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Looking for a "nice" lunch - Sunset / Richmond

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...

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

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  1. 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

      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

        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. 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

        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.

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

        Alembic
        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

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

          1. re: balabanian

            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.

            1. re: wolfe

              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: wolfe

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

          2. 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.

            http://www.sprucesf.com/

            3 Replies
            1. re: c oliver

              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

                Links (so everything shows up on the map)

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

                Spruce
                3640 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94118

                Sociale
                3665 Sacramento St., San Francisco, CA 94118

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

                1. re: alanbarnes

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

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                  Sociale
                  3665 Sacramento St., San Francisco, CA 94118

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

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              Shabu House
              5158 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118

              1. And on the cheaper side, Mandalay