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only 3 days in San Francisco

Traveling with my family to San Francisco for just 3 days. Wanted to eat at Quince, but they won't take a big party as ours. Most places won't (or else want us to do private dining room and then we don't get the regular menu.) We're foodies with an aged mother all the way to college age students. Anyway, thoughts about some good and memorable places to eat? Doesn't have to be chic and $$, ethnic and cheap is good too! (Heard Burmese is interesting). Thanks!

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  1. Hey hikawa! Sounds like quite the entourage. You might want to list how many are in your party, where you are staying, what sorts of foods you have in abundance where you're from and so on to help the local Hounds steer you well. They get dozens of similar requests a week from all over the world.

    You mentioned Burmese which is a strength in SF and not where I come from (Vancouver). There are several restos that might work for you again depending on the size of your group, and it is indeed an interesting cuisine to try. I am particularly fond of the various salads. Do a search on Burmese here to read some of the threads and see if it appeals, then post back for specific recs. Good luck!

    3 Replies
    1. re: grayelf

      Hello Chowhounders! Sorry for not being specific. At our largest, we're 16 people, but I'm hoping two or three of the 20'ers might opt out of some of the meals. And we just may be forced to do some splits for meals anyway.

      We're from Chicago, sister from Los Angeles, sister from New York, so frankly, we've seen and eaten a LOT. Called Perbacco yesterday, and though I asked for several tables (not close together) they would not take us either except for private dining room. (Why not 4 tables of 4?)
      Thanks for the replies!

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      Perbacco
      230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

      1. re: hikawatressler

        So if you don't have to be seated all together make the reservations separately under separate names -- easy if several of you have Open Table accounts.

      2. re: grayelf

        Oops, forgot to say we're staying by Alamo Square, Painted Ladies.

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        Alamo Square Cafe
        711 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94117

      3. Did you try Cotogna as well (Quince's little "sister" place)?

        1. Tadich Grill is a classic, dating back to 1849. The sand dabs are great. It is a popular place, so you had better query them re. the size of your party. If you can dine off-peak, that might be a solution. You can get good dim sum at Yank Sing. Also popular, but their Rincon Center location is very large. A more hole-in-the-wall option is Good Luck Dim Sum. Koi Palace also gets raves, but you would have to schlep your whole posse to Daly City.

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          Koi Palace Restaurant
          365 Gellert Blvd, Daly City, CA 94015

          Tadich Grill
          240 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

          Yank Sing
          49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105

          Good Luck Dim Sum
          736 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

           
          2 Replies
          1. re: erikschwarz

            Good Luck Dim Sum is quite small, mostly a take-out place with only counter service, and not suitable for a group larger than 4 people. There are any number of other Chinese restaurants in the City that can handle groups from 10 to 30 with ease.

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            Good Luck Dim Sum
            736 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Yes, I should have specified that Good Luck would be a take-out situation.

            1. Wow, that's a big group. You should seriously consider booking the private room at Incanto for a Whole Pig dinner- you have the perfect number.

              Looking at Opentable, the restaurants that accept reservations for 16 that I think are interesting are Dosa (South Indian, a bit more upscale than other S. Indian places but apparently still good), Bissap Baobab (Senegalese), and Helmand (Afghani, consistently gets high praise). While Mandalay (Burmese) doesn't seem to take reservations that big on Opentable, the restaurant is pretty big - I think if you called ahead you could make a reservation for your group. Can anyone comment on whether Burmese Kitchen is big enough for this group?

              Other places to consider - Old Mandarin Islamic, Hakka Restaurant, R&G Lounge, Poc Chuc (call ahead, the restaurant's not big but they're accommodating to groups), San Dong House, and PPQ (esp if you're coming during crab season, for Vietnamese roast crab).

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              Old Mandarin Islamic Restaurant
              3132 Vicente St, San Francisco, CA 94116

              Bissap Baobab
              2323 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

              Poc Chuc
              2886 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

              7 Replies
              1. re: daveena

                Incanto for whole pig sitting in the Dante room is a great suggestion.

                Burmese Kitchen has two small rows of tables. I was there with a group of 8. It could probably set up two tables of 8, but it might tax the kitchen to try to get the food out simultaneously for that number. Mandalay is much larger. i have seen a party of 10 or so set up on a long table down the middle.

                1. re: daveena

                  Just a note: PPQ does not serve crab and would be difficult to accommodate a large group (always crowded). Their sister restaurant, PPQ Dungeness Island on Clement serves the fab crab dishes and is much roomier.

                  1. re: Civil Bear

                    Thanks for clarifying - I was thinking PPQ Dungeness Island.

                  2. re: daveena

                    The Whole Pig meal sounded like a great idea. I called Incanto, no dice, They're closed the week after Christmas. Our dates in SF are 27-30 December. Made a reservation at Yank Sing, but still looking for great food suggestions!

                    Thanks for suggesting the reservations under different names. Sounds so obvious but didn't think of it!

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                    Yank Sing
                    49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105

                    1. re: hikawatressler

                      Would be interested to get your review of Yank Sing. I have had only positive dim sum experiences there, including a Christmas Day dinner. Do be advised that there are two locations - the Stevenson Street one that shows above and to the right and another at 1 Rincon Center. You might check to see which is most convenient to your itinerary for the day.

                      1. re: hikawatressler

                        Melanie mentioned Mandalay above for Burmese which is the place I was thinking of when I posted first. It is in quite a nice neighbourhood with more tables and has a larger staff than Burmese Kitchen so it might be a great choice for you. It also has a much larger menu in case you have some people who want to eat less exotic stuff :-). We dined there once with my parents and had an outstanding lunch.

                      2. re: daveena

                        Helmand is great.

                        I'm pretty sure I've seen groups that size at Maykadeh (excellent Persian).

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                        Maykadeh Persian Cuisine
                        470 Green St, San Francisco, CA 94133

                        Helmand Palace
                        2424 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94109