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Inexpensive near Union Square with difficult people

Oh help. I know someone here knows "just the spot." Several relatives are visiting soon and I have to find a place for a Sunday dinner for either 5 or 7 people. They are staying near Sutter @ Taylor. Taxi or car really not an option. Walking up or down too much of a hill gradient is going to be an issue.

For an idea of the further problems, i.e., I mentioned to mom La Scene, where I recently had a lovely 3 course for $36. This will be too expensive for some (and it seemed like by at least $10). While she'd be happy at Tu Lan (albeit closed Sunday), or a similar place, some of the others either (1) won't eat in that sort of establishment because it isn't super clean looking, or (2) won't vary off the "if it is Asian, it has to be Chinese "beef and broccoli" type. So, must of the "loin's tastiness is pretty much OUT. Mexican or similar would probably work.

I am really beside myself - I don't want to eat at the Cheesecake factory, although 2 of the people would be in hog heaven there. Between the distance, food type, and price restrictions, I am hoping, just hoping that someone here knows of a tasty gem that I just can't think of right now. When mom said "so and so doesn't eat fish," I reassured her that at our price point, this wasn't going to be a problem.

Maybe even the other way down Sutter, toward Van Ness? (It is pretty flat that way, no?) Thanks for your help.

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  1. Scala's or Kuleto's? Not really inexpensive, but not too expensive either, menus on the safe side. Hope some locals can give you advice as well.

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    1. re: curiousgeo

      If $36 for 3 courses is too much, you can see what I'm dealing with. Unfortunately, your recommendations are out, by a long shot.

    2. How about Lefty O'Doul's, hof-brau so they can pick whatever they want -- kinda raucous as I recall , maybe they'll get into the piano bar scene -- and it's right there on Geary.

      1. Oh, I feel your pain! How about the White HorseTavern?

        1. Try Sears Fine Food, the touristy breakfast pancake place that is now open for dinner (for a while). I have no idea what the dinner is like but it's in the right price range...pretty much diner fare but it's a nice enough place. Sorry, no tasty gems in that price range near USq.

          1. Pearl's Deluxe Burgers on Post is open till 9. Too informal to fit the bill? The only Mexican I can think of around there is Colibri, but it's likely too expensive for the crowd.

            I think Yemeni's Restaurant at Sutter and Larkin is excellent, hospitable, and not divey...but suspect your group will never go for it.

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