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Need recs for SF/Napa for 2 NYC vegetarians who are serious about good food

scarlet starlet Apr 12, 2011 09:38 PM

I know there are a number of other posts on similar topics, but none of them are really proving to be helpful.

My husband and I will be in Napa, SF, and Berkeley/Oakland in late May/early June. We are both vegetarian and have high standards for food. As a point of reference, our favorite restaurants in NYC are Roberta's, Dirt Candy, Sripraphai, and Buttermilk Channel. We were disappointed by the lackluster vegetarian dishes on Blue Hill at Stone Barns' farmers feast and I make better food at home than most of the restaurants in this new wave of seasonal/local/organic food that seems to be most popular in Brooklyn (where we live), so just having vegetarian dishes on the menu isn't enough - it has to be great. And just because it's expensive doesn't mean it's good - some of our favorite food is served from a truck or a hole in the wall.

I've done a ridiculous amount of research and have come up with a list of all the places at which we'd like to eat (and I've made a lot of reservations!) but I need a little help in refining and finalizing the list and filling in some of the blanks. Basically, I'm looking for places that epitomize California cuisine but also have a good amount of (and good quality) vegetarian dishes. So many of the places that I came upon in my research had rave reviews but didn't float my boat when it came to the selection and/or appeal of their vegetarian dishes, so they didn't make the cut. Also, Thai and Indian food are not options, as there are amazing versions of both in NYC.

So here's what I've got so far:

Napa
Lunches at Oxbow Market and Bouchon
Dinner: Ubuntu; need a recommendation for a Saturday night. I'm considering Oenotri but am not sure I want to have pizza given that we're going to flour and water and possibly A16 in SF. I love good Neapolitan pizza, but I think three nights of it is too much. Considering Redd, but the menu didn't wow me, and I thought Bistro Jeanty was a little overpriced for the vegetarian options. Also, not going to French Laundry, as we have friends who recnelty went and weren't impressed with the vegetarian menu and we very recently went to Per Se (and loved it, but it's a bit too soon to repeat the experience).

Berkeley/Oakland
Lunch at Cafe at Chez Panisse (although I am ambivalent about this...one one hand I feel like I need to eat at the temple of Alice Waters but on the other I'm not bowled over by the vegetarian options on her menus and think I may be passing up on something else that's really good but not as well-known)
Dinner at Plum (definitely doing this unless you can really convince me otherwise, I'm a huge fan of Jeremy Fox and Daniel Patterson, and since we're not eating at Coi now that the lounge has closed, we just have to eat here).

Palo Alto
Need a lunch suggestion

SF
Evening 1: progressive dinner from Orson (dessert first!) to Sons & Daughters (two small plates) and finally Canteen (one of each vegetarian small plate), followed by drinks at Bourbon and Branch.

Day 1: breakfast at Tartine Bakery, lunch at taquerias in Mission, ice cream from Humphry Slocombe, dinner at flour and water, drinks at Beretta (this is already my favorite day!)

Day 2: lunch at Ferry Plaza Market, dinner at A16, Slanted Door, or somewhere else - I'm not tied to either of these options and want something that's uniquely SF so please weigh in on this one. I feel like A16, while great, is too similar to flour + water. I haven't been fully convinced on the quality of the food at Slanted Door and I'm not totally bowled over by other places (also considering Commonwealth, Range, Nopa, although I get the sense that the quality of food there sn't astounding). Drinks at 15 Romolo.

Day 3: lunch at Alembic or Magnolia Brewing - not tied to either of these, so I'd love recommendations for great places nearby (i.e., Haight, near Alamo Square, Hayes Valley), although we do love good craft beer which is why these options are on the list even though there are probably better restaurants (although not sure which ones are open for lunch). We're going to a friend's party for dinner.

Day 4: lunch at Greens (which we have to do, this one is more important to me than Chez Panisse). Another private dinner this evening.

And that's it. What do you think? I'm hoping the expertise of SF hounds will come to my rescue in filling in the blanks and possibly suggesting alternatives to places i've selected in the event that I'm totally missing out on something amazing. Thank you so so so much for your help!

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

Slanted Door
Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

Tartine Bakery
600 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA 94110

A16
2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123

Canteen
817 Sutter St, San Francisco, CA 94109

Chez Panisse
1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

Range
842 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

Nopa
560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

Bistro Jeanty
6510 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

Bourbon & Branch
501 Jones St, San Francisco, CA

Beretta
1199 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

15 Romolo
15 Romolo Pl, San Francisco, CA 94133

Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream
2790 Harrison St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Flour + Water
2401 Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

Bouchon
6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

Oenotri
1425 1st St, Napa, CA 94559

Chez Panisse Cafe
1517 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709

Sons & Daughters
708 Bush St, San Francisco, CA 94108

Commonwealth
2224 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

  1. c
    ceekskat Feb 10, 2012 08:15 AM

    Thanks for a great report; good to hear from vegetarian hounds!! May I ask what apps/mains you enjoyed at Aziza? Oh, and good to know about veg. options at Thirsty Bear given its convenient location near museum & convention center.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ceekskat
      scarlet starlet Feb 11, 2012 05:27 AM

      The menu has changed since we were there last summer and I can't find the photo I took of the menu from our visit. We had several small plates, each of us got an entree, and we each got (alas only) one of Melissa Chou's excellent desserts. And numerous cocktails...the vegetable-based cocktails are amazing!

    2. j
      JojoSF Aug 15, 2011 05:49 AM

      Where did you end up going? What stood out (for better or worse)?

      1 Reply
      1. re: JojoSF
        scarlet starlet Feb 10, 2012 05:50 AM

        I totally forgot to report back!

        We had some wonderful experiences, but were disappointed by a number of places that have great reviews.

        Bottega - we had sandwiches and antipasti from here (as part of a wine lunch at a winery in Napa), which were decent but would have been better were they not ice cold!

        Oenotri - very good, as we had hoped. The pizza was on par with many of the Neapolitan-style pies I've had in NYC and the pasta was great, too.

