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Lone Female Diner Wanting 2 Great Dinners! Lers Ros?

I have 2 nights: I would like ethnic one night (Thai, Indian, Chinese, Japanese) and the other night---anything; but, hopefully somewhere with great oysters! . Where I live there is a lack of ethnic food and just good quality food in general! I always go to Zuni; but, realize that there is so much more out there! I'm dying to go to Lers Ros; but, since I will be by myself I'm not sure I will get the full experience. Requirements: great food, good wine, a restaurant where I won't feel too ridiculous eating by myself and hopefully an area where a cab is easy to catch. I'm staying in the Wharf area--I know, super touristy. Not my choice! I've already been to Slanted Door, Boulevard, Danko, Yank Sing, Bix, Chapeau.............that's all I can remember. My only caveat is that I don't want any type of Mexican food because I live on the Mexican border. Thank you!

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Slanted Door
Ferry Slip, San Francisco, CA 94111

Zuni Cafe
1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

Bix
56 Gold St., San Francisco, CA 94133

Yank Sing
49 Stevenson St Ste Stlv, San Francisco, CA 94105

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  1. if price isn't an issue, kappa in japantown is great for one person, as all seats are a bar (save one table for 3 in the back.) saison also has a great bar seating in front of their wood-burning fireplace, but is very expensive.

    cotogna and farina also have nice seating for one at their bar. at farina i'd recommend their pansotti pasta, and and a fish dish, if you have a decent-sized appetite.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Dustin_E

      Really? Do you like Kappa over Kiss? I much prefer Kiss. And you can sit alone at the bar there too, and watch him make everything. I was disapponited in Kappa.

      Comfort eating alone is as much in your mind as anything else. I have no qualms about dining solo anywhere.
      I had a nice solo meal not long ago at Ame, which I'd also recommend.
      Other places I might recommend: Lolo's, Ino Sushi, La Folie, Aziza, Chotto, Bar Crudo, Izakaya Sozai...

      1. re: pauliface

        i do actually like kappa more than kiss, but i can certainly see how one might disagree. kappa serves a lot of items prepared earlier that day (maybe the day before?) but kiss feels too sterile and petite for me. i like ino more than either kiss or kappa, but ino is less of an interesting-place-to-go-one-time, and may be a bit of an acquired taste. but kiss would also be a great suggestion for the op.

        i've also had pretty uniformly good experience dining solo anywhere. quince in particular i had a surprisingly nice time sitting at a table solo -- the waiters become your friends :-)

        but my favorite place to eat alone is actually the bar at harris' -- live jazz every night.

        1. re: Dustin_E

          Yes, that is exactly what irked me about kappa. Too many things prepared earlier. They felt unfresh, and even some things that should have been hot were room temp.
          The space is great though. I wanted to take over the restaurant and cook there myself.

          Kiss is a little sterile, and the chef is quiet and doesn't really talk to you. But it's just a jewel of a meal that he makes there. Made the more fantastic since his little pristine sushi and sashimi courses are also perfect delicious bites.

          Never been to Harris'. And I do like live jazz. hmmm.

    2. As a solo diner I like to sit at dining counters if they're available to increase the possibility of conversation. So if that's your thing, I might recommend Sebo (top notch sushi), Incanto (Cal-Italian always interesting food and friendly), Pizza Delfina (my favorite pizza with great sides and wine, the one in the Mission), Bar Agricole (food is tasting really great now with cocktail list to match, however, bar seating is literally at the bar). I always love Absinthe for their cocktails and fine oysters (there are lots of places in town to have good oysters). If you're dying to go to Lers Ros you should. The food won't disappoint but you may have to leave the leftovers behind! If you go to LR, I would also recommend a visit to Bourbon and Branch right around the corner. An intriguing place to have a before or after dinner drink. These are all neighborhood joints that will give you more of a feel for the food and people here than some of the restaurants in the wharf/financial district.

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      Sebo
      517 Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94102

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

      2 Replies
      1. re: rubadubgdub

        Incanto has the most comfortable bar seating I've experienced. The stools are the same as the dining room chairs only taller, and the bar has a wide step that's as high as the stools are taller than the chairs, so your feet aren't dangling or resting on a rail.

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Plus it has a view of the kitchen and meat slicer.

      2. LaMar has bar dining and a lively atmosphere, and it's one of my favorites whenever I'm in town. It's upscale Peruvian - lots of ceviches.

        1. No one in SF cares if you dine alone. Some places are more fun--seats with backs at a bar near the kitchen, being the best options.

          The food at Lers Ros is the same no matter how many people you eat with; just a matter of how much you can order. Avoid the lunch specials, which are Americanized. I'm fond of the catfish salad with green apples and pork belly appetizer.

