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Moving to FiDi

d
debbie421 Sep 14, 2011 12:50 PM

Hi all! We’re finally moving to San Francisco at the end of the month. Right now we’re in temporary corporate housing on Battery and Washington in the Financial District. We need help finding places to eat the few months we’re staying here. We have a few non-food requirements. We'll have a car, but we’re not interested in fighting for parking, so only places near a parking ramp or with a lot. We’ll also walk and take public transportation, as long as we don’t have to walk through an unsafe neighborhood. Last but not least, no long waits. (OMG, we sound like such divas!) I’ve done a ton of board research, but I can’t tell what meets our non food requirements.
That being said, here are our favorite foods in no particular order:
• Middle Eastern
• Casual breakfasts (I could eat egg white veggie omelets, granola, and oatmeal all day) - I just saw the latest thread on this, but not a ton of replies yet.
• Vietnamese – I’ve trolled all the Vietnamese threads, but I’m a little worried that they’re in an unsafe part of town. Would you walk to Turtle Tower from FiDi at night?
• Sandwich shops, any kind
• Sushi – really great places or mediocre places with great specials
• Good grocery store deli’s/salad bars/take out areas
• Any places where they serve BOTH healthy dishes (steamed veggies, brown rice, great salads) and bar food (burgers, fries, wings) to satisfy both my husband and I in one place
Thanks in advance for your help!

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Turtle Tower Restaurant
631 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

  1. asianstamp Sep 15, 2011 01:17 PM

    I know there is a Vietnamese place on Jackson St up at Chinatown (don't recall the name).

    Tokyo Express on Sacramento St has sushi. Not sure if it's good or not but it's always packed at lunch time.

    I love the breakfast items (take out only) at Golden West.

    Cafe Madeline's on California also serves pastries and coffee for breakfast.

    The Safeway on Jackson is actually pretty limited. I know there's a Trader Joe's downtown (near Brannen?) and a Costco on 10th Street. The closest bigger Safeway would be the one near the Marina.

    -----
    Tokyo Express
    660 Sacramento St Ste Sl, San Francisco, CA 94111

    Golden West
    8 Trinity Pl, San Francisco, CA 94104

    1 Reply
    1. re: asianstamp
      Windy Sep 15, 2011 06:29 PM

      The closest big Safeway is the one by the ballpark. TJ's is at 9th and Brannan and is often a nightmare (park on the roof).

      Whole Foods is closer than either.

    2. d
      debbie421 Sep 15, 2011 04:08 AM

      Thanks for all these replies, this is great! Another question, are all these places open at night or just during the day? Also, are they open on weekends? I'll actually be working in Silicon Valley, probably won't make it home until after 8:00 most weekday nights. Sorry, should have pointed that out sooner!

      2 Replies
      1. re: debbie421
        Robert Lauriston Sep 15, 2011 09:38 AM

        Most places in the FiDi are lunch only or if they stay open for dinner close early, and are closed on weekends. But Battery and Washington is on the northern edge of the FiDi, a few blocks from Chinatown and North Beach.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston
          ckshen Sep 15, 2011 12:03 PM

          Commuting back to the city during rush hour is a pain indeed. I remember Robert has a thread a while back that discussed dining options for evening dining options along the commute route from the south bay. that may be just useful for you in case its getting late. I can't find the thread though.

      2. s
        sugartoof Sep 14, 2011 10:08 PM

        For lunch and Brunch you've got Moma's in North Beach. You're not far from Brenda's Soul Food too.

        Maybe Towsend for brunch if you like a nice walk down towards the ballpark.

        Back in North Beach, the duck sandwich, and burger at Le Bordeaux are standouts at lunch. Perfectly executed steaks are what I would suggest at dinner.

        21 Replies
        1. re: sugartoof
          Windy Sep 14, 2011 10:18 PM

          What's Le Bordeaux? This is the first time I've heard of it.

          1. re: Windy
            s
            sugartoof Sep 14, 2011 10:35 PM

            It's only been open a month, I think?

            It's run by a young French guy who owned a restaurant in Bordeaux before moving here. It's not the typical Brassarie though. One of my favorite meals in the city lately, and definitely the best food I've had in NB in a long time.

            524 Union St. right up the block from Tony's.

            1. re: sugartoof
              n
              nocharge Sep 14, 2011 11:52 PM

              My understanding is that they haven't gotten their liquor license yet. Must be a bummer to try to run a French restaurant called Le Bordeaux where guests can't have wine with their dinner. Hopefully, they'll get it soon, but I'll probably won't try it until they do.

              1. re: nocharge
                s
                sugartoof Sep 15, 2011 09:21 AM

                Maybe, but (redacted)) the idea one can't have a French meal without a bottle of wine seems a bit romanticized.

                Anyway, I'm also a little more partial to their lunch menu which has the sandwiches and you might not miss the liquor license mid-day. Dinner itself is a minimal South of France experience, that relies on a simple healthy approach, rather than flowery techniques. The second time I went, I had a Shandy soda. Wine didn't even occur to me.