        Genova Deli - our sandwiches from there were much tastier than expected, but probably because we had been biking alongside traffic on the Silverado Trail and I had almost gotten hit by a car in the process.

        Ubuntu - I had been looking forward to this meal for years and unfortunately, it was such a disappointment. We did the 8 course (I think) tasting and, while some of our dishes were really good, most were not. The ones that weren't were either bland, muddled, or not terribly inspired, particularly a grain risotto that was watery and rather unattractive. Moreover, the service was not what I expected. On many occasions, our server took away my husband's plate when I was still eating, and on two such occasions, he brought out the next course for both of us, leaving my next course in the middle of the table while I still ate the previous one. Unacceptable for a place of this caliber.

        Bouchon Bakery - we had breakfast there and, really, what's not to love? I've never been disappointed by any of their creations, be it at their two NYC locations or this one. It was really nice to visit the original even though I can get the same things in NYC.

        Chez Panisse Cafe - the food was very good, but I didn't think it was worth the price. So many places these days do seasonal/local/organic - heck, I do it every day when my CSA share is in season - and there was nothing particularly inspired about the food here. Don't get me wrong - it was very well executed - but it didn't knock my socks off (although our bill did). And the hostess was beyond rude to us. In retrospect, I should've told a manager about it, but it's too late now.

        Plum - I had high expectation of Jeremy Fox's new-ish restaurant, but I wasn't wowed. A few of our courses were woefully underseasoned and most of them were kind of boring.

        The Trappist - we had a few beers here after our underwhelming meal at Plum and really loved this place. I thought the theme would come off as being cheesy but it was actually well done, and they have great beers here (of course).

        La Farine (Berkeley) - The morning bun there is amazing and, as I learned a few days later, better than the one at Tartine.

        Ike's (at Stanford) - what a pleasant surprise. Their sandwiches are kooky and amazingly well-made given that it's staffed by college students. Loved it.

        Commonwealth - hands down the worst meal of our trip. The best part of our meal was the liquid nitrogen cocktail and it went sharply downhill from there. We each ordered a salad - the gorgeous radish salad was barely seasoned and all the vegetables were miraculously tasteless - and my main course of quinoa, mushroom, and poached egg was just that - no seasoning, no salt, no flavor, nothing. It was pitiful. Not to mention that my egg white was runny, which is disgusting. And our server told me that it was supposed to be soft cooked, as if I know nothing about how eggs are supposed to be cooked. Whites should not be runny. We stopped our meal after that abomination of a course and went next door to...

        Mission Chinese Food - one of the best meals on our trip. We got the cold sesame noodles and the thrice-cooked bacon (which they have a vegetarian version of, strange), the later of which was phenomenal. The combination of flavors and textures was perfect. I wanted to order another plate but was forbidden from doing so :)

        Beretta - a nightcap after our terrible/amazing dinner. We really liked this place - the drinks were simple but really well made and the atmosphere reminded me of one of my favorite bars here in Brooklyn.

        Tartine Bakery - Their baked goods are wonderful, but I did like the La Farine morning bun better.

        Gracias Madre - you would never know this place is vegan - everything we got was so flavorful and cooked really well. A great place to go to soak up all the free beer from the Anchor Brewery tour we had just been on.

        Flour + Water - deserving of the hype. Our pizza and pasta were perfect, the service was impeccable, and the environs were lovely.

        Bourbon and Branch - not deserving of the hype. The secret bar concept is not so cute to me anymore (I guess it's because I've lived in NYC for 11 years and the concept was big here in the early 2000s) and the drinks weren't that spectacular for the price. There are plenty of other places that make better drinks for a little less money, but I guess the exclusivity of it is a selling point. I did enjoy walking past a horde of crack addicts as we left and a subsequent brigade of police officers.

        Tony's Pizza Napoletana - we got the special pizza with the crust made with Anchor Steam beer, cheddar, etc and it was a gutbomb. Tasty, but we could barely finish it. Thankfully our dinner was hours away. Maybe we should've gotten something simpler.

        Aziza - the sleeper hit of our trip. Everything there - service, cocktails (oh, those cocktails), food, desserts - was absolutely amazing. I chose this place based on the Chronicle's annual list but I was surprised that it isn't as highly regarded as places like Commonwealth, Nopa, Flour + Water, etc.

        Green Chile Kitchen and Chile Pies - the former was solid Mexican; the latter was mediocre pie that I think is riding on a novelty factor.

        Magnolia Brewing Co - we thought all of their beers were bad. Maybe their lines hadn't been cleaned, but everything tasted funky.

        Citizen Cake - I've been in the past, and I always love it. Elizabeth Falkner is one of my favorite pastry chefs and she never fails to deliver with her creative and well-executed desserts.

        21st Amendment Brewery - what's not to love about their Back in Black IPA and Watermelon Wheat?

        Thirsty Bear - we went there for the beers but were surprised by the food - much of it was vegetarian and everything we got was really good.

        As you can tell, we spent a ton of money on food and drink on our trip, some of which was well worth it (Aziza! Flour + Water!) but sadly, some of which was really not at all (I want my money back from Commonwealth and Ubuntu). On the whole, we found the service in San Francisco to be excellent everywhere we went, probably because they're not disgruntled aspiring actors/models as they are here in NYC (except at the higher end places).

        Thanks to everyone for your helpful advice and recommendations!!

      2. m
        mtranny May 2, 2011 12:34 AM

        Consider Beer Revolution in Oakland or Toronado in Lower Haight for craft beer. Ubuntu is amazing. NOPA never disappoints and always has a few veg options each for appetizer and entree, not to mention good cocktails. You might have trouble finding enough to eat at OTG. Most of the trucks serve some kind of meat in taco-ish form. You could always get the deep-fried tofu bun at Chairman Bao and the paneer masala burrito at Curry Up Now, but you'll be pressed to find more than one veg option at each truck.

        1. zuriga1 May 1, 2011 02:20 PM

          I'm just back from a two-week trip to California and apologize for not reading through all the replies, but I'm in England and have major jet lag.

          One of our best lunches was at Gather in Berkeley. I highly recommend having a meal there as the food was original, delicious, and the staff couldn't have been friendlier or more accomodating.

