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Nov 6, 2012 06:30 PM

Please Help L.A. Hound with Ideas for Sat>Sun 12/29-30 SoMa & Civic Ideas

Flying in early Sat 12/29 to meet a dear friend after a long absence. Going to a concert at the Bill Graham Civic Aud that evening -- need to be there 6:30 or 7. Staying at the W Hotel, 3rd south of Market after. Leaving 9 plane from SFO on Sunday.

So here are the questions:

Sunday dinner -- Need to be at SFO 8 at the latest. So need to start by 6, maybe 5:30. Will be dressed khakis and tennis shoes. I like ethnic and simple food, to be honest I'm a bit picky. But in L.A. I love Gjelina and Chinois.

Zuni Cafe -- really liked it in the past. Thinking of going their for a bite before the concert, but would hit their afternoon menu. Save for Sunday night for an early dinner?

Mission Chinese? Heard a lot about it. Do they take reservations or get in line? Can I rely on the menu posted online?

Top of the Mark -- I've never been there. Heard the views are spectacular. Would we be comfortable there in casual clothes and shoes? Where is there parking without spending $30+ just to park?

Tartine Bakery -- I've heard great things. Thinking either after I get picked up from SFO or for a Sunday noonish brunch. I love croissants in all forms. Other don't-miss items? I only see sandwiches and baked goods on the online menu -- do they do eggs? I don't drink coffee but she does -- good there? I'm assuming it is a line-up place -- reservations for two? Wait 11-12 on Sat or 1-2 on Sun?

I'm open and eager for other ideas for great places to eat and cool places to hang. Besides Zuni I've enjoyed the Cafe at Chez Panisse, Postrio, and the oldest seafood restaurant in the FiDi with the sand dabs and the petrale sole.

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  1. Brain freeze -- Tadich Grill, of course, the last one...

    1. What mode of transportation are you using to get to the airport on Sunday?

      Afternoon menu at Zuni you can get the burger, which is one of my favorite things there and not available at dinner.

      1. Wrote a long reply only to lose it!

        Nosh - you're an invaluable source on the L.A. board, appreciate your help there. Hope other local, more informed hounds will chime in as I live in the 'burbs.

        Saturday - how about going straight to the Ferry Bldg? Variety of eats to be had.

        Zuni - Have read that oysters is the thing to do in the afternoon (dunno, I'm allergic)

        Top of the Mark - yes, views are spectacular if there's no fog.

        Mission Chinese - hit and miss and you must appreciate contemporary style. No reservations. Lines start as soon as they open (at least it did when we did take out last April).

        Tartine - small space & will be crowded mid-day on weekends.

        Sunday dinner - May be Rich Table? New place, friend said it was great; haven't been. I'd go to Cotogna (though Sunday menu is set) but not sure about public transportation.

        Enjoy your stay!

        3 Replies
        1. re: ceekskat

          Friend will have a vehicle, and pick me up and drop me off at SFO.

          ceekskat -- thanks for the nice words and the long reply.

          Ferry Bldg -- I've been there, might be fun to knock around, but I don't recall anywhere quiet where a twosome can catch up. What time does the farmers' market run on Saturdays?

          Top of the Mark -- Specific question is whether we'd feel comfortable or out of place on a Saturday afternoon in casual clothes -- athletic shoes, khakis -- and how much parking is going to kill us.

          Will check out Rich Table and Cotogna.

          C'mon SF -- I've (almost) gotten over my grief for your Giants coming back from 3-1 down to eliminate my Cardinals and I applaud your Series sweep. Need ideas and help here.

          1. re: nosh

            Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant has an in store wine bar and they allow you to bring in snacks that you purchase at the market vendors. Not exactly the quietest spot, but you can sit and chat for a while over a glass of wine.

            Have only been to the Top of the Mark in the evening, so I don't have personal experience with the dress that is expected for daytime. In general, SF is very casual and as long as you are dressed neatly, khakis and walking shoes should not be a problem.

            The hotel web site lists parking at $51, but I guess that is for overnight guests. There is a garage at the Masonic Auditorium about a block away, that lists $8/hour, so a bit more reasonable. They should have availability during the day, they fill up in the evening when there is an event.

            1. re: nosh

              If you have a ride, La Ciccia is a great place for an early dinner on the way to SFO.

          2. For the love of God...please skip the tourist trap that is Tartine Bakery. Do yourself a favor and head to Knead Patisserie in the Mission.

            Pastries on par with what you'll find in the best patisseries in Paris.


            But....the god. Better than anything you'll have anywhere else, for as long as you live. Life changing.

            1 Reply
            1. re: yanks26dmb

              Knead's great but strictly a pastry shop, while Tartine is also a cafe. Tartine's not a tourist trap, those are mostly local regulars in the annoyingly long line. Whether their pastries are as good as Knead's is debatable, but Tartine makes the best bread in the world.