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Brewing beer, curing meat, or making cheese?

Looking for an exhibition kitchen alternative to Boulevard.

mrmagee Mar 12, 2012 12:09 PM

HI all,

I am in town for a couple of nights by myself and looking for a restaurant to dine alone in. I often go to Boulevard as I really enjoy sitting at the bar by exhibition kitchen and watching the chefs do their work, but I would prefer try somewhere different, maybe not as stuffy. Would appreciate any suggestions.

  1. moto Mar 12, 2012 06:18 PM

    we enjoy sitting at the cook's counter at SPQR. they have excellent food, very good service, with a diverse, lively clientele.

    1 Reply
    1. re: moto
      Dustin_E Mar 13, 2012 11:19 AM

      +1 for spqr

    2. v
      vulber Mar 12, 2012 05:38 PM

      actually, definitely a16.

      (i also feel this topic has been brought up before....)

      1. m
        mrmagee Mar 12, 2012 05:24 PM

        thanks for the suggestions so far. What sort of crowd is Old Joe's?

        I am actually not staying in the city and have a rental car, so any part of the city is ok.

        3 Replies
        1. re: mrmagee
          DavidT Mar 12, 2012 07:51 PM

          Original Joe's attracts a mixed crowd. If you have a car and are staying on the peninsula south of SF, you could also check out the counter seating at Joe's of Westlake, on John Daly Blvd. in Daly City. The grill & saute cooks there put on quite a show. Very old-school.


          1. re: mrmagee
            bbulkow Mar 13, 2012 02:04 AM

            If you have a car and like to watch the action, Plum is the only answer. The food is exceptional, the preps are complicated, and there's some amount of actual interaction with the chefs, if it's on the slow side. You'll see every ingredient, every prep, every tweeze from anywhere on the bar. Don't be afraid of the Oakland aspect; it's closer than some parts of SF - and a heck of a lot easier to park.


            (PS. Daniel P isn't seen in the kitchen much any more)

            1. re: bbulkow
              Robert Lauriston Mar 13, 2012 08:32 AM

              No need for a car to go to Plum, it's three blocks from BART.

          2. v
            vulber Mar 12, 2012 01:34 PM

            one market is right near by, but definitelya bit stuffy

            1. d
              DavidT Mar 12, 2012 12:37 PM

              Canteen on Sutter Street. Very small place. Reservation needed.

              I presume the new Original Joe's on Washington Square has counter seating as well. Definitely not as stuffy as Boulevard!

              1 Reply
              1. re: DavidT
                Robert Lauriston Mar 12, 2012 01:14 PM

                The counter at Canteen doesn't have a great view of the stove. This picture gives a good idea:


                The new Original Joe's does:


              2. n
                nocharge Mar 12, 2012 12:35 PM

                In that general part of town, Wayfare Tavern and Lafitte have counter seating with good views of the action.

                1. Robert Lauriston Mar 12, 2012 12:31 PM

                  AQ. Or jump on BART and go to Plum.


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