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Seeking dining recs in SF

f
fm1963 Aug 1, 2010 10:12 AM

Visting SF in a few weeks and seeking recommendations for Italian, French Bistro, Pan-Asian, Mexican, and Steakhouse venues. We're thinking about Boulevard, Acquerello, Slanted Door, Mamacita, and Alfred's Steak House, but would welcome other suggestions.

Thanks!

  1. daveena Aug 1, 2010 01:47 PM

    Italian: Perbacco, Incanto, La Ciccia

    Mexican: Nopalito (from your choices, I'm guessing you're looking primarily for upscale places, but if you're looking for non-upscale as well, let us know - Poc Chuc is one board fave for sitdown and there are infinite tacos and burritos to try as well), chilaquiles from the Primavera stand on Saturday mornings at the Ferry Building Farmer's Market

    I haven't been to any of the steak places in SF, but I think general consensus is that it's not really worth seeking out in SF, esp coming from NYC

    re: French bistro - there are a number that qualify as neighborhood faves, but I can't think of any off the top of my head that are routinely recommended as destination eats for visitors.

    Pan-Asian - does Burmese count? It draws on Thai, Chinese, and Indian influences, and is more heavily represented in the Bay Area than in NYC. My favorite places are outside SF proper, but Burmese Kitchen, Mingalaba, and Burma Superstar are perennial favorites.

    For upscale Asian fusion, look into Ame. For Momofuku-ish modern fusion, maybe Namu and Mission Street Chinese.

    re: Slanted Door - in general, I'd say that visitors from areas with a large Vietnamese populations are generally not impressed with SD, but almost every NYC visitor report has been positive.

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

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

    Perbacco
    230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

    Namu
    439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

    Burma Superstar
    1345 Park Street, Alameda, CA

    Mingalaba
    1213 Burlingame Ave, Burlingame, CA 94010

    3 Replies
    1. re: daveena
      f
      fm1963 Aug 2, 2010 08:02 AM

      Great, we'll skip the steak and bistro, and will look into your other recs. Thanks so much daveena!

      1. re: daveena
        ankimo Aug 2, 2010 11:57 PM

        agree with Italian choices, could also add SPQR, plus Beretta for cocktails, or Quince at the higher end
        asian fusion done well at the House, try Isa for fusion tapas, Ame at the higher end, Chairman Bao makes the pork belly buns here too
        5A5 for A5 Wagyu
        since you're considering Boulevard, there's also Prospect
        Slanted Door is pretty divisive, try Vietnam House if you don't mind the tenderloin area

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

        SPQR
        1911 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

        Chairman Bao
        San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

        1. re: ankimo
          f
          fm1963 Aug 3, 2010 05:22 AM

          Thanks ankimo. Prospect in particular looks perfect.

      2. s
        saffrongold Aug 2, 2010 08:38 AM

        French Bistro - Le Charm Restaurant on 5th Street nr. Folsom could be coupled with a trip to MOMA or Bistro Central Parc is in a neighborhood near the Haight, if that interests you, largely residential with alot of Victorians.

        -----
        Bistro Central Parc
        560 Central Ave, San Francisco, CA 94117

        1 Reply
        1. re: saffrongold
          f
          fm1963 Aug 2, 2010 09:52 AM

          The menus look great. I can never resist ile flottante or poire belle helene. We'll keep these in mind as well. Thanks!

        2. f
          fm1963 Aug 28, 2010 08:24 PM

          Trip report: Our friends took us to Barbacco, Quince and Wayfare Tavern, which were all amazing. The cafeteria at the California Academy of Sciences was great too, and so was Hot Cookie in the Castro.

          We'll have to return soon to explore more of the great dining scene in SF, including the suggestions on this thread!

          -----
          Hot Cookie
          407 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114

          Barbacco
          230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

          Wayfare Tavern
          558 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, CA 94111

          2 Replies
          1. re: fm1963
            grayelf Aug 28, 2010 11:52 PM

            Can you share what you loved at Barbacco and Quince particularly?

            1. re: grayelf
              f
              fm1963 Aug 29, 2010 10:28 AM

              At Barbacco we had the mushroom farrotto, tuna pasta, panna cotta, and butterscotch and spiced chocolate gelati, which were perfect in every way.

              My mistake - we went to Spruce, and not Quince (which was nixed because the reservationist strongly advised jackets for men). At Spruce I had the harvest vegetable salad, the duck (which was served with seared foie gras) and the beignets - all delicious. The restaurant itself was very handsome and the service was top notch.

              Hot Cookie - those were the best cookies ever! Forgot to mention that we had also great pizzas at Scala's near Union Square (the squash blossom pizza with creme fraiche, parmigiano reggiano and truffle oil was out of this world!).

              -----
              Hot Cookie
              407 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114

              Barbacco
              230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

          2. b
            bobpantzer Aug 29, 2010 12:34 PM

            Des Amis is a classy French bistro that just opened a few weeks ago. We've been only once and loved the food and ambience. It's on Fillmore at Buchanan and is operated by the same group that owns Spruce.

            We also had some good meals at the new Wayfare Tavern and love the ambience there, as well. I loved the steak and eggs--a filet, medium rare, sliced into two thin halves, each topped with crabmeat, asparagus and a whole soft egg covered with bearnaise. Kind of a mess, but delicious.

            -----
            Wayfare Tavern
            558 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, CA 94111

            4 Replies
            1. re: bobpantzer
              s
              stacyc Aug 29, 2010 01:57 PM

              Fillmore and Buchanan are parallel. I believe Les Amis is on Union at Buchanan, the old Prego location.

              1. re: stacyc
                b
                bobpantzer Aug 29, 2010 04:44 PM

                You're right. Thanks for correcting me. For some reason I always get Fillmore and Union mixed up.

              2. re: bobpantzer
                f
                fm1963 Aug 31, 2010 09:36 AM

                Yes, we also loved the grilled calamari, fried chicken, leg of lamb, mac and cheese, and roasted asparagus at Wayfare Tavern. The chocolate pudding and banana pudding were also very good.

                1. re: fm1963
                  b
                  bobpantzer Aug 31, 2010 10:25 AM

                  Well, we also loved the foie gras, roasted oysters and grilled calamari. We've had the peach pie twice and it's also terrific. I can't wait to try the chicken pot pie some Sunday.

              3. n
                Nopa Aug 29, 2010 01:49 PM

                I personally think Boulevard is over-rated. You can easily spend over $50 per person and leave under whelmed. Service is spotty at best. Try Canteen instead.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Nopa
                  d
                  DavidT Aug 31, 2010 11:46 AM

                  Boulevard & Canteen are two restaurants VERY different in size and presentation. I suppose you can compare the food, but everything else about these two restaurants is very different.

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