          1. m
            milklady Apr 30, 2011 07:13 PM

            I'm coming in to this late...

            I'm glad you've decided to skip Redd. I had a (fluke?) traumatic experience with a piece of pork hidden beneath my veggies.

            I think it might be really fun to go to Gracias Madre in the Mission, as others have mentioned. I expected to dislike it, but I thought everything I tried was really delicious, especially the pozole.

            Aziza is also a great idea. You would find several options that are delicious and very special.

            I would keep Chez Panisse Cafe. There are always choices there, and it's quite lovely. I would consider skipping La Farine. I like the pastries there, but they don't blow me away. I would choose Masse's Pastries in Norrth Berkeley or Crixa Cakes in South Berkeley, or even the Cheeseboard, for a pastrt breakfast.

            Just a word about Plum. I liked the food, but it was very hard to fill up on their vegetarian options. The meat dishes looked more substantial.

            -----
            Chez Panisse
            1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

            Crixa Cakes
            2748 Adeline St, Berkeley, CA 94703

            Masse's Pastries
            1469 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709

            La Farine
            1820 Solano Ave, Berkeley, CA 94707

            Gracias Madre
            2211 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

            1 Reply
            1. re: milklady
              Robert Lauriston May 1, 2011 10:38 AM

              Plum's egg dish with grains is the most substantial thing I've had there, it made a pretty solid lunch. The food is light and the servings are on the small side, which means you can try a lot of things without stuffing yourself.

            2. c
              ceekskat Apr 30, 2011 03:52 PM

              If you eat eggs, I love the quiche at Mayfield Bakery in Palo Alto. Just don't go before 12:15 on a weekday as the nearby high school kids swarm the place. Finish off with Kara's cupcake around the corner.

              http://www.tandcvillage.com/index.php...

              While not a destination, good for veg...Mediterranean Wraps, Palo Alto.

              1. y
                Yasai Apr 30, 2011 01:42 PM

                SF veggie... been to NYC, Paris, New Orleans, and our favorites here at home still shine.

                1. Fleur de Lys...entirely veggie tasting menu. NOT veggie-by-omission! Fantastic..but dont fill up on the bread. Better than Gary Danko and Ubuntu.
                2. Dining Room at the Ritz... Also has a veggie tasting menu..great but more $$$
                3. Greens!!!
                4. The Plant Cafe Organic - Pier 3....in a word...the all-veggie Plant Burger ( not a burger, really) and the non-alcoholic Strawberry Mojito smoothie. Forget Slanted Door. This is less famous but more Norcal. Casual but nice with outdoor heated deck.

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

                Slanted Door
                Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

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

                1 Reply
                1. re: Yasai
                  m
                  ML8000 Apr 30, 2011 02:51 PM

                  The French Laundry also does a veggie version of the tasting menu. A friend had it a few years ago and some of the items were way better then the non-veggie counterpart.

                  -----
                  The French Laundry
                  6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

                2. b
                  brassratgirl Apr 21, 2011 09:54 AM

                  skip everything else in SF and just eat at Millennium three times. Seriously, it's that good and is the only place I know of in the city that is truly a destination restaurant for vegan/vegetarian food.

                  1. scarlet starlet Apr 19, 2011 03:08 PM

                    Thanks for all the excellent suggestions. Here's what I've finally decided on:

                    Napa - Lunch: Oxbow Market, Bouchon Bakery; Dinner: Ad Hoc, Ubuntu

                    Oakland/Berkeley - Breakfast: La Farine; Lunch: Chez Panisse Cafe; Dinner: Plum; Drinks: The Trappist

                    The one thing I'm left debating is where to have dinner our first night in SF - Coi, Millennium, or somewhere else? I know Coi and Millennium are very different places, but I've been to Per Se and have plans to go back later this year, so I'm not bent on a big (and costly) tasting menu, but I feel like I'd be missing out if I didn't go to Coi. Also, does anyone know if Benu does a vegetarian tasting menu? I'd be up for that given all the buzz around Corey Lee and how good Benu is.

                    San Francisco
                    Dinner: Flour and Water, Aziza, Commonwealth, and one more dinner (see below)
                    Lunch: Tacos in the Mission, Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, Off the Grid food trucks, and a fourth day of grazing at the market, food trucks, and other stops in Hayes Valley and Haight areas.
                    Drinks: 15 Romolo, Bourbon and Branch, Beretta, 21st Amendment, Alembic, Magnolia Brewing Company - anywhere else?

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

                    Ad Hoc
                    6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

                    Bouchon Bakery
                    6528 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599

                    Chez Panisse
                    1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

                    La Farine
                    6323 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

                    Ferry Plaza Farmers Market
                    One Ferry Building, 200 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA

                    15 Romolo
                    15 Romolo Pl, San Francisco, CA 94133

                    Flour + Water
                    2401 Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

                    Benu
                    22 Hawthorne St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                    Off the Grid
                    Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, CA 94123

                    21 Replies
                    1. re: scarlet starlet
                      Robert Lauriston Apr 19, 2011 03:26 PM

                      For a vegetarian, I don't see the point of tacos in the Mission or Oxbow Market.

                      I had maybe the worst upscale restaurant meal of my life at Millennium a few years ago, though the great meal I had recently at his other place, Encuentro, makes me want to give it another try.

                      1. re: Robert Lauriston
                        k
                        kittyvenus Apr 19, 2011 04:58 PM

                        I have been eating at Millennium about once a month for the last year and a half and have taken both vegans and ominvores and everyone has had a great meal.

                        Also, if you would like a tasty, healthy, vegetarian burrito on your way up to Napa, I highly recommend Sonoma Latina grill in Novato (right off the 101). They make their own tortillas and both their whole four bean blend and their smashed and mixed with olive oil "refried" beans are vegan. The beans have a great flavor on their own without having to dress them up with sour cream, cheese, etc. You can even get brown rice and their salsas are delicious.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                          scarlet starlet Apr 19, 2011 07:18 PM

                          A good friend of mine who is vegetarian travels to SF every two months for work and has raved about a few places in the Mission as well as the Oxbow Market - given that I know him well and trust his taste, I think I'll do just fine at both those places.

