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Aug 4, 2011 07:47 AM

NY hound seeks new SF gems

NY hound who makes semi-annual trips to SF looking for something new or that I've missed in the past. Any price range is fine except the highest level (no Coi/Benu/etc., please...I guess nothing over $75ish pp).

Some of my past favorites from your fine city:
Aziza, Lers Ros, El Farolito/Pancho Villa/etc, Incanto, Zuni, Chez Panisse (upstairs), Koi Palace, Ferry Building Saturdays

Others places that I've enjoyed (sometimes seriously enjoyed) in the past but that are perhaps less novel for a New Yorker or not quite as incredible as those on my favorites list:
Delfina, Pagolac, Ritual, Dopo, Gather (for lunch if you're on Berkeley's campus), Tu Lan (only for bun w/imperial rolls), and yes...the divisive Slanted Door (great for what it is) & Tartine (great on a weekday morning if there's no line and the morning buns are hot)

Not so much: Flora, Bodega Bistro (it was perfectly fine, just not particularly impressive), Bi Rite ice cream

All suggestions will be appreciated although I'm not that interested in eating pizza, sushi, Szechuan, standard Italian, or ramen on this trip (not that SF doesn't have good options in those categories, of course, but simply because I eat a lot of that in NYC). Thanks in advance.

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  1. Bar Tartine and Plum.

    Barbacco is fairly nonstandard Italian.

    Bar Tartine
    561 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

    230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

    3 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Plum link.

      2214 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        +1 on plum. Plum is where I go when I'm bored and jaded. *right* near bart.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Many thanks. Plum is definitely going on the list for my upcoming trip, along with hopefully a few other of these good sugestions.

      2. jai yun for sure -- lunch is a lot less expensive than dinner, but both are very interesting. kappa perhaps, but it is near your price limit. plum is a great recommendation. maybe commonwealth too?

        1. La Ciccia would seem to be a great fit with the places you've liked. It's a few blocks from Incanto and offers delicious Sardinian food.


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

          1 Reply
          1. re: mdg

            La Ciccia's one of my favorites, but it opened five years ago.

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

          2. Cotogna, at the bar, should be on your stack.
            It's Italian. Lynch, from Babbo, is the wine guy. This place is Cal-Italian at its best: wine, roasted meats, pastas, cocktails, desserts, grappa. All at a price-point favorable to your budget.
            Only a churl could cavil.

            3 Replies
            1. re: steve h.

              commonwealth -- probably fits what you're looking for, inventive for the price
              bar tartine -- try chilled sour cherry soup
              cotogna is ok, better Italian in nyc
              i think you should get some mexican, mayan, vietnamese, burmese, etc. since those are slightly harder to find in nyc i think
              i.e. torta los picudos, poc chuc, ppq dungeness / anh hong, usual burmese board recs, etc
              maybe you'd like mochica
              popular right now for a higher price and worth a visit are saison and atelier crenn
              plum and commis are amazing but you'd have to go outside sf

              1. re: ankimo

                I'm not sure Cotogna has a Manhattan counterpart. Lupa, Hearth, Peasant are quite different from the Tusk's annex to Quince.

                Cotogna is worth a visit whether you're from the Bay Area or, like me, from NYC.

                1. re: ankimo

                  Ankimo says "bar tartine -- try chilled sour cherry soup"

                  Grayelf, in Vancouver, exclaims "I am getting in a cab to the airport, now."

              2. Definitely Nopalito for high end Mexican...
                Also, Nopa and Foreign Cinema for more great CA food. Bar Crudo is very good for raw seafood (not sushi).

                Not sure how the Peruvian or Burmese food is in New York, but SF has a lot of good examples of those cuisines.

                Try the Ice Cream at Humphry Slocombe (I am not a Bi-Rite fan either).

                Also, even though you say no pizza, you should try the deep dish at Little Star some visit... my SO, who is from NY, does not consider it pizza, but still finds it delicious.

                1 Reply
                1. re: lrealml

                  Your SO is correct as far as I am concerned "Very different for me and not sure what to make of it as "pizza" more like a quiche with tomato sauce."