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One Night in SF—Where Would You Go?

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We are unexpectedly heading to SFO next week and while one night's dinner is taken care of, we have one free night. Budget is about $125 for two people after tax + tip, so not necessarily cheap eats, but not breaking the bank either.

We like all kinds of food, although my SO is the not the biggest fan of Vietnamese and Indian—otherwise good ethnic (especially anything we can't find here in NYC) is appreciated.

It's been almost three years since we were in SF, but last time we enjoyed Flour & Water, Foreign Cinema, Slanted Door, and Rosamunde, among others.

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  1. La Ciccia (Sardinian)
    Mandalay (Burmese)
    Lers Ros (Thai)
    Namu Gaji (Cal-Korean)
    Izakaya Yuzuki

    7 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Izakaya Yuzuki will be tough at a budget of $125 for two people including tax + tip. It's very easy to spend $200+ on dinner for two there. Well worth it, though.

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Unless you mean that Yuzuki is of an unparalleled quality not available elsewhere, NYC has like a gazillion izakaya places.

        I still say Nopa, if you have only one night.

        1. re: dunstable

          Yuzuki's not typical izakaya food. I don't know that NYC has anything like it.

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/824394

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            Well, Yuzuki may be my favorite here in SF but in NYC for things just as good or better you can go to Omen, Blue Ribbon Sushi, Kyoya, Rosanjin, Sugiyama. And that's what I know of even without knowing about whatever the newest wave of additions is out there.

            I'm afraid NYC has us beat in this department.

            1. re: pauliface

              Yes, I live right down the street from Blue Ribbon Sushi so I think we'll skip izakaya in SF.

              Keeping tabs on all of the other suggestions so far—thanks!

              1. re: pauliface

                Are those places using koji and making their own tofu and miso from scratch?

                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  You know, I kind of regret my previous posting. I'm just missing some of my NYC favorites at the moment.

                  Go to Yuzuki, especially if you are partial to Japanese food.

                  I'd certainly I'd pick it before anything else yet mentioned on this thread.

                  loratiff, since you know Blue Ribbon, I can perhaps put Yuzuki in context for you. If you were to go to Blue Ribbon and ignore the sushi/sashimi on the menu, and instead put together a dinner from all the other parts of the menu, it would begin to resemble a yuzuki dinner.

                  But the cooking at Yuzuki is more refined, (yet highly soulful in a japanese way). More like omen at its peak than Blue Ribbon. Have you had the set course at omen? It tends to begin with a little trio of appetizers? This resembles what would be the first item on Yuzuki's menu, which is always a little trio of dishes.

                  P.S. Sugiyama has had housemade sesame tofu as part of their dinner in the past. Don't know about the Koji. I can say that Omen has the best assorted pickle (tsukemono) plate. Better even than Yuzuki's koji pickles, although I have been to Omen since the rise of Yuzuki; I will be at omen soon and I can report back on that claim.

        2. Forgot to mention that State Bird Provisions would have been my first choice, but it says they are closed until early October. Anyone know when they'll be reopening?

          Also, Rich Table but no reservations available. (I know that's a stretch with the amount I gave, but that's not hard and fast for the right place.)

          1 Reply
          1. re: loratliff

            How about AQ or Bar Jules?

          2. Aziza

            1 Reply
            1. re: karenfinan

              Hard to do Aziza for $125 for two people any more...

              The tasting menu for one is now $95.

            2. Burma Superstar
              Marlowe
              Incanto

              1. Delfina, Bar Tartine are closer to $150 with a reasonably careful wine choice, but worth the slight over budget.

                1. Local's Corner is a good option at that price point.

                  http://www.localscornersf.com/

                  1. burma superstar

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: kellyransford

                      If Indian and Vitnamese are out, then don't see why Burmese would be in.

                      1. re: Civil Bear

                        For Burmese, I'd go to Mandalay over Burma Superstar. They're at least as good and they take reservations.

                    2. Classic recommendations here might be:
                      GItane
                      Maven
                      Range
                      Barbacco
                      State Bird
                      St Vincent
                      SPQR

                      1. Just wanted to update... We only had two nights in San Francisco, but on the first night we were so exhausted that we ended up just eating downstairs at the hotel—Trace at the W. Pricey, like any hotel restaurant, but it was a satisfying meal and was better than we expected. I am disappointed that I didn't get to take advantage of the great and much appreciated recommendations here, but all the more reason to return soon.

                        Last night was the one dinner that was for sure planned—we went to Tosca, as we're friends of the house at the Bloomfield restaurants in NYC. It was great and I think they'll be tremendously successful.