                          I think we'll skip Millennium but I'm still not fully sold on going to Coi...

                          1. re: scarlet starlet
                            Robert Lauriston Apr 19, 2011 08:42 PM

                            Huh, which places were recommended at Oxbow?

                            To me it's basically an attempt to knock off the Ferry Plaza in hopes of detouring tourists drawn by the wine country to the nearby town of the same name. Fatted Calf is a destination, but not for a vegetarian.

                            1. re: Robert Lauriston
                              CarrieWas218 Apr 19, 2011 10:32 PM

                              OXBOW:
                              Pica Pica Maize has Venezuelan food that is very vegetarian friendly and a little on the unusual side.

                              Ca'Momi has lovely wood-fired pizzas of note.

                              C Casa makes hearty, fresh tacos as well as excellent salads and soups with a Mexican twist, much of which is vegetarian and exceptional.

                              A vegetarian could do very well at Model Bakery, the Oxbow Cheese Store, and Three Twins Ice Cream and Kara's Cupcakes - not to mention Ritual Coffee and Tillerman Tea.

                              -----
                              Tillerman Tea
                              610 First St, Napa, CA 94558

                              Model Bakery
                              1357 Main St St, Helena, CA

                              C Casa
                              644 1st St, Napa, CA 94559

                              1. re: CarrieWas218
                                Robert Lauriston Apr 20, 2011 09:28 AM

                                That's great for people in Napa who didn't have anything like that before, but you can get much of that stuff (or better alternatives) at Ferry Plaza and elsewhere in SF.

                                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                  JasmineG Apr 20, 2011 10:47 AM

                                  Right, those things are all good, but probably not worth a detour and the time for tourists who have just two days in the Napa Valley and are also spending five days in SF/the East Bay. Especially since the city of Napa isn't the place I'd choose to spend the bulk of my time in Wine Country, and if the plan is to visit wineries, many of the better and more interesting ones are farther north than Napa, so it could be out of the way to go to Oxbow. Not that Oxbow is a bad idea if you're nearby, but, for a vegetarian, I don't know if it's worth driving down and back, and taking the time away from wine tasting.

                                  1. re: JasmineG
                                    scarlet starlet Apr 20, 2011 11:46 AM

                                    We're staying in Napa and are planning on going to Oxbow just to pick up something quick for lunch on our way to a number of vineyards north of Napa proper. Any suggestions for an alternative location to get a quick lunch? We're having dinner at 6 pm at Ad Hoc so I don't want to spend a ton of money (or time) on lunch.

                                    Also, any suggestions for wineries? I haven't done my research yet, the only one on my list right now is Frog's Leap.

                                    -----
                                    Ad Hoc
                                    6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

                                    1. re: scarlet starlet
                                      CarrieWas218 Apr 20, 2011 12:04 PM

                                      I think you are fine picking up snacks at Oxbow; I would start at Fatted Calf for some meats, Model Bakery (right next door) for some bread. These two are outside the building, next to Gott's. Then you can head inside for some cheese and fruit.

                                      Otherwise you are driving halfway up valley to Oakville Grocery or Dean & DeLuca (both owned by the same company) or V.Sattui (TOURIST TRAP!)

                                      -----
                                      Oakville Grocery
                                      124 Matheson St, Healdsburg, CA 95448

                                      Fatted Calf
                                      644-C First Street, Napa, CA 94559

                                      Model Bakery
                                      610 First Street, Napa, CA 94559

                                      1. re: CarrieWas218
                                        Windy Apr 20, 2011 02:05 PM

                                        They're vegetarians.

                                      2. re: scarlet starlet
                                        Junie D Apr 20, 2011 12:05 PM

                                        Oxbow is good for the quick lunch on the way.... For take out lunches, a couple of food truck options:

                                        Marks the Spot http://www.marksthespottruck.com/ He's at JV Warehouse (near Oxbow) on Wednesdays for lunch - some vegetarian salad options
                                        Crossroad Chicken http://www.crossroadchix.com/ at JV the other weekdays - always has vegan chili, this week a mushroom sandwich

                                        1. re: scarlet starlet
                                          l
                                          lrealml Apr 20, 2011 03:34 PM

                                          Make sure you tell Ad Hoc that you are vegetarians before you go...

                                          What kinds of wines do you like?

                                          1. re: scarlet starlet
                                            daveena Apr 21, 2011 10:47 AM

                                            Ad Hoc is a surprising pick, if you don't like eating at restaurants with only one vegetarian entree...

                                            In the times that I've gone, the salad and the meat courses have been excellent, and the cheese and dessert fairly meh. The veg sides have always been good, but nothing you couldn't do with access to a good farmer's market. Their preps all lean towards rustic/hearty, so I'd be surprised of their veg entree turned out to something you couldn't do yourself.

                                            -----
                                            Ad Hoc
                                            6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

                                            1. re: daveena
                                              Robert Lauriston Apr 21, 2011 11:03 AM

                                              Yeah, i don't get the Ad Hoc reasoning. A restaurant that's known for doing great things with vegetables is out if it has only one vegetarian entrée on the menu, but a restaurant that's known for great fried chicken, short ribs, and other meaty American standards is OK even though it has zero?

                                              -----
                                              Ad Hoc
                                              6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

                                              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                scarlet starlet Apr 21, 2011 11:24 AM

                                                I just got a rave review of Ad Hoc from a couple of my vegetarian friends who recently ate there and given that I couldn't figure out anywhere else to go for dinner, I made a reservation there as a place holder. I'm still open to suggestions :)

                                                -----
                                                Ad Hoc
                                                6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

                                                1. re: scarlet starlet
                                                  Robert Lauriston Apr 21, 2011 11:46 AM

                                                  Why not just spend less time in Napa Valley? Seems like you're mostly making do there rather than going to places you're excited about.

