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Feb 6, 2011 05:20 PM

Travelling to SF in April

My husband and I will be in SF for 4 nights and we are looking for some recommendations. Specifically for:

Dim sum





Upscale expensive

My only caveat is that wherever we go can't be an all meat menu (fish is ok) and it can't be to dairy heaven as I am allergic.

Price is no object and we would love to be wowed...either by the sophistication, the uniqueness, or the down and dirty goodness.

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  1. Have you done any searches for these subjects? They have all been debated and discussed ad nauseum and there are multiple threads on every topic.

    My takes:
    Dim Sum - Koi in Daly city
    Chinese - PPQ Dungeness
    Sushi - Koo or Kiss
    Vegetarian - Ubuntu in Napa
    Seafood - cooked or raw? Bar crudo for raw and Farallon for cooked
    Upscale Expensive - Saison

    Ubuntu Restaurant & Yoga Studio
    1140 Main Street, Napa, CA 94558

    450 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

    2124 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA 94110

    8 Replies
    1. re: CarrieWas218

      PPQ Dungeness is Vietnamese, isn't it? Asking for "Chinese" is too vague -- what kind of Chinese (Cantonese/HK seafood, Sichuan, Shanghai, etc.)?

      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        Of course you are right....I'd say Sichaun.

        But speaking of Slanted Door any good or is it just a tourist trap?

        Slanted Door
        Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

        1. re: jrabbit2727

          For Sichuan I'd recommend Z&Y in Chinatown.

          Slanted Door is not a tourist trap, but I think how much you enjoy your meal depends on what you order -- I think they do better with their more fusion offerings that the more "straight" Vietnamese dishes (with a couple of exceptions) -- and whether you want to take advantage of their well-chosen wine list.

          You didn't say where you were coming from -- that's often a big help in tailoring recommendations for you.

          Slanted Door
          Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            My husband and I lived in Toronto up until 6 months ago when we moved to Calgary. Needless to say we are DYING to be back in a foodie town.

            Thanks for the recommendations thus far.

            I'm still at a loss for an upscale place. So far the ones mentioned are either prix fixe which doesn't work with my no meat or dairy diet...and the others mentioned have been French...which also doesn't work with having no dairy.

            1. re: jrabbit2727

              You can order a la carte at Benu -- Japanese influenced, so there's not a lot of meat or dairy.

              22 Hawthorne St, San Francisco, CA 94103

              1. re: jrabbit2727

                You may find that restaurants in San Francisco are used to "I eat this, I don't eat that" and if you are kind and patient about it, and don't rudely drop the surprise on them right when you order, they are happy to work with you.

                The upscale places (aside from French, I think) are usually good at working with dietary restrictions if you call several days ahead and are very gracious about it. I have lactose issues and for my tasting menu at the Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton a couple years ago, I called a few days ahead and explained my problem, what was and wasn't safe for me to eat (for me, hard cheese is ok, whip cream will destroy me, for example, plus I don't care for red meat). They couldn't have been nicer about it, put out a gorgeous tasting menu for me, and I didn't feel like I was "missing out" at all.

                For Delfina and other mid-range places, I don't usually call ahead but do try to go at off-peak times. When I am seated, I explain to the waitperson about my restrictions and ask what would be good choices for me. They usually check with the kitchen, but a pleasant, smiling, patient attitude from the diner goes a long way into the kitchen subbing out butter in favor of olive oil, or leaving off the cheese. However, I am merely very intolerant, digestively speaking. I will not go into shock if I have dairy - if that is the case with you, then you may want to avoid restaurants cooking dairy entirely.

                Delfina Restaurant
                3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                1. re: artemis

                  Good to know....thanks. I try and be as nice as I can about it. I do become quite ill if I eat dairy so I am always wary.....

                  1. re: jrabbit2727

                    I can get quite ill from dairy, but as in digestion problems, which is lactose intolerance --> please no dairy in my food, but dairy in the kitchen is fine. On the other hand, quite ill as in anaphylactic shock/hives/etc is an immune response problem = allergic, as in please don't use the same spoon to stir a dairy pot and then my pot because my throat will swell and close if I eat that.

                    If you are intolerant, then say you are lactose intolerant, and a good restaurant will take it seriously. If you are allergic and could go into shock from cross contamination, say you are allergic, but know that you might not be served any food due to liability concerns.

      2. some general examples since you haven't been that specific
        dim sum -- hong kong lounge
        chinese -- r&g, san tung
        sushi -- kiss, ino
        vegetarian -- millenium, greens
        seafood -- sotto mare, ferry building, i.e. hog island
        upscale expensive -- benu, la folie

        1. We have never been disappointed at Zare at Fly Trap. Persian fusion.

          1. Upscale and can easily fit in your dietary guidelines: Coi. Highly recommended.

            Another one to think about: Range. More midscale in price, but way upscale on the food quality scale, IMO.

            I'm inclined to discourage Ubuntu, but others will disagree. Ditto Greens, which is anything but dairy-free unless things have changed. You can do very interesting and edgy vegetarian at Plum in Oakland especially if your vegetarianism is dietary and not religious and you can mix in some seafood (sorry if I'm sounding like a shill for Daniel patterson).

            1 Reply
            1. re: Gustavo Glenmorangie

              Second on Plum, perfect fit for someone who doesn't want dairy or meat (though their few meat dishes are great). I presume Coi is similar but fancier?

            2. Dim sum - Yank Sing, South Seafood Village
              Chinese - Asian Pearl in Milbrae, San Tung (Korean/Chinese mix), Mission Chinese Food
              Sushi - Koo, Kabuto (has a fusion twist to it), Tekka (a caveat - no reservations allowed, stand in line by 6:00 to get 1 of 10 seats at 7pm. Intimate setting, prepared by a cute mom n pop, homey Japanese hot foods available, but the sashimi pieces are huuuge.)
              Vegetarian - Forgive me but I've never even attempted to go vegetarian in my dining experience
              Seafood - Bar Crudo (mainly raw), Tadich Grill
              Upscale expensive - Quince, Coi, Gary Danko (make reservations now!)

              Tadich Grill
              240 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

              Bar Crudo
              655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

              Gary Danko
              800 N Point St, San Francisco, CA 94109

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

              Mission Chinese Food
              2234 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110