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Unique to San Francisco, off-beat, experimental?

Hello,

We will be visiting San Francisco in December. We are from Seattle and this will be our first visit to Bay area.

Basically what I am hoping for here is some recommendations on food in San Francisco that is unique to the area or better in some way than in other cities. For instance, we can find good sea food here in Seattle so we would prefer to pick a few places that offer something we can't find here.
We also enjoy great food that is innovative and even experimental - (Stinking Rose or any theme based restaurants for example).

As of now I have Stinking Rose, El Farolito, In and Out Burger on the list.

Any advice/suggestions are highly appreciated.

Thanks!

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Stinking Rose
325 Columbus, San Francisco, CA 94133

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  1. Do you have good Oaxacan or Peruvian food in Seattle?

    1. Off-beat yes.. good food probably not

      Opaque - Dining in the Dark

      1. The Stinking Rose is neither off-beat nor experimental -- it's mostly just a gimmick and reports on the food have been unfavorable.

        It would help if you would clarify what you mean by "innovative" and "experimental."

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        Stinking Rose
        325 Columbus, San Francisco, CA 94133

        3 Replies
        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          It may be a gimmick, but that doesn't disqualify it as off-beat or experimental. I'd say that much of a garlic overload qualifies as "off-beat."

          That being said -- I've read unfavorable reports, but I was talked into going by some people who wanted a gimmicky experience, and was VERY pleasantly surprised. Local, fresh ingredients (California seabass and Gilroy garlic) and perfect service.

          1. re: Radical347

            Isn't "Gilroy garlic" kinda redundant? :)

            1. re: c oliver

              I think that's to show it's not imported, like from China...and of course branding.

        2. In and Out Burger is none of the above.

          1. Stinking Rose is a tourist trap, plain and simple. Avoid it.

            I love In 'n' Out and eat there far too often (my 13-year-old daughter would cheerfully eat an animal-style cheeseburger every day, so I can pretend to be reluctant and let her "convince" me to go there). But although it's a really good fast food burger, it's just a fast food burger. Don't go too far out of your way for it, and don't expect too much from it, and you'll be fine.

            Mission burritos are quintessentially SF, and El Farolito makes a good one. Definitely worth trying.

            Is Coi in your price range? Or how about Aziza? (I haven't been yet, but am planning to be there in a couple of weeks.) You can get innovative Chinese food at Jai Yun. Or you might try Burmese food - it isn't innovative if you're in Burma, but it's certainly a change of pace for the typical American diner. Burmese Kitchen or Pagan are good options.

            Anyhow, provide more details about what you're looking for, where you'll be, and what you want to spend and you'll get better suggestions.

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            Jai Yun
            680 Clay St, San Francisco, CA 94111

            Stinking Rose
            325 Columbus, San Francisco, CA 94133