                                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                    scarlet starlet Apr 21, 2011 01:30 PM

                                                    We have fully booked days there and our schedule isn't really flexible as we're meeting up with some friends during our time in CA. I find it hard to believe that there's nowhere good for vegetarians to have dinner in/near Napa aside from Ubuntu!

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

                                                  2. re: scarlet starlet
                                                    l
                                                    lrealml Apr 21, 2011 05:13 PM

                                                    Like I said earlier, my vegan friend loved it as well (however, I will admit to being more focused on the Lobster Roll I was eating than what she was eating).

                                                    Don't miss out on Napa Valley... the wine and scenery is amazing! The food is fantastic too (from my perspective), but doesn't have to be the focus of the trip.

                                      3. re: Robert Lauriston
                                        Junie D Apr 20, 2011 10:43 AM

                                        I agree with your Ferry Building knock off assessment of Oxbow, and I think the OP is going to the Ferry Building, so Oxbow may not be worth the time.

                                        Having said that, also agree with CarrieWas218 that there is some good food at Oxbow and worth a trip for tourists looking for a small and/or casual meal or snack.

                                        In the past I have panned Oxbow for being a poor imitation of the Ferry Building, as well as empty and dead and boring. But things have picked up dramatically in the last year and it is a fun, happening place (albeit by Napa standards) most nights.

                                        1. re: Junie D
                                          CarrieWas218 Apr 20, 2011 11:00 AM

                                          Junie mentions a good point which should be expanded upon; it is very easy to eat well in the Napa valley but it can get expensive.

                                          The Oxbow is a great alternative for a variety of food that is more affordable. Can it compare to the Ferry Plaza? Nope, not really.

                                          The other related stop worth a mention is not IN the Oxbow but just a block away and worthy of a stop: Dim Sum Charlies. Their $10 sampler is a great deal and very tasty!

                                          -----
                                          Dim Sum Charlie's
                                          Napa, Napa, CA

                                          1. re: CarrieWas218
                                            y
                                            yumkax Apr 22, 2011 03:46 PM

                                            Vegetarian/frequent Ad Hoc diner here. Definitely support the decision to check it out, though it may not fit your preference for really interesting food that you can't make yourself after a trip to the farmer's market. It's classic American food. I will note though, while you could make it yourself, it's executed with an attention to detail and technique that can be difficult to replicate in the home kitchen.
                                            Examples of past entrees I've had are vegetable wellingtons, fresh pasta with tofu and veggies, vegetable tempura. Nothing avante garde, but all solidly delicious. The salad course is always fantastic and I find the cheese and dessert courses consistently solid. Not to mention, it's a deal you can't beat in the valley.
                                            For those who suggested there are no vegetarian entrees or you have to call ahead, that's incorrect. Every night there are three menus available: meat, fish and veg. And the assertion that it's not veg-friendly because there's only one vegetarian entree...well, that's sorta their schtick if you haven't caught on. Enjoy!

                                            -----
                                            Ad Hoc
                                            6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

                                2. m
                                  MeredithR Apr 18, 2011 09:52 AM

                                  Udupi Place (Indian) is wonderful, affordable and right in the heart of the Mission if you're looking for a more casual experience. It's an all-vegetarian menu. Minako (Japanese) is also fabulous for vegetarians.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: MeredithR
                                    Robert Lauriston Apr 18, 2011 10:04 AM

                                    Udupi's good but they almost certainly have better South Indian food in New York.

                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                      scarlet starlet Apr 18, 2011 11:37 AM

                                      You're right - there's amazing South Indian in NYC (as well as in my kitchen and my mother's!), and I also said in my original post that I'm not looking for recs for Indian or Thai places :)

                                      1. re: scarlet starlet
                                        t
                                        tranewreck Apr 18, 2011 07:36 PM

                                        You might consider Manresa. I don't know what they are doing lately but I had a great vegetarian meal 4 years ago. It's in Los Gatos, about an hour drive south of SF.

                                        Grazing in the Haight: grab a vegan sausage at Rosamunde and walk next door to Toronado for good selection of beers, many not readily available in NYC

                                        -----
                                        Manresa Restaurant
                                        320 Village Lane, Los Gatos, CA 95030

                                        Toronado Pub
                                        547 Haight St, San Francisco, CA

                                        Rosamunde Sausage Grill
                                        545 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117

                                  2. 1
                                    12172003 Apr 18, 2011 01:13 AM

                                    Definitely Millennium.

                                    For Palo Alto, the only place I can think of is:
                                    Calafia

                                    While not phenomenal, it is always very satisfying.

                                    -----
                                    Calafia
                                    855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: 12172003
                                      m
                                      morningbun Apr 18, 2011 01:43 PM

                                      I was very unimpressed by Calafia. It was opened by a former Google chef, who basically brought his upscale cafeteria food into a restaurant setting. To be fair he accomplished that goal - it is indeed very good cafeteria food, but in the end, for those prices, I don't want cafeteria food.

                                      I also want to second the rec for the Plant Cafe - their veggie burger is fantastic and unique. They are also on Embarcadero, near the Ferry Building, if you find yourself in the area.

                                      -----
                                      Calafia
                                      855 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA

                                      1. re: 12172003
                                        l
                                        lrealml Apr 18, 2011 05:23 PM

                                        Forgot to mention Sprouts in Palo Alto. Not fancy or special, but good salads and soups (so a good lunch place).

                                      2. c
                                        climberdoc Apr 16, 2011 06:50 PM

                                        Hello to the SF Board from a Northwest Chowhound. Does SF have any restaurant similar to this one in NY? I'm a vegan coming for a visit in June. Thanks in advance!
                                        http://www.kajitsunyc.com/index.html

                                        1. h
                                          herbivore_mi Apr 16, 2011 05:31 PM

                                          A vegan who lived in Bay Area for 5 years (left in 2009) and dined regularly in the city...Should try Millenium..ate there regularly for 2 years (1-2x/week). Was every meal great? No, but ~80% were and there were dishes that were truly spectacular (mushroom ceviche, some gnocchi soup with a beer broth are just 2 that come to mind). There is a very delicious made-in-house vegetarian burger (made from vegetables and whole grains (none of that wheat gluten or processed soy crap) at The Plant Organic Cafe (used to be Lettus) in the Marina. If you're in the mood for Japanese udon noodles for vegetarian sushi-type rolls, Chaya in the Mission District and on Shattuck in Berkeley is pretty good. If you eat cheese, have a few slices from the Cheeseboard Collective in Berkeley. Their pizza is always vegetarian, interesting (topping have included unusual cheeses, gremolata, a Mexican pizza with corn among other toppings and served with lime wedges). Cafe Gratitude - good smoothies and desserts. Savory food has been inconsistent.

