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Dinner for group of 8, near AT&T Park on a Saturday [San Francisco]

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Going to Cirque Sat Dec 7th, evening show. Will have a group of 8 adults. None of us live or work in the area so I was hoping Chowhound could help us out.

Constraints/Wishlist:
-Open early, we'll probably eat before the show, around 5pm
-Ideally within a short walk of AT&T Park or between the Park and the Montgomery BART station, Half of us will not have cars (arriving via BART).
-Vegetarian-friendly (by which I mean having more than 1 vegetarian entree on the dinner menu).
-Price range around $40 a person or less, not including liquor. Casual is fine, but we would like to sit down at a table and not sit on a sidewalk eating takeout.
-Ethnic is fine, though see note below about Koh Samui

I searched the archives under at&t, pac bell and cirque and all I could find were some recommendations from 2007 and advice to avoid Momo's and Paragon.

Here's what I could find that might work, is there anything else or do you know if these won't suit my constraints above?

District Bar sounds like it could be really good for us, but I'm concerned about the size of the small plates. Are they enough to make a meal out of or will you blow $100 just to feel full?
http://www.districtsf.com/menu.html

Coco500 has a nice menu but the last reviews were from 2009. Is it still good 6 years later? It also doesn't open on Saturdays until 5:30pm which is cutting things a little close unless the service is good at a quick turn around?
http://coco500.com/menus/dinner/

Alas Garaje is not open on Saturdays.
I personally love the selections on Marlowe's menu, but it is not very vegetarian-friendly.
I'd rather not go to Koh Samui and the Monkey (it was ok when I went 5 years ago, but I've just had a lot of Thai food recently, including delicious meals at Lers Ros Thai and Ran Kanom Thai).

Thanks in advance!

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  1. food and service were both quite good at Coco500 on our last visit about two years ago. could say the same about another place in the vicinity, Zare at the Flytrap, when we ate there one to two years ago. excluding liquor/wine, they'd fit within your budget, but you should check their menus about the vegetarian dishes.

    2 Replies
    1. re: moto

      Thanks for the tip about Coco500! That sounds like a strong possibility for us.

      I really like Zare and had for some dumb map reading impaired reason, completely missed it. So a big thank you for the reminder! Alas, there isn't a very good vegetarian entree selection on the current posted menu so I don't know if it will work for this particular dinner. But after reading the menu, I really do need to go back there sometime soon. Such tasty dishes there.

      1. re: greymalkin

        both places are probably used to accommodating diners with modified dishes. the Persian-influenced menu at Zare would not take much to re-generate vegetarian courses if the dishes are cooked fresh to order anyway. enjoy your evening.

    2. Coco500 is still great in my opinion. Solid.

      However in that area, I would vote Flytrap.

      1 Reply
      1. re: smatbrat

        Seems a pretty clear consensus, thank you for your votes and feedback!

        I'll probably still propose both restaurants so that those with the more restricted diets can see what sounds better to them. But it's so nice that I can actually present a choice. I was fearing there wouldn't be any options much better than the overpriced nachos and popcorn at the Cirque concessions stand.

      2. Third rec for Zare at the Flytrap. I've taken many vegetarians there and no one has ever left disappointed.

        1 Reply
        1. re: CarrieWas218

          Very good to know, thank you!

        2. You could also head south and eat in the Dogpatch or the edge of Potrero. The tents are nearly 1/2 mile south of AT&T.

          Take a look at Piccino Cafe (on 22nd), Skool (15th and the Alameda), and maybe Serpentine. Piccino is a good place for vegetarians.

          I'd choose Zare over Coco. Hated District when we went, but that was years ago.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Windy

            That's a very good point, that parking lot is pretty huge. Thank you for all the additional suggestions! All three menus look really great. Mmm...uni flan...

            1. re: greymalkin

              Skool's uni flan is so good. Might need to make a trip myself ow.

              1. re: Windy

                Go, Windy, go! We had the flan at happy hour on our recent trip and it was as good as before. They were happy to bring more toast as well to get every bit of it. They also had a special deviled egg with crab and roe that was pretty awesome. And of course the shishitos were wonderful, though the SO got one that he said was the hottest thing he's ever eaten, and he likes spice :-).

                1. re: grayelf

                  Yes, it's hard not to succumb to their uni flan. I had delicious house-cured fish last time too. I love deviled eggs…

          2. A huge thank you to everyone who replied. We ended up at Zare at Flytrap and everyone loved it.

            I have to give mad props the kitchen and crew at Zare. We got stuck in horrible traffic and were 45 minutes for our reservation, but they still managed to squeeze us in AND get us in and out the door in 30 minutes so we juuussst made it to Cirque in time. That is some serious expediting, as that included some time for us to actually read the menu and order.

            I had a bunch of starters: a wonderful fall salad with beets, kale, and roasted butternut squash, and the pistachio meatballs, which were as delicious as the first time I had them. Shared the hummus trio with the table and got one person who is very suspicious of beets to actually try the beet-hummus and they liked it!

            Other dishes we ordered (there were several duplicates): the kholrabi soup was perfect on a chilly evening, the short ribs were incredibly tender, and the lamb burger was perfectly cooked (despite the rushed timeframe), just the right size, and very flavorful. Even the side dishes were good- the fries had a saffron aioli with a delightful tangy floral taste, and the bread had this clever pesto-like dip made of feta and herbs.

            I will be going back again and heartily endorsing Zare to everyone else who will listen :)

            (Oh and the Cirque show was fabulous too. It was a really wonderful evening that could have easily gone disastrously wrong.)