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Help! Please Crtitique the Itin I Have for Relatives Visiting

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Background: Late 50's couple from Taipei visiting me in SF early Oct Well traveled. They own a 5-star hotel with higher-end Itlaian, steakhouse, and Chinese restaurants in it. Last time they were here, their business partner took them to Chez Panisse, Boulevard, Epic Roasthouse, and Burger Bar. They weren't particularly into any of it.
They have requested that I take them to "famous and special Chinese/Western resaturants." I don't think there is any Chinese in SF worth their time, but I think they meant in case they were craving a flavour of home as they are coming to me from a week in Kaui (as an aside, they don't consider Hawaiian food "Asian.") They tend to like flash and design - .. but unfortunately SF tends to do neighborhoody, mid-range the best. My planning frustration thinks we should all meet in Vegas instead, but SF it is so I am going to give them a bit of that and try to appease their need for the "famous."

Fri night - Quince
Sat Lunch - Morimoto or Bouchon (we will be in Napa Valley for the day)
Sat Dinner - La Ciccia
Sun Brunch - Zuni Cafe
Sun Dinner - La Mar

What do you think? Any tweaks? Thanks for the help!

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Zuni Cafe
1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

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

Chez Panisse
1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709

Epic Roasthouse
369 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105

Bouchon
6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

Morimoto
610 Main Street, Napa, CA

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  1. Did you see stebro was not a happy camper?

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/804903

    1 Reply
    1. re: wolfe

      Thx for the tip! Yeah, was wondering about Quince as everything good I had heard was before the move. You have another rec to fill that Fri night spot?
      I was considering La Folie or Leur de Lys

    2. I have not been to Morimoto but have heard good thing. Don't do Bouchon... I've been unhappy with the food quality and the servers all seem like they have a better place to be. I feel Zuni cafe has really gone down hill so suggest you look torward the higher end like Gary Danko (high end) or Bar Agricole (great atmosphere, good food, good energy). I haven't been to Saison but that might be up their alley.

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

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

      Bar Agricole
      355 11th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

      Saison
      2124 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA 94110

      Bouchon
      6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

      Morimoto
      610 Main Street, Napa, CA

      1. Oh, and I guess I should figure out a Chinese place to have in my back pocket in case they really do want Chinese desparately. I was thinking maybe R&G for salt and pepper crab since they don't get Dungeness in Taiwan? Any other ideas - I mean Cantonese isn't that great a genre in Taipei.

        1. Hmm, from what you've said of their likes, I don't think they'd be into La Ciccia -- I'd pick Perbacco if you want Italian for them.

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

          Perbacco
          230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

          1 Reply
          1. re: JasmineG

            Agreed. La Ciccia has top-notch food, but its warm and rustic vibe doesn't match the OP's search for "flash and design."

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

          2. While I love La Ciccia it's the opposite of flash and design and "known." Michael Mina, maybe? That seems flashy and known (at least, "Michael Mina" is known). I keep thinking Scoma's -- the view is flashy, it's well-known, the food is solid and the service is good, which seems to me would be the kind of thing people who have a five-star hotel would care about. Or Tadich -- definitely "known" and unique in atmosphere. Aziza and Kokkari are another couple of options for something a little different than what they're used to.

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

            1 Reply
            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              Yeah, I hear you... I was trying to sneak in some small, mid-range, neighborhoody places that I think SF is good at in this itin. Blend it with the "flash."
              But I am pondering the Tadich and Kokkari idea.

            2. I'm not a fan of Koi Palace, but if they were willing to drop the big bucks and plan a menu, it can do very good Cantonese food.

              A snotty HK relation's only request a week prior to a visit was for The French Laundry. I got the impression that it is very famous in Asia. I also got the impression she was expecting us to shell out, so I was very happy that there was nothing available. Keeping that in mind, maybe a visit to Benu would fit on Friday for you.

              And I don't know about your relations, but for some reason, my Asian relations don't seem to like Italian food all that much. I think they find the sauces and textures of the fresh pasta off putting.

              -----
              Koi Palace Restaurant
              365 Gellert Blvd, Daly City, CA 94015

              The French Laundry
              6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

              Benu
              22 Hawthorne St, San Francisco, CA 94103

              2 Replies
              1. re: sfbing

                You're right on about French Laundry... but no res available. None at an okay time for Ad Hoc either which is why I was thinking lunch at Bouchon. But Benu might be a good sub and kill two birds with one stone (FL pedigree and soy sauce).
                Mine do like Italian... in fact, their new restaurant in their hotel is in partneship with Igor Macchia, chef and owner of the one-Michelin-star La Credenza in Italy. This is why I was trying to stay away from the BIG Italian place like Perbacco and was hoping to charm them with homey Sardinian. But maybe Italian is just bad move overall.

                -----
                Perbacco
                230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                The French Laundry
                6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

                Ad Hoc
                6476 Washington St., Yountville, CA 94599

                Bouchon
                6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

                Benu
                22 Hawthorne St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                1. re: vliang

                  This is unlikely to help, but maybe your party is bigger than I realize. The French Laundry has a private room for small parties. If you call after the crush of people looking for reservations peters out, you might ask them if it is available. (And also, an extended menu).

                  If they like Italian, then no worries. My problem is the "I'll eat anything" relatives who spend the night picking at the food without actually saying anything.

                  If you can get out of the city, there are also Manresa, Commis,and Plum....

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

                  The French Laundry
                  6640 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599

              2. How about Aziza? I doubt that they will have had many similar meals to compare it to (which may work in your favor).