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More restaurant suggestions needed: Oakland and Castro area

ranh Jul 10, 2013 09:33 AM

Thanks to all who recently posted suggestions for my San Francisco trip. My husband and I actually made it here despite plane crashes, miss-behaving kids in summer programs, hurricanes at home and sick eldery parents. As you can see I need to make the most of this vacation. Dinner last night at AQ was wonderful. We had the tasting menu and they kindly substituted any meat options with fish.
Also meet up with my interning son at Facebook and enjoyed a lovely lunch in their cafeteria!
Specifically I now have a few more requests. Today we head to the ball game. It should end in time for dinner and we were looking for some place casual to eat. Our hotel is in the Union Square area so any place between the stadium and our hotel would be great. As we do not eat meat or poultry I was thinking maybe pizza?
Thursday we are going on a walking tour of the Castro area. Need a lunch suggestion for after.
Friday we are headed to Hodo Soy in Oakland for a tour. We will be taking public transportation from our hotel and would like a lunch suggestion somewhere in the Oakland area that we can get to via mass transit. Thanks again for all those who responded previously.

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  1. d
    dunstable RE: ranh Jul 10, 2013 09:47 AM

    If you're going to be doing a walking tour of the Castro, you may as well walk right on over to the Mission for food. It's not a long walk, literally four or five blocks, and as a bonus you get to walk past Duboce Park. Nice views and such.

    1. Ruth Lafler RE: ranh Jul 10, 2013 09:47 AM

      How are you getting to/from Hodo?.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ruth Lafler
        ranh RE: Ruth Lafler Jul 10, 2013 09:59 AM

        Not sure yet was going to ask the hotel concierge. We are at the Marriott on sutter in Union Square.

      2. Robert Lauriston RE: ranh Jul 10, 2013 10:00 AM

        Zero Zero's between <this space for lease> Park and their pizza is a good example of the contemporary local style (similar to Flour & Water, Delfina, many others). Their other food's good, too.

        Hodo Soy is a few blocks from the wonderful Fusebox. The immediate neighborhood's industrial but there's hardcore slum nearby, you should ask both those businesses for advice on which streets to take from the BART station.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston
          Ruth Lafler RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 10, 2013 11:23 AM

          Yes, unless ranh is completely comfortable in "hardcore slum" I'd suggest taking BART to MacArthur and taking a cab to Hodo Soy -- the peace of mind will be well worth the modest cab fare. Then, when you head back to MacArthur you can go a few extra blocks and hit either Pyung Chang Soft Tofu House (if you're not tofu-ed out) or Cafe Eritrea d'Afrique or one of the other Ethiopian restaurants on Telegraph, which are great for non-meat eaters, or Aunt Mary's Cafe.

          1. re: Ruth Lafler
            BAnders RE: Ruth Lafler Jul 10, 2013 11:37 AM

            +1 on Ruth's suggestion. There are a number of good options for non-meat eaters in Temescal as she suggests; I'll add the Mixing Bowl and Burma Superstar to the list of options. And a stop at Temescal Alley to visit Doughnut Dolly for dessert.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler
              Robert Lauriston RE: Ruth Lafler Jul 10, 2013 11:37 AM

              To me it would be nuts to be three blocks from Fusebox at lunchtime and not eat there. The food's a couple of orders of magnitude better than any other pescatarian-friendly place I can think of that's open for lunch in the MacArthur / Temescal area.


              1. re: Robert Lauriston
                Ruth Lafler RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 10, 2013 12:01 PM

                It looks intriguing, I'm just not personally familiar with it.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                  hyperbowler RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 10, 2013 01:06 PM

                  FuseBox is a gem and its location keeps it off the radar of tourists (and many locals). But since you're right there, you should check it out. It's small plates, so you can easily grab one or two small items and then head to Temescal for a meal.

                  Unless you're, as Ruth put it "tofu-ed out," you need to get FuseBox's "IN-House TOFU: Deep Fried w/Tare no Moto Dashi." If there's a better tofu dish in the Bay Area, I'm all ears.

                  1. re: hyperbowler
                    Robert Lauriston RE: hyperbowler Jul 10, 2013 01:18 PM

                    Ippuku has a couple of tofu dishes on the same level.

            2. c
              chocolatetartguy RE: ranh Jul 10, 2013 12:07 PM

              Earlier this year I spent a fortnight in the Castro and my two favorite places to eat were Tartine Bakery for sandwiches and deserts and Kasa for spicy, "Americanized" Indian food.

              2 Replies
              1. re: chocolatetartguy
                Windy RE: chocolatetartguy Jul 11, 2013 11:13 PM

                Tartine is in the Mission though.

                1. re: Windy
                  chocolatetartguy RE: Windy Jul 12, 2013 12:07 PM

                  But easily walkable from the Castro Theater. I was just getting over a horrible respiratory virus and I walked there twice and was glad I did.

              2. m
                merylnet RE: ranh Jul 10, 2013 01:28 PM

                For your Thursday lunch: Starbelly (www.starbellysf.com) is in the Castro (on 16th near Market) and they serve a nice lunch. The pizzas are good (many of them have a pork product on them but you can usually get it without) as well as some interesting meatless dishes.
                For Friday in Oakland: I second Fusebox, it's quite good. Further afield but near the Rockridge BART station there are lots of places that serve a good lunch.

                1. r
                  ranh RE: ranh Jul 11, 2013 04:00 PM

                  Thanks for all the great suggestions, especially Ruth Lafler who potentially saved us from a bad situation.
                  We went to the baseball game yesterday (ex NYC mets fans) after the game we decided to just walk and ended up at the Ferry building we walked around for a while and then decided we were hungry. On a whim we sat at the bar in the Slanted Door.
                  Today after the Castro walking tour we walked to Tartine, it was great.
                  Tonight we are headed to the California Academy of Sciences for nightlife. Any suggestions on good chinese food either near our hotel in Union Square or near the museum? Thanks

                  1. r
                    ranh RE: ranh Jul 13, 2013 06:14 PM

                    Not sure if this is where I follow-up and send thanks to you all. We went to Hodo Soy on Friday and it was great. As suggested we took the BART to MacArthur, then hopped into a cab. I highly reccommend the visit to all who have any interest in tofu.
                    We walked over to fusebox for lunch (the staff at Hodo Soy walk there frequently). The walk was fine and the food very different and really great. We used flywheel to call a cab (after our ball came on Wednesday they were giving out $10 gift cards for flywheel) and easily made it back to the train station. That night we decided to walk and made our way over to Flour + Water. We arrived around 6:30 PM prepared to wait (we had no reservations) we were seated within 5 minutes at the communal table. We had a great meal there as well. We walked from there to Birite for ice cream. This morning we waked to the Ferry building for the farmers market and bought lots of fruit and some salmon jerky (that we will be bringing home).
                    We are now in Mountain View visiting our son and planning to eat dinner at Michelle's Pancake House in Cupertino. From here tomorrow we head to Monterey and will be driving as far as Santa Barbara over the next few days. Any dining suggestions would be welcomed. Thanks again to all those who previously responded.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ranh
                      Ruth Lafler RE: ranh Jul 13, 2013 06:49 PM

                      Thanks for reporting back. I'll have to check out the Hodo Soy tour soon.

                      Monterey to Santa Barbara is covered on the California board.

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