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Jun 1, 2011 03:58 AM

Restaurants with low-fat options?


My sister lives in San Francisco and has just been put on a strict nonfat diet for a medical condition. I am hoping to find some good restaurants where she might be able to eat! Please let me know if you have any ideas--even places where the chefs may be accommodating would be helpful.

Many, many thanks!

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  1. Are you looking for nonfat or low-fat? Your title says one thing and your post says another, so it's not clear.

    In any case, most traditional sushi has no added fat. If you choose sushi with lean fish that will lower the fat content (i.e. no mackerel or salmon). Ramen and Soba noodles are also low in fat. There are tons of japanese/sushi places in San Francisco. Take your pick.

    Vietnamese is also a good option. Bun Thit Nuong (cold rice noodles with vegetables and grilled pork with fish sauce) is quite low in fat. The only fat used is in cooking the pork. And pork is quite lean these days. I often get it at Mayflower Restaurant, 1422 Ocean Avenue (at Miramar), San Francisco, CA. Another good Vietnamese restaurant is Lotus Garden, 3216 Mission St (at Valencia), San Francisco, CA. Most of the cuon (not fried rice noodle rolls) pho (soup with noodles), and salads would be fine for her. Just ask the staff to leave out the peanuts, as they are quite high in fat.

    Any salad can be made either without dressing or with just a squeeze of lemon juice or a few drops of vinegar. Just skip the ones that include cheese or croutons.

    Your sister has lots of options. If you want to pick a suitable restaurant, look at their menu and call them if you have any questions.

    Lotus Garden
    3216 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

    2 Replies
    1. re: Euonymous

      I was also going to suggest Vietnamese and Japanese restaurants as cuisines that are very low in fat without any special requests. Korean food is also good, depending on which protein you choose.

      Lotus Garden is closed as a result of a serious fire in the building this spring. (More details and a request for donations here: http://www.lotusgardencuisine.com/


      Other restaurants I'd add: Bodega Bistro, Yummy Yummy, Minako, Takara, Muguboka

      It would be good to know if we're talking about animal fat (reducing cholesterol) versus fat in general.

      There are a lot of great vegetarian and vegan options in San Francisco, but they aren't necessarily low in calories. I'm looking forward to trying the much recommended veggie burger at The Plant (several locations including downtown and the airport).

      Cafe Gratitude on Harrison Street serves raw food. It's a bit of an alternative universe, but their salads are very good, and all the food is quite filling and healthy.

      There are also places like Pluto's that assemble salads and meals to order, and have a lot of healthy steamed options. Pluto's is a local chain, with very fair prices. There's one in the Marina and another in the Inner Sunset

      Several cooked meal delivery services specialize in vegetarian meals. This is something you could consider as a gift. Happily, it's summer, so produce is even better than usual. Please do let us know how it goes.

      Bodega Bistro
      607 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

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

      Muguboka Restaurant
      401 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA 94118

      Pluto's Fresh Food
      3258 Scott St, San Francisco, CA 94123

      Takara Restaurant
      22 Peace Plz Ste 505, San Francisco, CA 94115

      Yummy Yummy
      1015 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

      1. re: Windy

        Shoot! I just donated, Windy. Thanks for the information.

    2. Millennium used to be low-fat across the board. I don't know if they still are. The chef's new place in Oakland certainly isn't.

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

      1. Thank you so much for all your ideas! I actually live in Hong Kong and was going to suggest Asian cuisines to her as well, but thank you for all the specific recommendations. I know I said both nonfat and low-fat...Her doctor told her to aim for nonfat but I just wasn't sure if that's possible, so I thought I'd post both. Thank you again!

        1. Some casual ideas include: Blue Barn, The Plant Cafe, Pluto's (make your own salads), Greens (vegetarian restaurant), Minako (she'll cook just about anything Japanese) or Cafe Gratitude. If your sister likes sushi, tell her to skip the white rice (sugar which turns to fat) and stick to sashimi or find a spot that does brown rice for sushi.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MeredithR

            Actually, white rice is almost fat-free, while brown rice has a couple of grams per cup (cooked).