          Not entirely sure about your "ethnic" divisions--Japanese is ethnic but Italian isn't? Or is it a matter of atmosphere and clientele?

          Bars at restaurants with good food and good scenes: Commonwealth, Skool, Bar Tartine, Locanda, La Folie Lounge, Incanto, SPQR, Yamo (Burmese dive with 10 seats)

          Cabs are easy if you call the dispatcher.

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          La Folie
          2316 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109

          Bar Tartine
          561 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

          SPQR
          1911 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

          Yamo
          3406 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

          Skool
          1725 Alameda St, San Francisco, CA 94103

          Locanda
          557 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

          8 Replies
          1. re: Windy

            I've eaten at Lers Ros twice as a single diner, and the difficulty in trying different dishes is significant. I wouldn't put it in the same kind of only-one-meal realm. Some obvious choices you haven't mentioned are Zuni Cafe and Gary Danko and maybe RN74.

            For price no object, I'd really suggest Saison - especially the real chef's table. It's four bar seats *in* the kitchen, so you can enjoy the company of the chefs.

            The incanto idea is good - they have a chalkboard of smaller dishes, and a fun bar area. You have to really like meat though. Great wine.

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            Zuni Cafe
            1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

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

            RN74
            301 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105

            Saison
            2124 Folsom St., San Francisco, CA 94110

            1. re: bbulkow

              You don't have to like meat to enjoy Incanto. They do great things with vegetables and seafood.

              The chalkboard specials aren't necessarily small, just limited in quantity. The last one I had was a mixed sauté of Barbados lamb innards that was more than enough for two.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                It's certainly true that the best dish I had there was the justly famous shaved tuna heart, arguably that's not meat. Perhaps I would say that if you only have two meals, and you go to incanto and don't have any innards, you'd be better off elsewhere.

                1. re: bbulkow

                  Visitors should go to Incanto because it's one of the two or three best Cal-Italian places in town. Their innards dishes are just a bonus for people who like them. I love offal, but most of the meals I've had there have been offal-free.

              2. re: bbulkow

                I don't like Zuni, although it's a pretty bar.

                Haven't been to Saisson but I wouldn't spend that kind of money or time on my own. A tasting menu is more fun when you have someone to talk to and drink with.

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                Zuni Cafe
                1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

                1. re: bbulkow

                  Re LR, I dunno. Often when I travel and I'm trying to get as many tastes in in a short time I will do just that---taste several dishes, finishing none. Or maybe you can get app/half portions. It certainly allows one to scratch an itch and note whether to return another time for the fuller experience.

                  1. re: rubadubgdub

                    It's definitely cheaper to get 3 dishes at Lers Ros than to eat at Zuni.

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                    Zuni Cafe
                    1658 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94102

                    1. re: rubadubgdub

                      I often order a bunch and then take everything home. Those particular two trips it would have been very awkward to take home. As noted, 3 at lers ros is > zuni, but I just can't leave that much food to waste. I certainly did order two entrees each time.

                2. Ace Wasabi's in the Marina District is a terrific spot for solo diners. Very friendly locals hangout and dine at the sake bar nightly.

                  1. An alternate suggestion: check out one of the many places that do $1 oysters for happy hour (there's a whole thread on that topic: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/611664 ) and then go somewhere else for dinner. I'd suggest Barbacco -- the menu is very single-diner friendly, they had a great selection of wines by the glass (or half glass), and since most of the seating is either at the huge counter or communal tables, it's welcoming for single diners.

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                    Barbacco
                    230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                    1. So, I think I've decided. Or, sort of at least. First night in town I plan to go to happy hour--with oysters! As per Ruth Lafler's suggestion. THEN, I have a reservation at Canteen but Barbacco is calling my name. At Canteen, is it really regimented in terms of one app, one main, etc.? I don't want dessert--I want 2 apps!!!!!!! Will this work? Second night, I'm going to Kiss. For some reason, I'm ecstatic about that. Everyone has given the best suggestions--very much appreciated.

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                      Barbacco
                      230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Hillskip1

                        Barbacco's great for solo dining and the food is surprisingly inexpensive.

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                        Barbacco
                        230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          Yeah, that's one reason I think Barbacco is great for solo diners: you can order a lot of different things and still not have it add up to a lot of money.

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                          Barbacco
                          230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111

                        2. re: Hillskip1

                          Barbacco is indeed awesome. Only reason I didnt suggest it right away was I for some reason though you wanted 'ethnic' ... or maybe avoid downtown scene etc.

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                          Barbacco
                          230 California St, San Francisco, CA 94111