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Rec for foodie friends' get together in SF?

d
Drze Sep 14, 2010 01:47 PM

This is my first post but this website is my husband's religion. Unfortunately he started business school so he is too busy for my request for dinner reservations. I will say, he has not failed in Amseterdam, Brussels, Paris, SF, NY or Boston before because of chowhound. Nashville is hurting a little as far as breadth, although I do highly recommend City House and Cha Chah (the latter my current favorite).

I have a business trip in SF the first weekend in Oct (sans husband which is why he isn't interested in making my reservations) and am looking to have dinner with a couple of friends who just moved to Napa. We all have recently moved away from Boston where we together had some serious food nights out at places like No. 9 Park, O ya, and L'Espalier. Not to mention our at home dinner club that we started.

Last time my husband and I were there we at at BLVD and Ami and they were both fantastic. I am staying at the Moscone center so something close to there would be great but if I had to take a cab somewhere it wouldn't be horrible. Any good recs for me? Thanks everyone.

  1. v
    vulber Sep 14, 2010 10:06 PM

    Definitely consider Aziza, although you might want to take a cab there.

    Depending how foodie you really are (as well as how far you're willing to travel), you could BART to MacArthur and go to Commis in Oakland (if you're able to get a reservation far enough).

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    Commis
    3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

    5 Replies
    1. re: vulber
      d
      Drze Sep 16, 2010 11:10 AM

      Just grabbed a reservation at Benu for 7:45 pm. Looking forward to it! Thanks for the recs. It was hard to choose a place but since this seems to be the new hot spot, can't resist. Will let you know what we think.

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      Benu
      22 Hawthorne St, San Francisco, CA 94103

      1. re: Drze
        v
        vulber Sep 16, 2010 01:59 PM

        Note that they recommend ordering 3 plates; Benu is far more expnesive than any of the Boston or SF restaurants mentioned in your original post.

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        Benu
        22 Hawthorne St, San Francisco, CA 94103

        1. re: Drze
          j
          johnq Sep 16, 2010 06:07 PM

          As a matter of curiosity, how did you get the Benu reservation? After your initial post I checked OpenTable for the first weekend of October and there wasn't anything available until the middle of the month. Did you call the restaurant directly?

          I also notice there are multiple dinner reservations available on OpenTable for tomorrow (Sept. 17) and a week from tomorrow (Sept. 24), but the only reservation for the following Friday (Oct. 1) is 5:30 and there's nothing at all after that until Oct. 14. This seems strange.

          Does anyone know what's going on with reservations at Benu? Is it getting a lot easier to get in? And why are there a lot more reservations available for the next two weeks than for the three weeks after that?

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          Benu
          22 Hawthorne St, San Francisco, CA 94103

          1. re: johnq
            d
            Drze Sep 16, 2010 06:57 PM

            I actually saw the reservation on Open Table but was unable to secure it because the credit card processing was down. I called and they had the same reservation. There was also one for 3 at 8:30 pm. I apologize for forgetting to post that there was another reservation earlier. I thought about it on my way home from work but figured that someone would have already scooped it up. I am not sure if we had more luck because we are a party of 3 instead of 4.

            Thanks for the heads up on the cost. Upon reading some reviews I think we are going to hold off on the tasting menu but I have already picked out something from each of the courses. The cheese course looks like a steal.

            1. re: Drze
              j
              johnq Sep 16, 2010 07:15 PM

              That explains it. You were searching for 3 people and I was searching for 2. Interestingly enough, it's far easier to get a reservation for 3 at Benu than for 2.

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              Benu
              22 Hawthorne St, San Francisco, CA 94103

      2. j
        johnq Sep 14, 2010 05:21 PM

        Moscone Center is a convention center, not a hotel. There are numerous hotels nearby, but walking distance would depend on where you're staying.

        Your best option for high-end dining in the vicinity of Moscone Center is Ame, but I'm assuming that's what you meant by "Ami." You could also try Fifth Floor, which is in the Palomar Hotel, and shouldn't be that long a walk, depending on where you're staying.

        If you're willing to take a cab, you could try either Canteen or Bix, but be aware that Canteen is very small and I believe there's only has one table that seats four, so you might have trouble getting a reservation. Excellent food, however. The food at Bix is quite good, though in my opinion a notch below Canteen. The atmosphere at Bix is quite different from Canteen: Prohibition-era high end supper club versus post-modern diner. In my opinion either place would satisfy all but the most jaded foodies.

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        Bix
        56 Gold St., San Francisco, CA 94133

        Fifth Floor Restaurant
        12 Fourth St., San Francisco, CA 94103

        5 Replies
        1. re: johnq
          d
          Drze Sep 14, 2010 08:00 PM

          Brilliant. A misspelling on my first post. I could have sworn I saw it spelled that way on a different post...

          I think that I am staying at the Marriott then. I was told by the person who made the reservations that I was "staying where the conference is".

          My husband and I had brunch at Canteen when we visited a year and a half ago (per the recs of this board). Was an excellent finish to a fantastic weekend. The weather had been amazing the whole time. It was my second visit to SF where the weather was sunny and in the high 80's the whole time. I realize that isn't always the case.

          Will definitely check out the recs. Thanks.

          1. re: Drze
            Melanie Wong Sep 14, 2010 08:04 PM

            Note that Fifth Floor just lost its executive chef and the sommelier. New in the area and very close by is Benu, if you can get a reservation --- you'll want to check the many reports here.

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            Fifth Floor Restaurant
            12 Fourth St., San Francisco, CA 94103

            Benu
            22 Hawthorne St, San Francisco, CA 94103

            1. re: Melanie Wong
              j
              johnq Sep 14, 2010 09:37 PM

              Melanie is correct about Fifth Floor, though I hadn't previously noticed. The executive chef left about 10 days ago. Too bad, since it's right next to the Marriott. Probably not a safe choice until things settle down.

              Benu would be a good choice, but there won't be any reservations available for the first weekend in October. They just recently opened and are the current flavor of the month, so reservations are tough to get on less than six weeks' notice. You might try calling the restaurant, or asking the concierge at your hotel, though I wouldn't hold out much hope.

              Another possibility that's within walking distance of the Marriott is Chez Papa Resto at Mint Plaza. Well done bistro-type food. Not a destination restaurant, in my opinion, but very solid.

              Incidentally, you might want to check on the hotel. The Marriott is definitely within walking distance of Moscone, but there are a couple of hotels that are closer. I'm not sure what "staying at the conference" means, but the Marriott wouldn't be my first guess.

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              Fifth Floor Restaurant
              12 Fourth St., San Francisco, CA 94103

              Chez Papa Resto
              4 Mint Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94103

              Benu
              22 Hawthorne St, San Francisco, CA 94103

              1. re: johnq
                s
                SteveG Sep 15, 2010 01:41 PM

                Thermidore is also there on mint plaza. Delicious food, good cocktails, fun mod/retro interior.

            2. re: Drze
              Ruth Lafler Sep 14, 2010 09:14 PM

              The Marriott has a large conference center, but it's not the convention center.

              The folks behind Boulevard have a new restaurant called Prospect; Perbacco might be a nice choice.

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              Perbacco
              230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

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