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Jul 6, 2012 10:20 AM

trip update and two quick questions-

Thanks to you and all of your help, this is what we are thinking so far!

Wednesday: Lunch at Hog Island Oysters
Dinner- Azziza

Thursday: Lunch at the Ferry Building (* can we eat there on a weekday or is it just a market?) OR DIM SUM
Dinner- ???

I had my heart set on State Bird Provisions, but there are no reservations to be had either night.
Is there anything similar?
Would Park Tavern do the trick?

We are looking for a unique dining experience- if you've ever been to TRAIF in Brooklyn NY, it's our favorite spot (as a reference).

La Ciccia looks good but not super innovative... am I wrong? I definitely could be!

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  1. Depending on the size of your party, I think State Bird could easily handle 2 as a walk in. We went a few weeks ago on Thurs at 8p and about one-third of the tables were available and almost the entire counter. My friend had booked a few weeks in advance and had trouble securing a good time, so we were surprised to see so much walk-in availability.

    For something unique, I might recommend Wexler's. The unifying theme to the menu is smoke, and they do a great job with it.

    The FB is a fine choice for lunch on Thurs. In front, there will be a farmer's market and popup vendors with cooked foods. And then there are the actual brick and mortar restaurants and other food shops inside.

    1. Thursday Ferry Plaza better for lunch than for market. Saturday is the super market. Good pork belly and crab at Hakka, way out in the Avenues but you do get to see the west ocean.
      Oysters at the Ferry Building are traif everywhere but Cinncinnati circa 1883.

      1 Reply
      1. re: wolfe

        "Oysters at the Ferry Building are traif everywhere but Cinncinnati circa 1883.

        That's a great story.

      2. La Ciccia is only innovative in the sense that there are not any other Sardinian places around (it is one of my favorite spots, however).

        1. Thursday there are a bunch of food carts at Ferry Plaza. Dim sum you can do any day.

          AQ, Bar Tartine, or St. Vincent for a taste of the current state of the culinary arts in SF.

          La Cicca's more about Sardinian tradition than innovation, but what's wrong with that? The food is great and the owners treat you like family.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Thank you all so much. We will do Ferry Building on Thursday- it seems as if the Ferry Building and Hog Island are close... right?

            Sorry, we just moved to LA from NY, so we are learning the entire west coast right now!

            So if you had one dinner, would you try for a table at State Bird or would you try one of the other great sounding ones mentioned here?

            1. re: Peasweet9

              Hog Island is IN the Ferry Bldg. State Bird is a small plates format so if you like to graze on a bunch of different things then it should be a good choice for you. The pancakes and quail were by far the best dishes we tried there. The other places follow a more traditional dinner format with beginning and end. Whenever someone says they're dying to try something, I say just go do it.

              1. re: Peasweet9

                You can also keep checking on reservations for State Bird Provisions. Since they get booked up so far in advance, it's not uncommon for reservations to open up as you get closer to a particular date (as people who booked a reservation weeks ago decide they have to cancel).

                1. re: Peasweet9

                  State Bird added a counter and they often have cancellations, on thursday you still might have to wait 20 minutes as we did last week. It's more casual than AQ but both are pretty darn creative. AQ is at a slightly higher price point and has a traditional service where as State Bird has a cart service like dim sum.

                  I personally would cancel Aziza and go to AQ one night and State Bird the next. AQ's summer menu is has been the best since their opening menu in my opinion.

              2. Even if it's a two hour wait, State Bird is a unique enough dining experience. Plus, as we did in prep for an actual reservation, there's good beer and wine to be had beforehand at Fat Angel or beer at Pizza Inferno.

                Park Tavern has great food, and it's a good slice of where SF is at food wise, but there's nothing particularly unique about the restaurant experience.

                If you're into modernist cuisine, from the posts I've read, Altier Crenn seems to be the title holder for most unique experience. Not cheap though ...