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50th Birthday dinner, Uchi, Barley Swine or ?

Coming up again from SA, this time for my wife's 50th next month. Booked a suite at the St. Cecilia this time for a change from our usual Hotel San Jose stay. Went to Uchiko for our birthdays last year (mine is the day before her) and she's been twice since.
Is Uchi different enough from Uchiko that it's worth checking out? Any other suggestions?
Need some place that is open late enough that our daughter can join us after her class gets out at 9.
Not interested in chains, would prefer fairly short drive from SoCo.
No BBQ or Mexican.

Thanks

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  1. I think they're pretty similar and of course in a good way. Certainly Barley Swine would be a great departure, as would Foreign and Domestic

    1. why not Congress? sounds like a big occasion.

      1. There's always Jezebel!

        1. I always stick to Uchiko for birthdays (I prefer it to Uchi) because the service is so special and I prefer the menu, and the desserts are out of this world! Also they always give you a free dessert on your birthday, which is nice. Barley Swine is wonderful also, but with the communal seating it's not quite as romantic and special. In a dream world, I'd do one night at Barley Swine (try to get there when it opens so there's no wait) and then the birthday dinner at Uchiko. Also, have you been to Elizabeth Street Cafe? It's near SoCo and has a great atmosphere. Perfect for breakfast or lunch.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mandmbklyn

            Same here. Uchiko is my celebration venue of choice. Though I haven't been after Paul won Top Chef, it was relatively easy to book a table 2-3 weeks in advance.

          2. Just saw that you're looking for something after 9pm. Barley Swine sometimes has a wait that late, but you can call and check before you arrive.