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Restuarant in SF/Oakland/Berkeley with good lighting & low noise for HOH/deaf diners

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Looking for low to mid-range places that have very good lighting ie, people can clearly see each other and has not a lot of noise ie. good sound baffling/abatement so that people signing can see each other and those that are Hard of hearing can still hear each other and it's for a group of around 10.

A variety of cuisines would be good and causal as well as fine dining suggestions are. I've found many of the fine dining places in SF are too dimly lite for ASL and even the so called professionally designed ones that don't seem to think about noise reduction.

Places I have on the list so far:
AQ
Foreign Cinema for brunch
Umi

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  1. Maykadeh, Helmand Palace, Kyo-Ya. Maybe Patio Español, I haven't been there in a while.

    For a group of ten, the private rooms at Incanto or Slanted Door, maybe A16.

    Bodega Bistro, Mandalay, and Angkor-Borei are quiet but might be too dim.

    Maybe Comal in Berkeley. Back patio at A Cote, at least earlier in the evening during the summer.

    1. I haven't personally been there yet, but Mozzeria in the Mission is apparently deaf-owned and staffed:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/839324

      1 Reply
      1. re: mdougherty

        yes it is and the food is good too. They'll be going there for sure

      2. Hayes Street Grill...aka the nunnery. It's quiet enough, decent lighting, good seafood.

        1. I wouldn't consider AQ "low noise" -- it's not deafening, but it's pretty lively.

          In Oakland, BocaNova.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Ruth Lafler

            we'll probably do the private dining area downstairs at AQ.

            1. re: tjinsf

              Somehow it had escaped my attention that AQ had private dining areas. Good to know, as it's my new favorite restaurant to recommend for almost anything!

          2. Excellent topic. I think Foreign Cinema would be perfect.

            I second Maykadeh. I recently dined there with a relative whose preference is for quiet and well lit, and he was very happy with it. It was pretty difficult figuring out a place and they easily accommodated a group of 9 of us.

            I'd avoid A Cote unless you're assured to have the back patio--- maybe not during the day, but at night the inside is too dark for communicating via writing with the server.

            Wherever you go, ask the manager ahead of time if they arrange a large square table. Being in the corner of a rectangular table can be isolating. Also, ask to be seated away from any areas of the restaurant with lots of visual distractions.