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Valentines dinner...you guessed it, for 2, last minute

Touching down Thursday night for my first trip to San Fran. Looking for dinner in the Union Square area, for 2, ideally in the $40 pp range, no red meat- mostly fish eaters.
Recommendations please?

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  1. Sam's Grill. Private booth. Takes reservations.
    http://insidescoopsf.sfgate.com/paolo...
    http://www.belden-place.com/samsgrill/

    1 Reply
    1. re: wolfe

      Wow. I thought that was an unanswerable question, but wolfe came up with a great answer.

    2. Ai. I can give you some recs based on what's on opentable right now, but the situation is going to change every few hours. Right now there is:

      Seven Hills @ 9:15
      Baker & Banker @ 9:45
      A16 @ 9:30
      Citizens Band @ 10 pm
      Central Kitchen @ 10 pm

      These suggestions are not necessarily romantic. Book other dinner reservations soon (and not just for Valentines day but for any other days) - SF denziens are very reservation happy and it can be hard to get tables. Would hate for you to come away with a bad impression of the SF restaurant scene due to what's available the day of on Valentines day....

      These are around your budget - though they'll go over with wine.

      2 Replies
      1. re: goldangl95

        The other problem is that a lot of places do special prix fixe menus for Valentine's Day. I liked the Sam's idea because it seems like the kind of place that wouldn't do that.

        1. re: goldangl95

          Citizen's Band is great, but not exactly a romantic setting, unless you obsess about old CB radios.

        2. B44, great Catalan seafood, tables open all night.

          Sam's closes at 9. Great old-school SF atmosphere, sometimes a little too old-fashioned in the cooking though the Rex sole a la Sam was great last time I was there.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            This was awesome! Thanks so much guys- so helpful- I am goi ng to check out those menus; seven hills, baker & baker, and a16-
            any other must go to spot? Also I'm a big sushi lover- so at some point would be fun to go to a great sushi spot
            Also I'll be with my boyfriend so any recommendations for great spots would be tremendously helpful. Thanks!!

            1. re: deenerweiner

              The secret sushi bar at Carl & Cole. Try and find it!

              1. re: deenerweiner

                Ryoko on Taylor is a fine sushi basement den with fish flown in from Japan.

            2. If I were visiting, this is what I'd want someone to tell me to do:
              Celebrate VD on Friday @ Plum in Oakland (amazing! sit at the counter so you can watch the chefs play chem-lab). Go early, then catch the "Casablanca" screening at the fabulous Paramount (Probably the best art deco theater in the universe, restored to its former glory. They serve cocktails but no popcorn.) Or vice versa (Plum is open 5-11)
              http://www.paramounttheatre.com/film....
              http://www.plumoakland.com/

              Both are within a couple blocks of the 19th Street BART station, so no need to stress out in Bay Bridge traffic. 15-20 min ride from Powell St. BART Station.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mr_morcilla

                No joke- this chowhound community is amazing. keep em coming! I love the Friday night idea- looks like that's going to be the plan. Thursday night I'm happy with a post flight stroll and slice of pizza.
                Thanks and again, keep em coming!

                1. re: deenerweiner

                  There is no point in continuing. Casablanca + Plum using Bart is perfect. If you can't do Plum, try Pican or Flora. Consider Punchdown before or after if you like wine.

              2. Where did you wind up?

                5 Replies
                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Thanks for asking-
                  First night our flight was delayed so we were too tired to really get out- went to Blustem in union square area- seems like an after work place but was actually really delicious
                  Thanks to Chowhound for Central Kitchen- next door, Trick Dog- best drinks- went there before dinner and ordered apps there which were amazing-
                  but the biggest stand outs were Nick's Crispy Tacos and Pacific Catch- honestly top 5 meals ever. Pacific Catch could get me to move across the country

                  1. re: deenerweiner

                    Wow, you did really well for yourself on a first visit to our fair city!

                    Trick Dog burst onto the scene and is crazy popular, but not much has been said about it here yet. What impressed you about the apps?
                    http://www.trickdogbar.com/

                    Which Pacific Catch location did you try and what did you order?
                    http://pacificcatch.com/

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      It was so good it's fun to share this info!
                      They had a garbanzo bean dip that tasted like split pea soup- I expected basic hummus but this was way better and the bread was really great too- I also had the french fries with their remoulade dip that was awesome- the drinks are outstanding!
                      Pacific Catch I could go to everyday and order something new everyday- but in just one meal, it was limited to the edamame (good, nothing special- its edamame), Hawaiian tuna poke- sooo good the kind of good marinated sashimi that you expect to be in a tiny one bite dish- but it was huge- really generous and impressive! the sweet potato fries were average sweet potato fries but the dipping sauces were really cool. The mains were so amazing I'm not even sure if this was a dream- literally too good to be true. We had the hawaiian teriyaki rice bowl with mahi mahi and brown rice- SO good- and then we also had BBQ salmon sandwich that makes you go "holy.sh*t" it was perfection! and even the little side sesame slaw was so delicious. because we already had the fries we ordered I ordered a side salad I figured would go untouched and that too was so good!
                      I would do really questionable things to have that meal again!
                      If you haven't been- go- order the whole menu- you will not be disappointed
                      oh, also good beer selection

                      1. re: deenerweiner

                        Thanks, was it hard to get into Trick Dog?

                        1. re: Melanie Wong

                          not really, we had to wait outside a few minutes but it wasn't bad- and well worth it