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Sep 12, 2012 05:50 AM

Casual Dinner for 14 on Friday

Hi All -

I'm coming to town and need to host a casual (e.g., not expensive, not formal) dinner for 14 this Friday. Ideally around Embarcadero, but that's not as important as wanting the food to be good. One friend recommended Brandy Ho's. Any other suggestions?


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  1. Pier 23 is on the Embarcadero, and I've always had consistently good lunches there, so I assume dinner would be fine too. Water views and not expensive, although I might avoid it on game days bc they have a TV screen over the outside bar.

    1. How much is "not expensive", and how casual is "not formal", and do you want a private room and to hear each other, or do you want to be in a large area?

      Looking through what's available for 14 on OpenTable right now, I like Jai Yun, Lulu, Rose Pistola (reviews about a year ago after a revamp were good, don't go by older reviews), Fringale. These are all on the FiDi side of town but not the embarcadero. To be on the embarcadero, you'll have to call a lot of places, and frankly, any place that has a reservation for 14 is probably what you should snag. (Many restaurants won't release big tables to OpenTable because of the huge cut they take - Chaya, for example, would be a great recommendation but doesn't give tables that big to OT)

      Pier 23 is likely a little too casual - it's a beer and burger biker place, but maybe that's what you're after. You didn't say. Brandy Ho's - really? Don't trust that person.

      3 Replies
      1. re: bbulkow

        If Rose Pistola is showing a table for 14, I'd grab it. I've done large groups there and like BBulkow says, their revamp has been impressive. Not quite Embarcadero, but close enough for decent food!

        1. re: bbulkow

          We have business lunches at Pier 23. Maybe it radically changes at night into a biker bar but in my experience it's workers from nearby Levi Plaza who head there. Casual but not a dive.

          1. re: bbulkow

            Waterbar might work depending on your price range.

            Has anyone been to Sens lately?

            The main reason most restaurants don't like to book parties larger than four through OpenTable is that the software's not smart enough to know if and when to do it (or it's too hard to configure to be that smart).

            Opentable's charge is 25 cents a head if made through a portal on the restaurant's site and $1 if directly through

          2. DH & Friend have commented they like Osha Thai at 4 Embarcadero Center. Not a destination place but if in the area...


            1 Reply
            1. re: ceekskat

              That Osha Thai's not bad. Very friendly staff and somewhat elegant while still totally casual.