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Restaurants fit for local foodies around Union Square?

jgrn307 Dec 18, 2010 05:27 PM

My wife and I are between homes and are staying at a hotel in Union Square -- we are both foodies and have lived in SF for 6 years (mostly in the Mission), and like most SFers we typically stay away from Union Square. Now that we are stuck here without a car for a week or so, any recommendations for places to eat within walking distance? ALL food types suggestions are welcome. Cheers!

(By the way, to calibrate, here are our tastes: best tacos: El Toyanense truck at Harrison and 19th, best Indian: Dosa's, best Chinese: Fang, best Dim Sum: Yank Sing, best Napolitano style pizza: Beretta, best sushi: Live, best place that in-laws pay for: Michael Mina, best Peruvian: Limon Rotisserie, best NY style pizza: none because its all crap in SF.)

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  1. wolfe RE: jgrn307 Dec 19, 2010 04:29 AM

    Here is the Union Square breakfast and brunch section from RW's eat like a local list. Some will work for dinner.

    1. DavidRx RE: jgrn307 Dec 19, 2010 05:08 AM

      Perbacco or their sister next door Barbacco. (California St east next to Tadich's). N. Italian cuisine. Always enjoyed everything I ate there.

      1 Reply
      1. re: DavidRx
        Ruth Lafler RE: DavidRx Dec 22, 2010 12:58 PM

        I love Barbacco, but it's not "around Union Square" -- it's a good 15-20 minute walk.

        230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

      2. b
        budnball RE: jgrn307 Dec 19, 2010 08:40 AM

        Give Canteen a try. It is in the neighborhood and well worth it.!

        1. Robert Lauriston RE: jgrn307 Dec 19, 2010 10:10 AM

          Lers Ros, B44 (Catalan), Katana-Ya (ramen).

          430 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94102

          44 Belden Place, San Francisco, CA 94104

          Lers Ros Thai
          730 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA

          7 Replies
          1. re: Robert Lauriston
            steve h. RE: Robert Lauriston Dec 22, 2010 12:12 PM

            B44 sounds interesting. Belden Place, right? I walked by it Monday afternoon and made a mental note to check it out sometime down the road.

            What has been your experience?

            1. re: steve h.
              Robert Lauriston RE: steve h. Dec 22, 2010 12:42 PM

              My most favorite dish is the arros negra (palella-like rice dish with squid, squid ink, and a ton of garlic). Other favroites include xato, mushrooms a la plancha, romescada, baccala amb samfaina, and rabbit.

              Haven't been there since the chef opened Barlata in Oakland, since that's closer to home.

              4901 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                steve h. RE: Robert Lauriston Dec 22, 2010 12:59 PM

                Let the record show that Belden Place stalwart Sam's Grill makes a fine martini. The sweetbreads there are ok and can easily satisfy three or four.

                1. re: steve h.
                  c oliver RE: steve h. Dec 22, 2010 01:01 PM

                  I really enjoy the whole vibe of Belden. Just "ok" sweetbreads?

                  1. re: c oliver
                    steve h. RE: c oliver Dec 22, 2010 01:19 PM

                    Sam's Grill prides itself on their sweetbreads. I had 'em sauteed with caper and lemon. Share the dish with others.

                    At the end of the day, Sam's Grill is moderately priced and an interesting place to visit. It's old school with a bit of history. Bring modest expectations so you won't be disappointed. Having said that, go. Have fun with staff, enjoy what they tell you to order. Like Tadich, I suspect frequent diners at Sam's enjoy a slightly different experience.

                    1. re: c oliver
                      Robert Lauriston RE: c oliver Dec 22, 2010 02:20 PM

                      I enjoyed Sam's sweetbreads a year or so back but would probably order something else next time. Some might call them old-school, others might say overdone. It's pretty much Tadich minus the tourists.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston
                        c oliver RE: Robert Lauriston Dec 22, 2010 03:13 PM

                        I worked at 425 Calif. in the mid70s. We could look down and see the line down the block for Tadich 1130 opening. We'll certainly be in Chinatown sometime next week. Should stop at Sam's.

            2. JasmineG RE: jgrn307 Dec 19, 2010 04:50 PM

              Canteen and Gitane -- I went to the latter for the first time recently and was very impressed by the bar and drinks and snacks there, I look forward to going back for dinner.

              Gitane Restaurant & Bar
              6 Claude Lane, San Francisco, CA 94108

              1 Reply
              1. re: JasmineG
                Calvinist RE: JasmineG Dec 22, 2010 12:16 PM

                We had a great dinner at Gitane a couple of months ago. Not cheap ($180 for two, including wine and cocktails), however.

                Gitane Restaurant & Bar
                6 Claude Lane, San Francisco, CA 94108

              2. j
                jgrn307 RE: jgrn307 Dec 22, 2010 11:52 AM

                Thanks for the suggestions (please keep them coming). We'll try one of the nicer restaurants this weekend (Canteen is top on our list), but here's the ones we hit up so far:

                - Dojima: ok ramen, nothing special.
                - Burger Bar: I don't know what I was expecting but while the burgers were good (you could tell the beef quality was high), in no way is this worth the price. Also, unless you are into the SF club scene, we weren't so thrilled with the crowds.
                - Dottie's True Blue: second time here, just as fantastic as the first time.
                - Shalimar: dirty, bad service and bland, mediocre food. I don't mind grungy restaurants as long as they can deliver the food (e.g. Lahore Karahi is one of our favorite Indian places in this area). This didn't. Even the naan was bad (it was old and had the texture of a saltine).
                - Old Siam Thai: good Thai food. Not the best in SF, but definitely solid. Pad Kee Mow (beef drunken noodles) was wonderful, the best thing we had.
                - Little Delhi Indian: AWESOME find. This was our gem of the week, so far. Everything we had here was good. We had the bagan bharta, chicken tikka and aloo matar.

                Now to go find a decent sandwich shop for lunch...

                219 Ofarrell St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                Little Delhi
                83 Eddy St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                Lahore Karahi
                612 Ofarrell St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                Dottie's True Blue Cafe
                522 Jones St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                The Old Siam Thai Restaurant
                201 Ellis St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                1 Reply
                1. re: jgrn307
                  wolfe RE: jgrn307 Dec 22, 2010 12:57 PM

                  Less than 1/2 miles to Golden West(AU) or The Sentinel.

                2. c
                  Calvinist RE: jgrn307 Dec 22, 2010 12:14 PM

                  Katana-Ya is worth trying for ramen. The Westfield mall has Out The Door and other vendors.

                  430 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                  1. s
                    SFbarmaid RE: jgrn307 Dec 22, 2010 04:40 PM

                    Naked lunch, for sure....only open from 11:30-2 tues-Sat... I suggest you go tomorrow!!

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