                                          -----
                                          The Cheese Board Collective
                                          1504 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709

                                          Lettus
                                          3352 Steiner St, San Francisco, CA

                                          1. Windy Apr 16, 2011 11:31 AM

                                            Since you're still mulling things over:

                                            I'll join the naysayers on Greens (except for brunch, for the view) and esp Millenium. I was very disappointed by Gracias Madre; I think the food at Cafe Gratitude tastes better. I'm also skeptical about Ad Hoc. The meat was the best part of our (not that exciting) meal.

                                            The place that has most impressed vegetarian friends is Minako. Yoko can prepare a full vegetarian kaiseki, or you can order a la carte (fresh tofu, vegan ramen, double cooked eggplant, fake eel sushi, home-cured umeboshi plums--and these were just highlights from a recent dinner).

                                            And a general comment that this list tends too much toward high end. The best food and restaurants in San Francisco are more modest, regardless of its contents.

                                            You might have more fun and variety at Off the Grid (lots of Indian, Vietnamese, Venezuelan, creme brulee etc, food carts) than at yet another upscale bistro serving little gems salads with beets and feta.

                                            Also beware that Burmese restaurants rely heavily on fish sauce. It pays to remind them if you don't want it to end up in your dishes.

                                            -----
                                            Minako Organic Japanese Restaurant
                                            2154 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                            Gracias Madre
                                            2211 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                            1. CarrieWas218 Apr 15, 2011 10:11 PM

                                              Can't believe I have read through this whole thread and not seen a single suggestion for Millennium - especially when the likes of Greens is being bantered about and Millennium is head-and-shoulders superior...

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: CarrieWas218
                                                Robert Lauriston Apr 16, 2011 11:17 AM

                                                Millennium was mentioned in the first reply and is on scarlet starlet's revised short list.

                                                Greens has an unbeatable view and great breads, but he food definitely fits the "something I could make at home after going to the farmers market" description.

                                                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                                  m
                                                  morningbun Apr 18, 2011 01:47 PM

                                                  Definitely agree with Robert's assessment. I'd also add that I've had better/more interesting veg food in NYC than in all my trips to Greens. Skip Greens and go to Millennium instead.

                                              2. scarlet starlet Apr 15, 2011 02:04 PM

                                                Thanks for all the great suggestions. I’ve made a few changes (below) but what I really need help with is picking two of the following for dinner:

                                                Commonwealth
                                                Sons and Daughters/Canteen (still bent on that progressive dinner)
                                                Millennium

                                                Still doing Ubuntu - I've read recent reviews and it seems that Aaron London is doing a great job - and our other dinner in Napa is none other than Ad Hoc. I'm taking a chance on this given that I haven't read very much about their vegetarian options, but I can't pass up the opportunity to eat there.

                                                Definitely doing Chez Panisse and Plum in Berkeley/Oakland and also getting breakfast at La Farine and Blue Bottle Coffee.

                                                In SF, I added a dinner at Aziza and lunch at Burma Superstar because I haven’t encountered places like them in NYC and they have great reviews. I can live without The Slanted Door and A16. Definitely keeping Greens on the list.

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

                                                Slanted Door
                                                Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

                                                A16
                                                2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123

                                                Ad Hoc
                                                6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

                                                Chez Panisse
                                                1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

                                                La Farine
                                                6323 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

                                                Blue Bottle Cafe
                                                66 Mint St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                                                Burma Superstar
                                                4721 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA

                                                7 Replies
                                                1. re: scarlet starlet
                                                  Robert Lauriston Apr 15, 2011 02:12 PM

                                                  I'd put Burma Superstar in the third rank of local Burmese places, after Little Yangon and LEBK, though their samusa soup is fabulous and vegetarian. The SF branch is my least favorite of the three. Also, a lot of their vegetarian dishes are Indian or Chinese, and not as good as you'll get as an Indian or Chinese restaurant.

                                                  -----
                                                  Larkin Express Burmese Kitchen
                                                  452 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                                  Burma Superstar
                                                  1345 Park Street, Alameda, CA

                                                  Burma Superstar
                                                  4721 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA

                                                  Little Yangon
                                                  6318 Mission St, Daly City, CA 94014

                                                  1. re: scarlet starlet
                                                    l
                                                    lrealml Apr 15, 2011 02:28 PM

                                                    Good Luck and have fun! Please report back!

                                                    1. re: scarlet starlet
                                                      daveena Apr 15, 2011 05:52 PM

                                                      scarlet starlet - given the standards you're setting (nothing that you could make at home yourself), I have to strongly discourage you from going to Greens. The cuisine is seriously dated and reminds me of the stuff my vegetarian friends and I would make out of the Moosewood cookbook in high school. There's no evidence anywhere of the huge advances that have been made in veg cooking - it can't even come close to touching Plum or Ubuntu. I didn't even find the quality of the vegetables all that amazing (as opposed to Chez Panisse or Camino, where the preps are always fairly simple but the ingredients are stellar).

                                                      Other options to consider in Oakland are Camino (they have a very limited menu, but their veg option is always so good I usually end up choosing it, and I'm not vegetarian) and Encuentro (haven't been, but it gets great reviews).
                                                      http://www.encuentrooakland.com/menu....

                                                      Also, if you're planning to have a car, I think the zucchini pupusas at Tamales Mi Lupita in Oakland are fantastic. You could probably grab pupusas there on your way up to Napa. Well, you'd have to take a short detour, but it wouldn't be too bad.

