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Sep 26, 2010 10:33 PM

Looking for recommendations based on SF places I loved last year

SF Chowhounders,

Here's where I loved dining in your city last year on a solo work trip about 1 year ago. This year I'll be staying over Thanksgiving week, 10 nights total, 5 of which will be solo.

Could you make recommendations:

- Of new places I might enjoy from places below that I found delicious last year

- Places where the food is interesting and delicious (why did I just write that - it's obvious on CH). Interesting to me means - a way of preparing that would be too time consuming or complex for me to prepare, or unique plating.

- Not BBQ or Tex Mex / Interior Mexican.

- I'm wondering what to do for Sunday Brunch. From research here, am considering Out the Door, Delancy St., Zuni Cafe.

- Breakfast and lunch places near Golden Gate bridge or Crissy field. We might try an early AM walk across the bridge. But if sleep wins out, it could be late AM.

- 3 places where I've made reservations already based on research here on Chowhound:

1) Quince, Wed night before Thanksgiving

2) House of Prime Rib, Thanksgiving night
I wasn't sure about this, and their website won't load on my browser, but it sounded like fun.

3) Wayfare Tavern, Friday night after Thanksgiving

My calorie budget means I can only eat out twice / day when vacationing + consume 1-2 healthy low-cal snacks that I bring with me or buy when I start to feel famished. Doing that + walking a LOT enabled me to only gain 1lb last year.

Here are places I completely enjoyed last year during a solo trip.

Boulevard - Ate there twice. The fish was seasoned / spiced in a new-to-me way; everything was delicious. Decor was intriguing. Although I really want to try new places this time, I probably won't be able to resist a return visit to Boulevard during the early solo part of my stay. Loved sitting at the bar and watching who I think was the chef at work (a woman who looked like she was in charge).

Out the Door

Alioto - Yes, despite the touristy location, the timing was right, and I remember finding the Cioppino delicious.

Macaroons with texture and flavor better than any I've had before.

Scoma's in Sausalito
Enjoyed a perfectly cooked piece of fish, a beautiful view, and good service.

Burmese Superstar
What a fun lunch - I recall a very intricate (many ingredients) special salad with cabbage?, chicken, nuts, and 100 other things.

Naked Fish
Did not plan this one either, but was walking nearby. I recall beautiful plating and an exceptionally good appetizer.

Ella's for breakfast
Remember enjoying it but don't recall what I had.

Loved the Ferry Marketplace Farmer's market experience. I remember a farmer with a unique Garrison-Keillor-ish voice who specialized in radishes going into a ton of detail with someone about exactly which ones would grow well where she was from (Maryland!). It was one of those moments that made me happy to be alive and feel lucky to be right where I was at that moment.

Did not enjoy:

- A burger at Taylors Refresher. Fries were cold. Burger didn't seem interesting or flavorful. I remember eating half, tossing the rest, then catching the ferry to Sausalito. However, a person (manager?) who worked there WAS very nice though - she gave me band-aids for my blistered heels from their first-aid kit. So I didn't have the heart to complain.

As soon as I started walking around Sausalito, I saw this burger place where they were cooking over charcoal or wood? Wow that smelled great. Remember wishing I had waited till there for lunch. Does anyone know this burger place in Sausalito and are the burgers as good as they looked?

- There was one breakfast place I walked to from my hotel that had a long line out the door. I walked up to the door to try to see if they had a counter with space for 1, and a guy in line yelled at me as though I was trying to cut. Might have been Mama's? I just left as I didn't want to get punched out in search of breakfast.

We'll be staying in the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero because I enjoyed being so close to the Ferry Building for Farmer's Market or running across for a Blue Bottle coffee before setting out for the day.

Looking forward to tromping and noshing all over SF.

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  1. If you liked Boulevard, you might want to check out Prospect. It's from the people behind Boulevard and only three blocks from your hotel.

    Other places close to you hotel: Perbacco, La Mar. Coi and Bix are pretty walkable as well.

    You could also consider Benu and Alexander's.

    Totally agree that Taylor's (now Gott's) is mediocre at best.

    1. If you liked Burma Superstar, you should try Burmese Kitchen for lunch some day.

      Larkin Express Burmese Kitchen
      452 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

      1 Reply
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        My Sunday brunch rec would be Foreign Cinema, an easy BART ride from your hotel. Walking distance-ish would be Canteen - haven't been myself but have heard raves for their brunch.

        Foreign Cinema
        2534 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110

      2. Foreign Cinema is great for brunch. Nopa also recently started brunch service, though I haven't been yet.

        560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

        Foreign Cinema
        2534 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110

        1. The hamburger joint is at 737 Bridgeway and really has no name. Some call it 737. When you call to order take-out, they usually answer " Hello, Hamburger." We call it "dizzyburger" because of the rotating grill. It's a pretty good burger and definitely the cheapest lunch in town. TheNorth Beach branch of Mo's has an identical grill with better quality meat and fresh french fries, but if you're in Sausalito, a "dizzyburger" will do. Call ahead to avoid the line, 332-9471.

          2 Replies
          1. re: little big al

            That would be Hamburgers on Bridgeway. A worthy destination.

            1. re: little big al

              Here's the link (which will appear and disappear).

              737 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965

            2. Bar Crudo at their new shop on Divisadero is a favorite of mine. Wonderful seafood, expertly prepared. Wine selection is very good, beer selection is even better. Informal, crowded, noisy and fun.

              You can't go wrong with Zuni.

              FISH in Sausalito is another favorite. Upscale fish shack on the water. I always walk there from the ferry landing (it's a healthy walk). Cash only. Not cheap.

              Edited to add: Barbacco, steps from your hotel, has very good small plates.

              Zuni Cafe
              1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

              Bar Crudo
              655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

              4 Replies
              1. re: steve h.

                "Not cheap" does not begin to describe Fish in Sausalito. Last time I checked (last week) their fish and chips was clocking in at an astonishing $23. You could get 3 orders at Red's Java House for that.

                Red's Java House
                Pier 30, San Francisco, CA

                1. re: little big al

                  I like Red's. It's an acquired taste: fat, grease, beer under the shadow of the Bay Bridge. Sometimes you just have to do it. I confess to taking some burger comfort there.

                  FISH is different, but you knew that.

                  Edited to add: Will Red's be knocked down if Ellison's America's Cup bid comes to San Francisco? I think Red's is protected under some kind of "landmark" designation.

                  We'll see.

                2. re: steve h.

                  You know I'm +1ing Bar Crudo.
                  (Did a detailed Rio review and lost it.)

                  Bar Crudo
                  655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

                  1. re: c oliver

                    Hi c,
                    Bar Crudo is on top of their game. I need to learn about South America so reconstruct your thoughts and share your opinions. :-)

                    Bar Crudo
                    655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117