                1. re: sugartoof
                  Robert Lauriston Sep 15, 2011 09:34 AM

                  Huh, steak-frites with a choice of half a dozen cuts, that's unusual.

                  http://www.lebordeaux-restaurant.com/...

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston
                    s
                    sugartoof Sep 15, 2011 04:23 PM

                    It's also Creekstone meat, according to Open Table, which I actually didn't know we could even get in the Bay Area. Back East butchers like Pat LaFreida, known for providing meat to Minetta Tavern swear by Creekstone. More importantly, it was cooked right.

                  2. re: sugartoof
                    n
                    nocharge Sep 15, 2011 01:43 PM

                    Their sodas might be excellent, but if I'm going to pay $45 for a steak, I want to be able to have red wine with it. Some Yelp reviews indicate that they allow BYOB. That would solve the problem, but could get the restaurant in trouble with the ABC.
                    http://articles.latimes.com/2003/nov/12/food/fo-matters12
                    http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/blog/...

                    1. re: nocharge
                      s
                      sugartoof Sep 15, 2011 03:56 PM

                      Can we stick to discussing the food? Since when is Chowhound a whistleblower site? I apologize for mentioning it, and corrected the post.

                      The $45 steak is with foi gras.

                      It's a great addition to the neighborhood.

                      1. re: sugartoof
                        n
                        nocharge Sep 15, 2011 04:46 PM

                        I have no doubt that it's a great addition to the neighborhood and I'm looking forward to going there for dinner once they start serving wine.

                      2. re: nocharge
                        hill food Sep 15, 2011 04:43 PM

                        IIRC CA law allows BYOB if the restaurant doesn't have a license, I think the only restriction is that they not allow minors to partake and not charge a corkage fee.

                        1. re: hill food
                          n
                          nocharge Sep 15, 2011 05:16 PM

                          No, in California, the restaurant has to have a license. See the links in my post. On the other hand, Arizona, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont only allow BYOB if the restaurant doesn't have a license. BYOB laws are all over the map.

                          1. re: hill food
                            Robert Lauriston Sep 15, 2011 05:16 PM

                            No, it's illegal under section 25604 to allow customers to drink if the restaurant has no license.

                            1. re: Robert Lauriston
                              hill food Sep 15, 2011 05:27 PM

                              I stand corrected, and maybe over the years I have frequented too many louche establishments that flout those laws. I do sort of think it must be a 'nuisance' law meaning it's only prosecuted if it causes a problem or there's something else at stake.

                              1. re: hill food
                                Robert Lauriston Sep 15, 2011 05:43 PM

                                From the stories in the papers about places that have been busted, often there's no particular problem. Could be competitors make complaints.

                                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                  s
                                  sugartoof Sep 15, 2011 06:33 PM

                                  Which is exactly why it's unfortunate a discussion of a fairly popular practice has been raised over this particular new business. I'm pretty sure all of us here are on the side of nightlife, or at the very least - good food. I was careless in my enthusiasm, so I do appreciate you pointing out my post needed editing.

                                  Best if we all drop it and focus on the food!

                    2. re: sugartoof
                      Windy Sep 15, 2011 08:43 AM

                      Thanks! sounds delicious.

                      1. re: Windy
                        Ruth Lafler Sep 15, 2011 10:44 AM

                        I does! Mouthwatering.

                        1. re: Ruth Lafler
                          Windy Sep 15, 2011 10:52 AM

                          And they have steak tartare.

                  3. re: sugartoof
                    k
                    Keesey Sep 14, 2011 11:31 PM

                    Mama's and Brenda's both have min 1 hr wait.

                    1. re: Keesey
                      Windy Sep 15, 2011 08:44 AM

                      Brenda's is fine on weekdays; it's weekend brunch that's the problem. And they're open for dinner now too. But not a pleasant walk from the Financial District.

                      1. re: Windy
                        s
                        sugartoof Sep 15, 2011 09:25 AM

                        The walk is unruly. Thanks for adding that important disclaimer.

                  4. k
                    Keesey Sep 14, 2011 05:42 PM

                    I really enjoy Naked Lunch's sandwiches. Their dinner restaurant Txoko is getting favorable reviews. Both are in the North Beach area... totally walkable and probably safe at night too.

                    Molinari's a few blocks away from Naked Lunch is a true Italian deli. Great cured meats, fresh mozz, homemade ravioli, etc. You could probably collect all the non-produce ingredients all in that shop for a cook at home Italian meal. Btw for produce needs, there is a Safeways on Davis & Jackson.

                    No one has heard of this one, but I like the bread quality at Munch Boxx. Not a gourmet sandwich shop... just your usual turkey w/ cheese and lettuce. But the ingredients are fresh and bread has a great chew to it... esp their croissants.

                    Cotogna will likely have both healthy fair as well as a porchetta or fried chicken dish.

