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Outer Sunset: What to Eat and Where?

pane Nov 22, 2011 03:21 PM

For the San Francisco board digest, I'm starting to include neighborhood round-ups on occasion--4-5 restaurants to visit or shops with great food in a particular neighborhood.

Next up: Outer Sunset (for the digest posted 12/2).

A quick search shows the following recs:
Devil's Teeth Baking Company
Kingdom of Dumpling

What's new and interesting in Outer Sunset? What do you like but haven't seen much discussion about? What are your favorite recommended dishes in specific places?

Also, if you have suggestions for neighborhoods you'd like to see in future round-ups (and yes, outside of San Francisco is great), I'm happy to add them to the list. Posting non-Outer Sunset suggestions this thread might get messy, so perhaps drop me a line at the email address linked in my profile?


Kingdom of Dumpling
1713 Taraval St, San Francisco, CA

Devil's Teeth Baking Company
3876 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA 94122

  1. Cynsa Apr 16, 2012 03:09 PM

    At Hong's Szechuan at 3044 Taraval Street between 40th ~ 41st Avenues, I order water dumplings, pot stickers, and the green onion pancake. closed Thursdays.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Cynsa
      Melanie Wong Apr 16, 2012 03:39 PM

      It appears that you and I are the only ones who have ever posted about this place. Glad that somebody else has tried the shui jiao (water dumplings) at Hong's Szechuan. They were excellent when I had them 3 years ago.


      1. re: Melanie Wong
        Cynsa Apr 16, 2012 07:19 PM

        The shui jiao are still excellent tasting and look today just as they did in your pix.

    2. Windy Jan 16, 2012 06:21 PM

      A noteworthy cafe I just visited is Brown Owl Coffee on Taraval near 22nd Avenue, same block as French Bakery. Open 1 year. They are also Hearth organic roastery. Delightful place, delicious coffee, 1/4 the attitude of Trouble. They have snacks, but I didn't try them.

      1. Greyhoundgrrl Jan 8, 2012 07:35 PM

        Beachside Coffee Bar & Ktichen is the latest from the Java Beach people. The Irish breakfast sandwich is the best I've had outside of John Campbell's Irish Bakery.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Greyhoundgrrl
          Windy Jan 16, 2012 06:19 PM

          Sounds good. What's in it?

        2. w
          walker Jan 7, 2012 10:28 PM

          Twice in one week I went to Dumpling Kitchen, 1935 Taraval. They are closed on Wed. but other days are open lunch time straight through to close at 9:30 pm.

          Believe me, this place is REALLY great! All the dumplings I've tried are great, especially the wontons in chile oil (# 9) -- # 13 is similar but is boiled rather than steamed like # 9. Also love the pot stickers, soup dumplings (they stay intact), mu shoo, green beans. Generous, fair prices, delicious. Three of us ate plenty, with leftovers for $45 plus tip.

          One of the owners was the dim sum chef at Gold Mountain for 18 years. Staff very friendly.

          I live in the Sunset but if I didn't, I'd cross town for this place and parking is not that difficult.

          1. k
            Keesey Jan 4, 2012 12:47 AM

            Cajun Pacific

            Gene's Liquor, your usual corner liquor store, serves really great subs! Think Submarine Center, but w/o that awesome bread. And this is kind of random, but they guy who makes the subs makes it really, really neatly.

            Polly Ann Ice Cream. Spin the wheel!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Keesey
              FriscoFairy Jan 5, 2012 11:06 AM

              Polly Anns has a rich history in the sunset district and the best bubble gum ice cream in the world. I wonder if they still do free doggie cones?

              1. re: Keesey
                hyperbowler Jan 5, 2012 12:25 PM

                Thanks goodness the durian ice cream isn't on the wheel. The last time I went there, the durian was kept in the back, leaving other flavored safe from its aroma.

                Marco polo has a smaller selection than Pollyann, but they have a fantastic lychee flavor ice cream.

              2. f
                FriscoFairy Jan 3, 2012 11:48 AM

                I think that you should check out El Burrito Express on Taraval and 26th ave, best burrito in town. From the morning cup of coffee at Java Beach (Judah and La Playa) to watch the Sun wake up the beach, or Brothers Pizza on Taraval (between 46th ave and 45th ave) for an afternoon of football the Outer Sunset is a great place to find anything your heart desires.

                3 Replies
                1. re: FriscoFairy
                  sugartoof Jan 4, 2012 05:41 PM

                  I second El Burrito Express. It's a classic that's a real neighborhood secret. There's always steady traffic from devotees,

                  Other Avenues Market really does deserve a mention.

                  1. re: sugartoof
                    Windy Jan 4, 2012 06:10 PM

                    Yes, I mentioned it above.

                    1. re: Windy
                      sugartoof Jan 4, 2012 08:46 PM

                      You always do a good job mentioning the place, my post was just meant to second it.

                2. scottca075 Nov 26, 2011 07:38 AM

                  Besides the Pizza Place on Noriega, I love Shanghai Dumpling King, Thanh Long, Izakaya Sozai, PPQ Dungeness Island, and gawd forgive me Durty Nellys.

                  A couple of these could be Outer Richmond or Inner Sunset, the borders are always fuzzy to me.

                  Shanghai Dumpling King
                  3319 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA 94121

                  The Pizza Place on Noriega
                  3901 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA 94122

                  Thanh Long
                  4101 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: scottca075
                    Windy Nov 26, 2011 08:40 AM

                    The park separates the Richmond from the Sunset.

                  2. m
                    ML8000 Nov 23, 2011 01:58 PM

                    Ming's Diner and Eight Immortals are good. My favorite is Tennessee Grill but frankly an acquired taste, either you get it or you don't. Hard to beat a $5 buck burger with fresh chuck that's char-grilled to order.

