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Mar 4, 2013 07:49 PM

Cali trip!

NYC Foodies headed out for a long weekend and looking forward to some excellent eats. 2 vegetarians and 1 pesce-tarian in our group. Budget is flexible.

Need a few recommendations...

1 dinner in San Fran, preferably somewhere close(ish) to SF Jazz

I've been reading about a few; Rich Table, AQ, Bar Tartine, State Bird Provisions...

1 dinner in the Healdsburg area (other dinner will be at Farmhouse)

1 dinner in Mill Valley (fun & casual) I was thinking Mill Valley Beerworks but reviews look pretty iffy since the renovation?

Thanks in advance!

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    1. For the SF dinner: I like Rich Table a lot and it is very near SF Jazz. I like your other three options as well, but Rich Table would be the most convenient.

      7 Replies
      1. re: absc

        Rich Table is great and is indeed convenient to SF Jazz. I haven't been to SF Jazz yet but have heard that it's a terrific facility--enjoy your visit!

        1. re: absc

          Bar Tartine is very vegetarian friendly, both in their lunch and dinner menus. It's a quick cab ride to SF Jazz.

          I've yet to hear of a positive report of AQ from a vegetarian. With two vegetarians, I think you'd be better served going elsewhere.

          Look at State Bird Provisions' menu. Reservations are tricky. It changes frequently, but there are about 6 or so vegetarian dishes, and several pesce-tarian:

          1. re: hyperbowler

            I did SBP last week. Reservations are nearly impossible - although some reservation holders were quizzed - "I got this through a friend in the industry". They are cultivating this "stand in line at 5:30 and get your seating time" thing. Be there at 4:45 and not much later if you want to make the first seating.

            Few SBP dishes "on the cart" were fully veg. Maybe 1/4. Maybe. The veg dishes were somewhat limp and lifeless - more spice would have helped. SBP knows fish well, and other meats decently, seems a little lost without a focal protein. And, with three you can't really sit at the counters, so you'll have to wait for a table. Go elsewhere - it's not _all that_.

            I find SF notoriously bad for vegetarians. The style of menu we've cultivated tends to have one veg entree. I went to Zuni a decade ago with my sister (veg) and we literally walked out - Zuni was setting menu trends around that time, as was Boulevard, which had a very similar one-app, one-entree style.

            I would look at Zare at Flytrap. I really liked the freshness, combinations, amount of flavor, style should translate just fine without meat. Not sure if they really have enough veg entrees, but it's a great SF mid-range kind of place with a nice feel, tends to get mostly locals due to its lack of food-channel-type buzz. I've also found the eastern end of the Med is best for veg, for some reason, between various tangines, slow cooking, highlight of couscous / garbanzos, dates, mint.

            1. re: bbulkow

              Thanks for the SBP feedback. We were contemplating waiting outside for a table but not so sure now...

              1. re: bbulkow

                Yeah, SBP has gotten even more jammed if that's possible. I walked in at 915p last Thurs and was told I could put my name on a list for to eat standing up at 945p. I think this is the first restaurant in BA where I've encountered literal standing room only. Contrast this to my last visit a number of months ago when 1/3 of the DR was open at 8p (even after it had gotten a lot of favorable buzz).

                1. re: rubadubgdub

                  "Eat standing up"? Seriously? Can they do that without violating their maximum occupancy?

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    Seriously. Right next to the door is counter space for ~ 3 people, like what you might find at an espresso bar. No seats. You eat standing up.

          2. We had a super lunch at D'Angelo's in MV but since you're coming from NYC I'd probably not suggest Italian.

            As an aside, does the name The Big Apple turn off locals? I believe Cali started in Southern CA and spread. So when it's used, it's just kinda labels the user. That's all. Both are better, IMO, than Frisco!!!

            ETA: forgot the link.

            1. Regarding Healdsburg, I'm pretty sure I read here recently about a couple of places that sounded very good.

              4 Replies
              1. re: c oliver

                I would definitely head to Mateo's Cocina Latina in HB.

                1. re: rubadubgdub

                  Ooh, yes! That's one of the ones I was thinking of. Haven't been. YET.

                  1. re: rubadubgdub

                    Looks good but not too many vege offerings. Someone suggested Scopa to us, anyone been? Up for other suggestions!

                    1. re: lavendula

                      Scopa is fun, with tasty food, you would not be disappointed.

                2. If you do pick Rich Table, try for reservations ASAP. They are a hard get, especially on short notice.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: grayelf

                    Yes, I will get on the reservations! I just looked online and Rich Table is booked up but I will call them tomorrow when they re-open. State Bird assured me that they have plenty of offerings for vegetarians, but it is fully booked for the next 60 days :( Bar Tartine also is booked.

                    I am open to other suggestions besides the ones previously mentioned for this last minute trip!

                    1. re: lavendula

                      Near SF Jazz another option is Bar Jules. The menu changes daily and is not long, but they have generally had vegetarian and fish options when I've been. Definitely call Rich Table; I've been able to get a seat that way when nothing appeared online.