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

                                                      Chez Panisse
                                                      1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

                                                      Tamales Mi Lupitas
                                                      3340 Foothill Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601

                                                      1. re: daveena
                                                        Robert Lauriston Apr 15, 2011 07:23 PM

                                                        Tamales Mi Lupita is just a few blocks / half a mile from BART.

                                                        -----
                                                        Tamales Mi Lupitas
                                                        3340 Foothill Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601

                                                        1. re: daveena
                                                          scarlet starlet Apr 17, 2011 09:58 AM

                                                          Although I'm sure those pupusas are great, there are excellent pupusas to be found in Brooklyn, including ones made with zucchini, loroco flower, jalapenos, and a variety of vegetarian fillings, and they're within a half hour walk from my home!

                                                          I do like the menu at Camino, but I don't eat at restaurants that have just one vegetarian entree - not much fun when neither me or my husband eat meat.

                                                          I'm now considering skipping lunch on Thursday at The Slanted Door for the Off The Grid - although we have a ton of food trucks in NYC, there are definitely more in SF and dare I say some better ones. I would've considered the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market but we're going to Alcatraz that morning and not getting back until 1, so by the time we get to the market at ~1:30, the vendors will be getting read to close at 2.

                                                          I may also skip Burma Superstar and just do some grazing as we walk around, some snacks with drinks at Alembic, Citizen Cake for desserts, and....any suggestions for good places in Hayes Valley/NoPa areal? Also, thoughts on Nopalito? The menu looks good enough, but not terribly exciting.

                                                          -----
                                                          Slanted Door
                                                          Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

                                                          Ferry Plaza Farmers Market
                                                          One Ferry Building, 200 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA

                                                          Burma Superstar
                                                          4721 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA

                                                          1. re: scarlet starlet
                                                            Windy Apr 17, 2011 02:50 PM

                                                            Yes, you should check out the food trucks as well as Ferry Plaza or one of the markets.

                                                            The best thing at Nopalito is the carnitas.

                                                            1. re: scarlet starlet
                                                              daveena Apr 21, 2011 10:58 AM

                                                              Sounds like you've already made up your mind about pupusas, but I'll just make one last case for them - I brought vegetarian friends from LA to Tamales Mi Lupita, and they swore Mi Lupita's were better than any they've had in LA. I've also tried the famous pupusa place at Maxwell Street Market in Chicago, and think Mi Lupita's are better.

                                                              -----
                                                              Tamales Mi Lupitas
                                                              3340 Foothill Blvd, Oakland, CA 94601

                                                        2. JasmineG Apr 13, 2011 03:18 PM

                                                          Definitely keep Plum, I was going to suggest it even before seeing that you already plan on going there. It has the best and most creative vegetarian food that I've had in the Bay Area (more so than Ubuntu, and I went there in the Fox days -- I have not been to Coi). I would keep the Chez Panisse Cafe lunch, because I've always had good meals there (especially the vegetarian items), and if you're going to be in the East Bay that day, it's a no brainer. I've been to and enjoyed Gather, but the star of the menu is the vegan charcuterie, most of the rest of it isn't particularly interesting. You might want to stop at Gather and share the vegan charctuerie and then go on to Chez Panisse for a late lunch, since you seem to like the progressive dining/snacking idea.

                                                          For your lunch in Palo Alto, maybe Evvia, or you could go down south to Mountain View and hit some of the good taquerias down there.

                                                          For one of your lunches, you could go to The Sentinel for their great sandwiches; there are always some vegetarian options, and they're fantastic. Or share a sandwich there, and hit Zuni for a late lunch to have some of their vegetarian options (and their good cocktails).

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

                                                          Zuni Cafe
                                                          1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

                                                          Chez Panisse
                                                          1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: JasmineG
                                                            Robert Lauriston Apr 13, 2011 03:26 PM

                                                            I agree, the vegan "charcuterie" is the main attraction at Gather.

                                                            I've eaten there five or six times, and the only other dishes I can recall were the burger and a guanciale pizza.

                                                          2. s
                                                            sfbing Apr 13, 2011 11:57 AM

                                                            I'm not so sure canteen is a good candidate for a progressive meal. Sometimes the menu is prix fixe with set seating times. It is a very small restaurant, so reservations are usually essential. If the menu is not prix fixe, they usually have one vegetarian option for each course, so there is most likely only one small vegetarian plate option on any given day.

                                                            I like Plum, but I highly recommend the tasting menu at Coi for vegetarians. The restaurant is very good at accomodating vegetarians and their tasting menu is very vegetable heavy in the first place. Saison makes inventive dishes, but the one time I tried to go with a vegetarian, they basically said that they couldn't adjust their tasting menu. You might call--it is possible their policy has changed.

                                                            -----
                                                            Saison
                                                            2124 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA 94110

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: sfbing
                                                              scarlet starlet Apr 13, 2011 02:31 PM

                                                              I made a reservation for Canteen and let them know we'd only need the table for an hour. I've been keeping an eye on the menu and there's always one vegetarian option for each of the first two courses, which is perfect for one item per person and then dessert.

                                                              Coi looks amazing but it's more than we're willing to spend on one meal while we're out there.

                                                              1. re: scarlet starlet
                                                                grayelf Apr 15, 2011 03:03 PM

                                                                If you have time at Canteen, don't miss the vanilla souffle for dessert. Sigh.

                                                            2. Robert Lauriston Apr 13, 2011 09:06 AM

                                                              Plum's great. Very vegetarian-friendly. Jeremy Fox was involved for only a short time before it opened.

                                                              I wouldn't go to Magnolia just for the beer, or take a vegetarian there to eat. Trappist in Oakland is more interesting.

                                                              1. m
                                                                morningbun Apr 12, 2011 10:46 PM

                                                                In Berkeley, consider Gather for dinner rather than Chez Panisse, it was great when I went. I've heard so many "meh" reviews of CP on this board and from friends that I'm not sure it's worth it, but I haven't been.

                                                                In SF, Millennium is amazing for veg cuisine, I've never had anything there I didn't love, especially if you go for the tasting menu. I prefer it over Greens, but that's personal preference. Also consider Dosa for South Indian and Gracias Madre for more upscale Mexican food than you'll get at the taqueria. Both are excellent.

