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Restaurant recommendations for an upcoming visit

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Hello, Bay Area Chowhounds!

I'm going to SF for a conference in April and I'm already planning my meals. Three things:

1. Is Zuni Cafe still yummy? When my sister lived there several years ago, Zuni was one of our habitual stops and I have delicious memories. Is it still as lovely as I remember?

2. Any newer recommendations I should try to hit for good meals or cocktails? (Recognizing that this is a huge question...)

3. Specifically, I am thinking about a place where 10 of us could go to celebrate a friend's gallery opening.

Looking forward to your ideas!

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  1. Zuni's hasn't changed much, still one of my favorites. Last time I was there I thought low end of the wine list had improved, lots of good choices in the mid-30s.

    1. 1) Zuni is the same as ever. You can still get the chicken with bread salad for two!

      2) For good meals at reasonable prices my top suggestions would be: SPQR, Aziza, Tataki for sushi, One Market for lunch, Bar Tartine, and NOPA (best burger in town). My favorite for cocktails is Bar Agricole.

      3) Local Mission Eatery has a couple of communal tables that you could book in advance for 10 people - one of the few spots I can think of that has awesome food, is small, and can do that. Highly recommend contacting them to set that up!

      5 Replies
      1. re: KelsEats

        Thanks, KelsEats! Is Aziza in North Beach? If so, I think my sister mentioned them as well.

        1. re: ksherk

          Aziza is way across town at 22nd and Geary. Cal-Moroccan.

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/825703

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Way across town is 4 miles from Zuni.

            1. re: wolfe

              Zuni is in North Beach?

              1. re: Civil Bear

                Is Zuni Cafe still yummy?
                Is Aziza in North Beach?
                Aziza is way across town at 22nd and Geary.
                Way across town is 4 miles from Zuni.
                I know ksherk knows where Zuni is.

      2. Where's the gallery?

        2 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Yes Zuni Cafe is still Yummy!
          Mission Chinese is good (I guess considered new, not sure what criteria is) State Bird Provisions.
          For cocktails: Rickhouse and Smugglers Cove are nice if not new.
          Don't know if your looking for something near the Gallery wherever that may be but I like Kokkari. have been there with 12.

          1. re: mick

            State Bird Provisions does a max of 4 people for reservations and without a res there has always been a long line anytime I've been there but it's is always a good time and excellent for social eating.

        2. Thanks, everyone - this is really helpful, and gives me a lot of interesting options! For those who asked, the gallery is near Union Square, thus making Zuni a perfect hit for a smaller group, or anything in the Ferry Terminal.

          Oh, and I do want to try Smuggler's Cove - someone else mentioned that. Where is it?

          1 Reply
          1. re: ksherk

            website
            http://smugglerscovesf.com/trapdoor/

            address
            650 Gough Street
            (at McAllister
            )San Francisco, CA

          2. Ok, last but not least: can anyone recommend a bar nearish to Union Square where about 10 of us could meet for happy hour?? One friend has recommended Harry Denton's Starlight Lounge -- but it seems very swishy for after work. Other recommendations?

            4 Replies
            1. re: ksherk

              Take a look at Grand Cafe, it's at Geary and Taylor, 2 blocks from Union Square, in the Hotel Monaco.

              http://www.grandcafe-sf.com/

              They have weekday happy hour 3 -7pm with drink specials and a small appetizer selection.

              1. re: ksherk

                Farallon is gorgeous and the happy hour is a good deal. I'm not sure if a group of 10 would be comfortable there. The top of the Grand Hyatt is more casual than the Starlight Room, and still has a great view. The food's not too good. (Though I kinda like the pork sliders.)

                1. re: Glencora

                  Just noting that the bar at the top of the Grand Hyatt is gone. Not a loss food-wise, but the view was nice. There's a new restaurant on the first floor that looks skip-able. Confusing to get to it, too. Either up a "grand staircase" (really quite the opposite of grand, tucked away on the street side) or a special elevator. Badly designed.

                2. re: ksherk

                  Clock Bar in St Francis Hotel. Johnny Foley"s, Jaspers in Serrano hotel, the Clift hotel bar,