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Cali trip!

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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: http://statebirdsf.com/provisions/

        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. http://www.piazzadangelo.com/

          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.

                2. Be sure to go to the upper right-hand corner of this page and do searches for Healdsburg and Mill Valley. You should be able to access to good number of past threads with many helpful recommendations for you to review.

                  1. You might check out Bungalow 44 in MV - casual and well-priced:
                    http://www.bungalow44.com/menu/

                    1. Adding on, I also need 1 lunch suggestion in SF...thinking of Local's corner?

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: lavendula

                        I like Local's Corner, but the menu is rather small so I'd take a look ahead of time, especially for the vegetarians.
                        You might also take a look at the Zuni lunch menu. I think that Zuni at lunch, with wine and oysters, is a great SF experience. Plus, I took my vegetarian brother there a few years back and he was very pleased.
                        Depending upon day of the week, I'd also consider Bar Tartine.

                        1. re: absc

                          Thanks, I've been looking around and many places seem to be doing brunch on Saturday instead of lunch, including Bar Tartine & Local's Corner. If there are any places you can suggest that do a straight lunch or serve both, that would be great.

                          How is Nopalito?

                          1. re: lavendula

                            Saturday lunch, probably a good time to get into Cotogna.

                            1. re: lavendula

                              Nopalito is great, though I eat at Nopa more often. Their burger makes a great Saturday lunch. But the menu, is more brunch than lunch.
                              I'd second Robert's Cotogna suggestion if you are looking for more lunch than brunch.

                        2. Healdsburg Scopa is probably my favorite. Had a great lunch at Barn Diva last summer, Dry Creek Kitchen is a little more upscale but is consistently very good.

                          1. Here's where we ended up:

                            Dinner at Kokarri
                            Brunch at Larkspur Inn
                            Nicks Cove for oysters, fries, and beer
                            Dinner at Farmhouse Inn
                            Breakfast at Farmhouse Inn
                            Sandwiches & sides at Dry Creek General Store
                            Dinner at Scopa
                            Lunch at SolBar in Calistoga

                            The highlights:

                            Nicks was a favorite with a beautiful location on the water. Meals at the Farmhouse were all very special...in retrospect we would have rather ate there twice than trying Scopa (which was fine but didn't blow us away).

                            The Dry Creek General Store had delicious sandwiches and was a cool spot to check out - if you are in the area I'd highly suggest a stop there. SolBar was also really nice. We were there in between meals so ordered a bunch of salads and small plates which we enjoyed on the outside patio soaking in the views.