                    Tennessee Grill
                    1128 Taraval St, San Francisco, CA 94116

                    Eight Immortals Restaurant
                    1433 Taraval St, San Francisco, CA 94116

                    Ming's Diner
                    2129 Taraval St, San Francisco, CA 94116

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ML8000
                      pane Nov 23, 2011 02:41 PM

                      Thank you! What do you recommend at Ming's Diner or Eight Immortals?

                      Eight Immortals Restaurant
                      1433 Taraval St, San Francisco, CA 94116

                      Ming's Diner
                      2129 Taraval St, San Francisco, CA 94116

                    2. Civil Bear Nov 23, 2011 01:36 PM

                      Not new but very interesting, tasty, and inexpensive is the Old Mandarin Islamic Restaurant. Lots of excellent lamb options.

                      Old Mandarin Islamic Restaurant
                      3132 Vicente St, San Francisco, CA 94116

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: Civil Bear
                        pane Nov 23, 2011 02:40 PM

                        Is there a specific lamb dish you like best?

                        1. re: pane
                          Civil Bear Nov 23, 2011 05:27 PM

                          Mandarin (cumin) lamb, lamb spareribs, lamb dumplings, and lamb hotpot are all great.

                          1. re: Civil Bear
                            grayelf Nov 25, 2011 12:30 AM

                            And don't miss the extremely hot pepper dish. I thought it might be gimmicky but when we had it at a Chowdown a couple trips ago, it was incredibly addictive and the one dish I would make the transit trek from Union Square for on a return visit.

                            1. re: grayelf
                              Windy Nov 25, 2011 11:58 AM

                              Why gimmicky? When I first tried it, with Martin Strell a few years ago after he laughed at the translation, we had to talk the staff into letting us order it. It's one of my favorite dishes there, especially good with the green onion pancakes. But still more of a condiment than an entree.

                              1. re: Windy
                                grayelf Nov 25, 2011 10:29 PM

                                The first place I remember seeing it was on that whacky show that Cosentino and Sanchez did, Chef vs City. I thought it might be gimmicky as they used it in a macho hot dish eating segment. But not only did I not find it overly spicy, I thought it was quite complex and delicious. I could eat just that and a bunch of steamed rice and be quite content.

                                1. re: grayelf
                                  Windy Nov 25, 2011 10:35 PM

                                  Glad I missed that episode. I had trouble imagining the Old Mandarin owners latching onto a trend.

                      2. t
                        tranewreck Nov 22, 2011 10:52 PM

                        Beijing on Irving.


                        Devils Teeth has switched to Sightglass coffee.

                        Outerlands is my go to place. They are now selling loaves of their natural rise (bread pan) bread. Makes great toast.

                        Beijing Restaurant
                        3925 Irving St, San Francisco, CA 94122

                        1. v
                          vulber Nov 22, 2011 07:37 PM

                          agreee with what's been posted so far, but outerlands is an absolute gem

                          1. d
                            DavidT Nov 22, 2011 03:32 PM

                            The Pizza Place on Noriega at 45th is worth a visit.


                            The Pizza Place on Noriega
                            3901 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA 94122

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: DavidT
                              pane Nov 22, 2011 03:49 PM

                              Excellent--thanks so much! What do you order when you go?

                              1. re: pane
                                DavidT Nov 22, 2011 05:14 PM

                                Last time there we ordered a sausage pizza and a vegan pizza, as one of the people we were with is a vegan. The vegan pizza was surprisingly good!

                                1. re: pane
                                  Pandora Nov 22, 2011 07:23 PM

                                  The pizza place also has entrees - spaghetti and meatball nights or pork dinners. I love the italian subs at lunch actually. i think they use amoroso rolls and zoe's meats. Also, we always get a side of cauliflower.

                                  Java Beach is nice to hang out at for a bit too. I think Trouble's coffee is better though. There's a little bocce ball court across the street on La Playa. Not sure where to get the balls - wouldn't be surprised if you could borrow them from Java Beach.

                                  Noriega Market is a good neighborhood produce mart. They're owned by the same family as the larger Haight Street Market.

                                  Java Beach
                                  1396 La Playa St, San Francisco, CA 94122

                                2. re: DavidT
                                  Windy Nov 22, 2011 06:05 PM

                                  I liked it a lot when I had a whole pie and had less good results mid-day with a slice and a side. Skip the meatball hero (meatballs okay though--might be fine with spaghetti). It's more a neighborhood place than a destination.

                                  Other spots:
                                  Other Avenues coop by Judahlicious has great stuff especially prices on bulk coffee beans and a huge raw selection

                                  Old Mandarin Islamic is outer outer--love the lamb dumplings

                                  Shin Toe Bul Yi is as good as ever, assuming you stick to fried chicken, jap chae, and kalbi. They have a boxed lunch service during the week that's a good deal, but no fried chicken unless they're in the mood.

                                  Still haven't made it to Toyose.

                                  Fun but disappointing: Trouble Coffee

                                  Other Avenues Food Store
                                  3930 Judah St, San Francisco, CA

                                  1. re: Windy
                                    Thomas Nash Nov 22, 2011 06:20 PM

                                    Toyose is a gem: atmosphere like a bar in Seoul, great fried chicken, seafood stews, ... Open late.

                                    3814 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA 94122

                                    1. re: Thomas Nash
                                      Windy Nov 22, 2011 06:42 PM

                                      Thanks for the encouragement.

                                      1. re: Thomas Nash
                                        Robert Lauriston Jan 9, 2012 09:08 AM

                                        Toyose's fried chicken wings are first-rate and to clue you in as to what to order their logo is a cartoon chicken. The other stuff I tried was so-so but that's typical of soju bangs that specialize in fried chicken.

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