                    Sushi in the FiDi... none. I know! I want some good sushi around here too!

                    Turtle Tower is worth a drive if you want Vietnamese. Nearby is Bodega Bistro, which has a French twist to their dishes. Parking is not hard in the TL (except maybe for Th-Sa nights). Go with your husband and don't park in those alleyways.

                    For Middle Eastern, I can only think of Naan n Curry on Columbus Ave. Their dishes are often inconsistent... Tikka Masala can be overly creamy one day or not enough spice another.

                    -----
                    Bodega Bistro
                    607 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                    Cotogna
                    490 Pacific Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

                    Txoko
                    504 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Keesey
                      mariacarmen Sep 14, 2011 09:52 PM

                      There are two sushi places that i know of, right around the corner from each other, one on Bush, and one on Battery. They're not great, but they fit the "mediocre with great specials." criteria, I believe. Kamakura is the one on Battery, but i can't remember the one on Bush.

                      My favorite, tho, is Sawaii Sushi, which is on Kearny between Bush and Sutter. I ADORE their cold tofu salad. I think they close at about 3. But their sushi is the best in the FiDi, of what I've had. Ebisu opened up a chapter, also on Kearny, but I haven't tried it yet.

                      Sandwiches - Golden West, on Trinity Place - is great for breakfast and lunch - just a take-out window but it's quality food. (Same chef as Sentinel, but closer to you.) Also only open until around 2 or so.

                      There's a Happy Donuts also on Battery near Bush that serves decent Banh mi - not GREAT, but they totally fill the craving. a bunch of other vietnamese dishes too, but i haven't tried them.

                      John's Snack & Deli always has lines outside of it - It's teeny tiny and only to-go Korean food. I find some of their items a bit sweet, but it's decent. Another bfast/lunch time only place.

                      There are some good lunch trucks - Korean tacos, indian burritos, and then this tiny alleyway truck stop, with rotating trucks: http://www.truckstopsf.com/calendar/2...

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                      Happy Donut
                      100 Bush St # 101, San Francisco, CA

                      Kamakura Restaurant
                      77 Battery St Lbby Lbby, San Francisco, CA 94111

                      Ebisu
                      San Francisco International Airport South San Francisco, CA, San Francisco International Airport South San Francisco, CA

                      Golden West
                      8 Trinity Pl, San Francisco, CA 94104

                      1. re: Keesey
                        Windy Sep 14, 2011 10:00 PM

                        I gather Delica has a real sushi chef in the evening now. Has anyone tried it?

                        The best thing at John's is the made to order kimbap (not the pre-wrapped ones in styrofoam).

                        There's a Whole Foods with validated parking at Harrison and 4th. Not far from where you are, and better than the Safeway at Jackson Square.

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                        Delica
                        1 Ferry Bldg, San Francisco, CA

                      2. Ruth Lafler Sep 14, 2011 04:05 PM

                        I wouldn't walk from Turtle Tower from Battery and Washington -- it's too far, regardless of the neighborhood (I've walked from BART up Larkin at night -- I think it's more creepy than dangerous, but it's not pleasant). Chinatown is much closer, and a much better bet.

                        Town' s End might come close to being a place where you could get "healthy" food and "bar" food. Mario's Cigar Store for sandwiches.

                        You might want to try looking at "North Beach" rather than FiDi to get ideas closer to your apartment

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                        Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store and Cafe
                        566 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

                        Town's End Restaurant & Bakery
                        2 Townsend St Ste 2, San Francisco, CA 94107

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Ruth Lafler
                          hill food Sep 15, 2011 04:38 PM

                          I echo Ruth, I used to work at Battery and Vallejo (and technically the area's not the FiDi, but rather the North Waterfront or Embarcadero North or if ya wanna get really arcane the old wholesale produce district) and with a few notable exceptions it gets a bit sleepy at night, North Beach and Chinatown are so close your options just explode.

                        2. m
                          Mr_Happy Sep 14, 2011 03:38 PM

                          Mediterranean - Ayola has a pretty good falafel
                          Vietnamese - Golden Star Vietnamese has decent pho and bun
                          Sushi - Akiko's Restaurant
                          Sandwich Shops - The Sentinel

                          -----
                          The Sentinel
                          55 New Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94105

                          Golden Star Vietnamese Restaurant
                          11 Walter U Lum Pl, San Francisco, CA 94108

                          Akikos Restaurant
                          431 Bush St, San Francisco, CA 94108

                          Ayola
                          327 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA 94108

                          1. Robert Lauriston Sep 14, 2011 01:27 PM

                            Oasis Grill is good. Sai's is decent Vietnamese, not great, but convenient. Check out the takeout at the Ferry Plaza. It's nothing special but there's a Safeway at Jackson and Davis.

                            -----
                            Oasis Grill
                            91 Drumm St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                            Sai's
                            505 Washington St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                            Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant
                            1 Ferry Bldg # 23, San Francisco, CA

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