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Best Braised Lamb in San Francisco or Marin?

Looking to take a guest from out of the country to get some great braised lamb, per request. First, is lamb seasonal? I see it on some menus on restaurant websites, but not as many as I would expect.

We're looking anywhere in the city of SF or in Marin. Budget doesn't really matter. Looking for a place open on Monday night, if possible. If not, we'll go Wednesday. Nice atmosphere and a fun experience would be a bonus.

Thanks for the suggestions (if there are any)!

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  1. Just had some good lamb birria at Juan's Place in West Berkeley - fun and nice staff.

    Juan's Place
    941 Carleton St, Berkeley, CA 94710

    2 Replies
    1. re: sydthekyd

      I've had the birria at Juan's and it was good.

      In SF, Tommy's Joynt has braised lamb shank...but I can't recall what day it's served. Good price too (under $10)...but it's a hof brau.

      Tommy's Joynt
      1101 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94109

      1. re: ML8000

        Re T's Joynt: the lamb shanks are offered Thursdays and Saturdays. And it they are quite good...for the price. I can't imagine them being the best SF has to offer though.

    2. I think Aziza always has a lamb shank on the menu. What country is your guest from?

      3 Replies
      1. re: mrs bacon

        Romania. Thanks for the suggestion. Checking now...

        Ironically, the best food I had in Romania, for what it's worth, was at a Hungarian Restaurant. The Guylas was unreal.

        1. re: scottko

          Aziza's lamb shank is very good, but on the sweet side just so you know. I have heard that the sweetness has been a bit off-putting for some.

          1. re: Civil Bear

            Yeah, I found Aziza's shank too sweet, would not order it again.

            Not SF or Marin, but Great China in Berkeley has a great wok-braised lamb dish. Order it with kimchi (an off-menu option).

            Great China Restaurant
            2115 Kittredge St, Berkeley, CA 94704

      2. I had a lamb stew at Saha recently that blew me away. Fantastic flavor-- everyone at the table said it was the best lamb they'd had in ages-- succulent, flavorful meat, fantastic broth, aromatic seasonings....My mouth is watering just thinking of it. Saha overall serves nventive food -- Yemeni/Californian cuisine. Kindof hidden away inside the Hotel Carlton on Sutter Street and definitely worth it.


        1. spencer on the go offers a fantastic braised lamb sandwich, in a delicious port reduction

          but definitely would second aziza

          1. In Marin, both Chalet Basque and Insalatas have good braised lamb shanks. May be only certain days of the week.

            Chalet Basque
            405 N San Pedro Rd, San Rafael, CA 94903

              1. I had a lovely braised lamb dish at Incanto last month for the Vallone wine dinner menu.
                Simple, braised in natural juices with some chard, but admittedly the part of the plate I liked the best was the coil of grilled lamb sausage that accompanied the braised lamb. You might call the restaurant to see if there's a lamb braise on the current menu.

                Incanto Restaurant & Wine Bar
                1550 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94131

                1. Kokkari does a great lamb shank braised in tomato sauce with orzo.

                  Kokkari Estiatorio
                  200 Jackson St., San Francisco, CA 94111

                  1. The best braised lamb shank I've had was at Restaurant Unterschweinstiege at the Steigenberger Frankfurt Airport hotel. Perfection as only the Germans know how. Since then I have been on a quest for the best lamb shank anywhere.

                    I would love to find a slow-cooked curried lamb shank, either Indian or Indo-Malay style where the meat is so tender you can eat it with a spoon. YUM!!

                    1. I remember I went to Gallardo's Mexican Restaurant on Folsom and 14th (highly underrated) for a Friday lunch, and when I was leaving, I saw them braising some lamb for Saturday brunch that sounded delectable

                      1. Thanks for all of the recommendations. I ended up taking my friends to the Buckeye Roadhouse in Mill Valley and the braised lamb was amazing. It was served on a bed of cous cous and couldn't have been better. My friends were super happy. Thanks again for the recs!

                        And since there was at least one international "best ever" thrown in there, I'll share my best ever braised lamb: Tom's Kitchen in London (Chelsea). The "Daylesford 7 Hour Confit Lamb (for 2)" to be exact.


                        Buckeye Roadhouse
                        15 Shoreline Highway, Mill Valley, CA 94941

                        1 Reply