnes RE: wolfe Jul 27, 2010 07:10 PM

              Okay, I'm going to have to check out Outerlands. Whether it's this time or another will depend on a couple of things...

              First, the lunch menu on the website is limited to one soup, a few sandwiches, and mixed greens. Is that typical? Second, I seem to have gotten the impression somewhere that there's no table service. Is this a place where you pick your food up at the counter?

              I'm not shooting for white tablecloths and multiple courses here, but have the distinct sense that table service and something that could pass as an entree are expected.

              1. re: alanbarnes
                wolfe RE: alanbarnes Jul 27, 2010 08:34 PM

                Lots of stuff on this link even a recent report.

                1. re: wolfe
                  alanbarnes RE: wolfe Jul 27, 2010 09:29 PM

                  Thanks for the link. That sounds very much like my kind of place.

          3. c oliver RE: alanbarnes Jul 27, 2010 07:22 PM

            Okay, this is east of where you want to be, but I've heard really good things about Spruce and their site says the serve lunch during the week.


            3 Replies
            1. re: c oliver
              alpine chef RE: c oliver Jul 27, 2010 08:52 PM

              if spruce is in the conversation, i think sociale and the magic flute ought to be considered as well. the cliff house restaurants are doing a lot better than they used to. for an entirely different approach, how about hitting a deli, grabbing a bottle or two of wine and doing a picnic at either ocean or baker beach?

              1. re: alpine chef
                alanbarnes RE: alpine chef Jul 27, 2010 09:31 PM

                Links (so everything shows up on the map)

                Sutro's at The Cliff House
                1090 Point Lobos Ave., San Francisco, CA 94121

                3640 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94118

                3665 Sacramento St., San Francisco, CA 94118

                Magic Flute Garden Ristorante
                3673 Sacramento St., San Francisco, CA 94118

                1. re: alanbarnes
                  c oliver RE: alanbarnes Jul 28, 2010 07:33 AM

                  I couldn't remember Sociale for the life of me. And, wow, I think I ate at the Magic Flute decades ago.

                  3665 Sacramento St., San Francisco, CA 94118

            2. v
              vulber RE: alanbarnes Jul 27, 2010 09:05 PM

              Another option to consider would be Shabu House. Not cheap, but still a good value for the high quality that you're getting

              Shabu House
              5158 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118

              1. v
                vulber RE: alanbarnes Jul 27, 2010 09:05 PM

                And on the cheaper side, Mandalay

                1. Windy RE: alanbarnes Jul 27, 2010 09:51 PM

                  Has anyone eaten at the Moss Room (not the Academy Cafe) at the Academy of Sciences?


                  I remember the menu feeling distinctly fancy last time I looked at it. Plus you'd only have to park once.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Windy
                    Cynsa RE: Windy Jul 28, 2010 08:18 AM

                    The Moss Room would be an excellent choice for 'extra nice' - with ambience, service and food all together.
                    Sociale and Sutro's at the Cliff House are also good choices - is your time limitless for driving and parking?

                    3665 Sacramento St., San Francisco, CA 94118

                    1. re: Cynsa
                      alanbarnes RE: Cynsa Jul 28, 2010 09:17 AM

                      We're in no rush, but I can't think of a way I'd less rather spend limited quality time than driving around looking for a parking spot. The Moss Room is perfect in every way - especially including location - but I've heard some pretty horrific tales about the service and the food there. Does anybody know if those issues have been sorted out?

                      1. re: alanbarnes
                        mrs bacon RE: alanbarnes Jul 28, 2010 01:47 PM

                        I was at the Moss room for a birthday dinner last August, and both service and food were fine. I'd say this matches what you're looking for perfectly!

                        1. re: alanbarnes
                          Cynsa RE: alanbarnes Jul 28, 2010 05:20 PM

                          We've enjoyed dinner twice in the past year and service was lovely each time. Food was top notch.

                          1. re: Cynsa
                            alanbarnes RE: Cynsa Jul 29, 2010 04:51 PM

                            Well all right then, we have a winner! Or would have had a winner - plans got shifted around, so we're pushing the visit back a week or two. When we finally get over there I'll report back.

                            Thanks again, everybody!

                            1. re: alanbarnes
                              Windy RE: alanbarnes Jul 29, 2010 09:02 PM

                              anything to make Mrs. Barnes happy! looking forward to your report.

                    2. c oliver RE: alanbarnes Jul 28, 2010 07:39 AM

                      I know your wife's not a fan of some/lots of Asian food but check out B Star Bar, the sister to BurmaStar:


                      They describe their food as "Pan Asian" and it has lots of variety. It's a pretty room also. But I'm betting you would score no points (and therefore not score)with this choice. We liked it a lot.

                      B Star Bar
                      127 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

                      1. Cynsa RE: alanbarnes Jul 29, 2010 01:01 AM

                        this is stretching boundaries - both geographical and exotic... Jannah is very nice for lunch or dinner with cloth napkins and tasty food - I like the Salmon Tikka with Mixed Greens and Mediterranean Vegetables #3 - the flavors are pure and simple and not exotic; grilled salmon kabob on mixed greens with steamed broccoli, carrot, and cauliflower with a feta vinaigrette -
                        it's also a very good value for $9 at lunch and $14 at dinner -

                        for 'exotic', the Maskoof smoked trout is deliciously assertive and the lamb shank Bamia at dinner satisfies my okra/lamb cravings.

                        1775 Fulton St, San Francisco, CA 94117

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