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SF itinerary to critique and add to (four lunches, three dinners - at least)

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I've got a separate thread going on breakfast options, but would love feedback on my choices/options for lunch and dinner in San Francisco.

There will be two of us dining (more if any friends join, especially for the Asian meals), and we are adventurous eaters (enjoy offal, etc.) and tend to like big, bold flavors. We don't drink much, so that's not a factor, and go for quality of food > decor and service (though we appreciate both of those things). Generally dislike pretension and large, noisy crowds. Can go hole-in-the-wall, but looking to do some decent meals without breaking the bank (too much). Will probably stay away from pure Japanese and Mexican food as we can get our fill in those countries, unless someone has an amazing recommendation.

As you can see below, I have openings for at least one lunch and one dinner, and would appreciate any feedback/suggestions. Thanks!

LUNCH (4 meals):

Mission Chinese Food
Burmese Kitchen
Chabaa Thai (might move this to dinner)

Considering:
Zuni Cafe
San Dong House

DINNER (3 meals):

Commonwealth
Nopa

Considering:
Chabaa Thai (if moved from lunch)
Incanto

Lower on the consideration list:
Flour + Water
Aziza

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Zuni Cafe
1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Nopa
560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

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

Chabaa Thai
420 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94102

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  1. Why Chabaa Thai and not Lers Ros? Other than that, I think you've made great choices for what you're looking for. Mission Chinese Food might be something to be in the maybe list; they've just changed their menu as of today, so I'd search for some reviews of the new menu and see how it's going there (the biggest complaints have been of inconsistency, which I've experienced).

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

    Chabaa Thai
    420 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94102

    4 Replies
    1. re: JasmineG

      Thanks for the tip re: Mission Chinese Food. I'll keep an eye out. The attraction there was the spiciness of the food and the novelty of the restaurant-inside-a-restaurant.

      As for Chabaa, I've heard good things about the "secret" Thai menu, such as use of odd cuts of meat and offal. I have my eye on a pork neck dish. I got the impression that Lers Ros was just a little more mainstream, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

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

      1. re: dimsumfan

        Note that there are two locations of Chabaa Thai. As of a few months ago, only the Irving St. location had the pork neck dish. It's further away from areas where tourists usually hang out but might combine well with a visit to Golden Gate Park. i've added the link so you can see where it is on the map.

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        Chabaa Thai
        2123 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

        1. re: dimsumfan

          if you like really spicy food..... i didn't think Mission Chinese Food was all that spicy.

          And I second the recommendation for Lers Ros Thai.

          Also, check out La Ciccia - if they have the special of shaved tuna heart, it is fantastic.
          http://www.laciccia.com/

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          Lers Ros Thai
          730 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA

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

          1. re: mariacarmen

            Agreed on La Ciccia, it's generally wonderful, and I love that tuna heart pasta.

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            La Ciccia
            291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

      2. For those recommending Lers Ros, I'd be curious to know why you prefer it over Chabaa.

        1 Reply
        1. re: dimsumfan

          I've never been to Chabaa, so I can't comment. here''s a recent review from a Chowdown at Lers Ros, if that helps at all... http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/761753

        2. DSF-

          Some feedback.

          - Agree with Maria. La Ciccia is definitely a great choice. Husband is the chef and his wife runs front of house. Great Sardinian food. Located in Noe Valley.

          - Flower + Water is great but with all the accolades it's becoming a pretty tough table

          - Zuni Cafe is a great brunch spot. The whole roasted chicken is amazing. Takes and hour to cook but worth the wait.

          - Incanto is not my favorite restaurant but is certainly adventurous and has developed a bit of a cult following. The chef is known for using every part of the animal so you never know what you'll really see on the menu.

          - NOPA. I'm mixed on NOPA. Have yet to really have an amazing experience there. They're open late so it tends be be pretty popular with the industry crowd.

          Here are some other restaurants worth checking out:

          - Delfina - Italian

          - SPQR - Italian

          - Range -

          - Chez Spencer - French

          - Piqueos in Bernal Hts has amazing Peruvian food. Big bold flavors.

          - Saison - People may have mixed feelings about this place. It's expensive but also an incredible culinary "experience". The only do 40 covers a night so make a reservation far in advance. Prefixed menu. Just won a Michelin star in their first year.

          - If you have a car I would highly recommend heading out to the Oakland area and eating at Commis

          Lastly, I will preface this by saying consider the source as my wife and I run one, but San Francisco has a bunch of new underground supper clubs that have turned up over the years. If you search for them you'll find a list of them. ForageSF is a pretty cool experience. They "forage" all the ingredients for their dinners around the city. Herbs from GG Park, Crab from the bay, etc. Graffeats and Stag Dining are also a couple of others. Many of them only do dinners once a month so just ask around. This is certainly a unique culinary experience.

          Happy eating!

          -----
          Zuni Cafe
          1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

          La Ciccia
          291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

          Chez Spencer
          82 14th St., San Francisco, CA 94103

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

          Piqueo's
          830 Cortland Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94110

          SPQR
          1911 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

          Commis
          3859 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

          Saison
          2124 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA 94110

          1 Reply
          1. re: SPICESupperClub

            Piqueo's, Mochica, and Costanera have the same chef and overlapping menus. Mochica's probably the most convenient for a tourist. It's also the only one of the three where I've seen my favorite dish, the halibut tiraditos.

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            Piqueo's
            830 Cortland Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94110

            Mochica
            937 Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

            La Costanera
            8150 Cabrillo Highway, Montara, CA 94037

          2. Here's the update. I've confirmed Incanto, as I like all animal parts. And you've all pretty much talked me into La Ciccia. So for the remaining slot, I'm debating Nopa vs. Commonwealth. Open to further suggestions on that one.

            -----
            La Ciccia
            291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

            Nopa
            560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

            1 Reply
            1. re: dimsumfan

              Hmmm. They are two completely different restaurants. If you can get in to Commonwealth I would go there. Guess it really depends. NOPA is really more rustic and since you're already going to Incanto & La Ciccia I would do Commonwealth which is a little more contemporary if that makes sense.

              -----
              La Ciccia
              291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131