Who's familiar with old San Francisco restaurants?
My mom and her friends have been reminiscing about places they used to go in the 60's, so she sent me a list and asked me to find out a bit about whether or not they are still around and what may have happened to them. Many are still around (Tadich, House of Prime Rib), a few more are fondly remembered (The Hippo), but there are a few names I was not able to find anything about.
Does anyone know what happened to these? (spelling may not be quite right)
Shadows – by Coit tower
Townsend’s – downtown
Doro’s on Lombard
House of India
Grissoms – Van Ness
Thanks so much!
House of Prime Rib
1906 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, CA 94109
Doro's was fabulous. They made their linguini tableside, and also had a wonderful hot spinach salad. Is House of India Gaylord's which was in Ghiradelli Square? If so, I used to go there alot, wonderful Indian bread. Other old timers I went to the first time I lived in San Francisco - Ernie's (considered at the time the best in town), Vanessi's - both on Broadway and then moved to California, now defunct. Ciao was a hotspot, especially at the bar. I loved the Blue Fox on Lombard, very elegant, it had fantastic chocolate mousse.
I was a real regular at Vanessi's and had the great honor of being mentioned in Herb Caen's column the day after he spotted me having lunch there with Joe DiMaggio ..... I would always eat the osso bucco - years later in New Orleans I was a freelance food critic and went to Maximo's in the Quarter and ordered osso bucco. I told the waiter it was as good as the ones I used to eat at Vanessi's and he told me that that was because the chef used to work at Vanessi's (small world!!). And talking about hanging out with Joe - we used to go to his brother's place, I think it was called DiMaggio's close to the wharf, I don't know if it's still there.
We ate at Ciao's once when Steve Jobs and Bill Gates (and two women) were at the next table. I whispered to my husband, "Did you see who's at the next table?" and he whispered back, "Yeah, that blonde is pretty spectacular!"
The dinner was mentioned in Herb Caen's column, without mention of the blonde, who happened to be the head of some big software company. Caen later published a letter from her (Heidi Roisen?) where she complained about being overlooked by his informant. I wrote her to say that my husband had certainly noticed her, and she sent me a bunch of their software for the Mac!
Grison's Steakhouse turned into Harris' Steakhouse.
The old Doro's address currently belongs to Bubble Lounge.
The Shadows turned into Dalla Torre and then was converted into a private residence.
Townsend's was torn down to build Nieman-Marcus.
Paoli's ... maybe now Gio's? Or could have been torn down to build one of the Embarcadero Center buildings.
2100 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94109
714 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94111
re: Robert Lauriston
Actually, I think the original Paoli's was at the corner of California and Montgomery and was torn down to build Bank of America. Then it reopened down the street on Montgomery and either Merchant Street or Commercial and had an entrance on both streets. I think there may be a bank in that location now.