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Here for a week from Miami

Hello locals,

I just flew in for a conference in San Francisco from Miami. I am currently staying off Lombard and Van Ness. I would like to make the most of what San Francisco has to offer ranging from extremely delicious and authentic Asian cuisine, amazing west coast seafood, to pretty much whatever else is floating around and worth eating. I suppose if there are some amazing places in Oakland it would be worth the drive. I will be here from 10/22 to 10/29. Thanks in advance, all.

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  1. my first thought would be to find yourself some good food truck culture, because it is sadly lacking here in MIA

    1. Friday night OTG at Ft. Mason will fulfill mattstolz' suggestion nicely. Also, you missed it today, but check out the Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market next Saturday morning. A plethora of what San Francisco has to offer, both fresh and prepared. nothing else like it.

      I like Z&Y Garden for Sichuan, and we do Burmese well in this city - Burmese Kitchen, Yamo, Mandalay. Also good Vietnamese - Bodega Bistro is a fave, tho some really like the more upscale Slanted Door. I would imagine you don't want any latin flavors while you're here.... As for seafood, go old school and check out Swan Oyster Depot one day for lunch. there's always a line, so get there by 11 to assure a seat (it's tiny).

      for other, general San Francisco/California tastes, go to Canteen, Range, Foreign Cinema (brunch is good), Pizzeria Delfina (not just pizza; another place where there is always a wait but very worth it). In Oakland, Pizzaiolo (ditto - not just pizza - FANTASTIC food, and always a wait). People here rave about Plum in Oakland, i went once and liked it but wasn't as wowed. If you want high end, try Plum's chef's first restaurant here in the city, Coi, for an inventive, memorable and delicious prix fixe dinner.

      Slanted Door
      Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

      Bodega Bistro
      607 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

      Swan Oyster Depot
      1517 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109

      3406 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

      1. from Miami, hmm safe bets based on your request would be: Lers Ros Thai, SO chicken wings, Burma Superstar tealeaf salad/samusa soup, Saigon sandwich banh mi, Anh Hong Vietnamese, Hong Kong Lounge (Geary) dim sum, Sotto Mare cioppino/sand dabs, PPQ dungeness crab, izakaya sozai, etc
        fine dining: saison, benu, atelier crenn
        oakland: i like plum, commis

        1. Actually, you are only a few blocks from one of the best values in the city -- an Afghani place called Helmand Palace. Unique and very tasty food. I actually think the seafood scene here isn't what visitors think it will be -- if you are willing to pay some bucks, I think the best restaurant for seafood in town is Ame. (It is also remarkably creative while still being comforting.) Otherwise, Pesce, also very easy walking distance from you, is very good and a good value. Slanted Door is excellent, way overpriced, not authentic to Vietnam, but a true SF experience.

          Honestly, I think the thing San Francisco does best is authentic regional Italian food. I know, I know... visitors wouldn't think that is where they should be looking, but it is.

          Perbacco (Piedmonte)
          Delfina (Tuscan)
          A16 (Southern)
          La Ciccia (Sardinian)
          SPQR (Roman)

          are all worth looking into. FWIW, I think Perbacco and Delfina, probably in that order, are the best of the bunch.

          Slanted Door
          Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

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

          230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

          2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123

          Delfina Restaurant
          3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

          2227 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109

          1911 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

          Helmand Palace
          2424 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94109

          1. Lots of good places on your list already, especially Off the Grid, Ferry Plaza market, and Helmand Palace.
            Off the Grid Thursday in the Haight is smaller than Friday at Ft. Mason but also very worthwhile.

            Leave the car at the hotel though, unless you're driving away from downtown. Parking is a pain, and meters are expensive; some of the newer meters take credit cards.

            You could drive through the Presidio to Clement and Geary in the Richmond district, which are full of great Korean, Chinese, and Vietnamese.

            A great stop near you is Delise Dessert Cafe (open day time) for exceptional ice cream, sorbet, coffee, tea, and cookies. They have sandwiches too, but you're there for the frozen treats.

            Also near you is John Campbell's Irish bakery for delicious blueberry scones, brown bread, and corned beef sandwiches and pasties.

            For a splurge nearby, Atelier Crenn is unlikely anything you'll find in Miami. Many previous threads on it.

            Helmand Palace
            2424 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94109

            DeLise dessert cafe
            327 Bay St, San Francisco, CA 94133

            John Campbell's Bakery
            3101 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94123

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

            Off the Grid
            Stanyan Street at Waller Street, San Francisco, CA

            3 Replies
            1. re: Windy

              Sorry, but John Campbell's on Fillmore closed a few weeks ago. I think there is only the one now, out on Geary.

              1. re: bobpantzer

                That's too bad. I think the one on DeHaro and 16th is still there. Will check it out when I'm nearby this week.

            2. Based on your recommendations, I tried Helmand Palace last night as it peaked my interest and it was relatively close to the hotel. I can definitely say I was pleasantly surprised. Mostly, it was due to the fact that the pasta from the raviolis were freshly made; not dried and packaged. One person got the Koufta Challow which consisted of a tomato based sauce with green beans and ground beef meatballs. The description stated there would be hot peppers however there was very little spice and it was served after it had been sitting for a while. I tried the Mourgh Challow which was a pretty typical curry chicken. Starches were dominant as the rice and the pasta were great. Hopefully, there will be more to follow soon.

              Edit: Just went to Saigon Sandwich for a Banh Mi and having only had it once before it my life I'd have to say if I worked in that area I would be a regular patron. Cilantro, jalapeno, pickled cabbage, carrots, and pork with a heavy amount of black pepper and what seemed to taste like a hint of allspice was a great blend that hit the spot before a day wandering the city.

              Saigon Sandwich Shop
              560 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102

              Helmand Palace
              2424 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94109

              3 Replies
              1. re: skuzzy

                I trekked over to Burma Superstar, however the wait was 1.5 hours which happened to be disappointing and exciting at the same time. Motives based on time constraints had us move a few blocks away and go to Mandalay. So far this has been our most depressing experience. It seemed like typical Chinese take-out fare albeit the quality of the meat was a little bit above par comparatively.

                Burma Superstar Restaurant
                309 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

                1. re: skuzzy

                  The menus at most Burmese places are a mix of Chinese, Indian, and Burmese dishes (apparently that's how people eat in Burma), and you're better off going elsewhere for the first two. You can get a boring Chinese meal at most Burmese restaurants if you order the wrong dishes.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    And the longer wait at Burma Superstar is not necessarily indicative of better food - IMO Mandalay is significantly better, it's just less Americanized and thus somewhat less popular. The trick with Burmese restaurants is to order the things that look like they have the most unusual ingredient combinations or preparations. If it sounds very different from anything you've had before, that's a good clue that it's probably Burmese and not Chinese or Indian.

                    Burma Superstar Restaurant
                    309 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

              2. Asian: Lers Ros and Thai House Express for Thai, Burmese Kitchen or Little Yangon for Burmese, Jai Yun for Shanghai, Z&Y for Sichuan, Angkor-Borei for Cambodian.

                Bar Crudo for seafood.

                Oakland might be worth the drive for Korean.

                Angkor-Borei Restaurant
                3471 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                Jai Yun
                680 Clay St, San Francisco, CA 94111

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

                Thai House Express
                901 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109

                Bar Crudo
                655 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94117

                Z & Y
                655 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94133

                Little Yangon
                6318 Mission St, Daly City, CA 94014