                                                                -----
                                                                Chez Panisse
                                                                1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

                                                                Dosa
                                                                995 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                                                Millennium Restaurant
                                                                580 Geary St., San Francisco, CA 94102

                                                                Gracias Madre
                                                                2211 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                                                Gather
                                                                2200 Oxford Street, Berkeley, CA 94704

                                                                Chez Panisse Cafe
                                                                1517 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709

                                                                8 Replies
                                                                1. re: morningbun
                                                                  l
                                                                  lrealml Apr 13, 2011 01:52 AM

                                                                  Not to be a naysayer, but Ubuntu has gone down hill lately (it used to be one of my favorite restaurants). I never did get around to writing up a proper review of the bad experience we had, so let me sum it up: The pasta dish we had was soggy, bitter (like long cooked lemon pith), and had no salt at all. The grit dish was just plain gross (this is especially sad for me since the grit dish that we had when Fox was there was so amazing that I have spent a lot of time recreating it). It was served in some strange hard bread bowl with some overdone greasy fried things that tasted like they were fried in week old oil. The other two dishes we had were a beet dish that was good and a dessert that was just ok. Fortunately we weren't that hungry... We were there about a month ago at 9pm on a Saturday. I hope they were just having a really bad night, but I won't return to find out.

                                                                  Also in line with my naysaying... Greens is not that impressive. I know you are insistent on it, but you can get a much more inspired vegetarian dinner at most of the better restaurants in SF.

                                                                  Some suggestions:
                                                                  Aziza (cal-Moroccan) is very unique to SF, and they are very accommodating to vegetarians. Namu is also unique and a good portion of there menu is vegetarian. Nopa is also a great choice.
                                                                  Also, don't hesitate to ask for vegetarian dishes that are not on the menu (my friend does it all the time). Most places are happy to (and used to) accommodating all the vegetarians.
                                                                  Finally, I know you are doing Bouchon already (no opinion there), but I love Ad Hoc (my vegan friend really loved her meal). Just let them know you are both vegetarian (when you make reservations), and they will accommodate. The freshness of veggies is really amazing.

                                                                  1. re: lrealml
                                                                    scarlet starlet Apr 13, 2011 04:29 AM

                                                                    I've read in a few places that Ad Hoc will do a vegetarian meal if you call in advance, but I've never seen what those dishes were - do you have any insight? Freshness of produce alone is not enough to get me to go....there are plenty of places in NYC that make great vegetarian food with market-fresh ingredients. For $50 I want an inspired, unique meal, not something I could make at home after going to the farmers market.

                                                                    I think I'm going to scrap Chez Panisse and go for Gather - I've read so many great reviews of it.

                                                                    I cancelled my reservation at A16 and made one for Commonwealth instead. I'm planning to get the 6 course tasting as the 4 vegetarian dishes on the menu won't be enough for the two of us (although I presume they would be about to make a few additional dishes if we called in advance) - anyone have any insight on that?

                                                                    I may skip Greens as well, but am not sure where to go for lunch instead - Slanted Door? Or somewhere else.

                                                                    Also, any thoughts on whether I should scrap the progressive dinner evening of Orson, Sons and Daughters, and Canteen and just make a full dinner out of one of the latter two? Has anyone made a request for vegetarian options (in addition to those already on the menu) at those places?

                                                                    In case you couldn't tell I want to make sure I have the best dining experience in SF :)

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Slanted Door
                                                                    Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

                                                                    A16
                                                                    2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123

                                                                    Ad Hoc
                                                                    6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

                                                                    Saison
                                                                    2124 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA 94110

                                                                    Benu
                                                                    22 Hawthorne St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                                                                    1. re: scarlet starlet
                                                                      l
                                                                      lrealml Apr 13, 2011 11:29 AM

                                                                      The dishes at Ad Hoc are not very innovative; they are just good.. and I can't remember what my friend had (I was too busy eating). All the dishes there are mostly simple preparations that showcase ingredients/freshness. Perhaps you could make them at home if you had a garden, but I don't and the farmers market produce around here is great, but doesn't compare.

                                                                      I haven't been to all of those places, so perhaps someone else can comment... However, I do think you should consider Aziza since you seem focused on having interesting dishes you can't make at home.

                                                                      1. re: scarlet starlet
                                                                        m
                                                                        ML8000 Apr 15, 2011 02:21 PM

                                                                        $50 doesn't get you much inspiring if you're including tax, tip and wine. I'd skip Greens...nothing good reported there for a long time. I'd get a veggie burrito from somewhere...Taqueria Cancun does a good one.

                                                                      2. re: lrealml
                                                                        Windy Apr 16, 2011 11:33 AM

                                                                        I love Namu, but was wondering what you recommend for vegetarians. I had brunch there recently with a friend who ended up getting eggs because she didn't have a lot of other choices.

                                                                        -----
                                                                        Namu
                                                                        439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

                                                                        1. re: Windy
                                                                          l
                                                                          lrealml Apr 16, 2011 06:32 PM

                                                                          From looking at the brunch menu, I guess there is not much for vegetarians. I have never been for brunch, but have been for dinner a few times, and there are ton of items on the dinner menu that are vegetarian (I count 8 plus all the sides):
                                                                          http://namusf.com/html/menus/dinner_m...

                                                                          Portobello mushrooms are my least favorite food, but the meat loving guys at the table enjoyed them so much that they ordered another plate.

                                                                          1. re: lrealml
                                                                            Windy Apr 16, 2011 07:01 PM

                                                                            Thanks. Yeah, I would never have ordered portobello mushrooms, but I'm there for the burgers and fried chicken.

                                                                            A note that their dashi and I believe kim chee aren't vegetarian.

                                                                            1. re: Windy
                                                                              l
                                                                              lrealml Apr 16, 2011 07:21 PM

                                                                              You are right... I forgot about the shrimp in the kimchee, but I'm sure it could be left off...
                                                                              The dashi containing dishes I was already not counting ....

                                                                              I haven't tried the fried chicken yet... sounds good.

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