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Aug 11, 2014 04:10 PM

Need Serious Help - Party of 10 for Tomorrow Night

I'm in town attending a conference and have been tasked with finding a venue for dinner tomorrow night. While I've been asked to keep it around the Moscone Center, I would be willing to push people to go a bit out for a better dining experience. This is an international group so any cuisine would be acceptable. This is a group that would prefer a challenging menu over a safe menu. Price point is also open. We would be happy with a great dive or a great deal. Fancy, but not too fancy would work as well. Thoughts?

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  1. I've taken a group of 8 to Zare at Fly Trap and everyone (including the token vegetarian) was very happy with the food and drink. It's recently changed its name back to the historic Fly Trap, so you'll see both if you search.

    Other reports,

    6 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong

      I've also done 10 at Fly Trap, including discerning japanese guys, and all had a good time & meal.

      1. re: bbulkow

        My concern about Fly Trap would be the noise level. It was deafening when we were there in April, and not much better in the side room. Would be tough to talk to a large group, let alone if some of them were trying to speak in a second language.

        1. re: grayelf

          Was there live music when you were there? That adds to the noise. I've been with and without.

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            I don't think there was a band but to be honest I practically RAN after the server who was seating us as it was so loud. It was a Friday night.

          2. re: grayelf

            The three times I've been there in the last year did not have deafening noise. Once was at the bar, twice was in the side room. It wasn't silent, mind you, but plenty of conversations happened (at elevated talking levels). If you've been there, you know the scene, so you'll make up your own mind.

            Let me give you another shot: Gitane. They seem to often have last minute space, the food's decent. I've always eaten at the bar there, so don't know the noise level of the main room. I think they have patio space, too.

            Two other points: AQ isn't that far away, nor is the old-heaven's-dog space (don't know what's in there now). Prospect should be on your list even though it's not a board favorite. Probably RN74 too, although I dislike taking anyone to someplace as chain-ish in SF.

            A little further away is Chaya, which can often be a "port in a storm" for dinners like this. I had a very interesting "take on a hamburger" off the bar menu a week ago, and it's a gorgeous room. Main menu is a little dull. Good drinks.

            A rarely-mentioned sleeper would be Fringale. I haven't been there in over a decade, and french isn't that challenging. Yank Sing hasn't been mentioned; it's not that far. I've always disliked the service in the evening. You might also consider Straits. The menu is much better than the food, but if it's like the other straits, your honor will be intact.

        2. re: Melanie Wong

          Four of us had a very early dinner the other night, after a (day) Giants game. Right on the longish walk back from the ballpark to BART. We asked to be seated in a quiet area, and they put us in what I'd call the the back room (which I am guessing is what others refer to as the side room: it is behind the bar area and to the back). It was perfect, not at all loud, and very cozy. When we left the restaurant was almost full (other than the back room, which had about half the tables occupied) but we still weren't bothered at all by the noise and could talk in normal conversational voices. (no music, however). I did notice some curtains in front of one of the walls: is it possible they are a recent addition to help with noise?

          As for the food and drink, it was a hit. Great version of a maitai for me, and hubby had a non alcoholic drink with cucumber that was very refreshing, balanced. All of the food was excellent, but standouts for me were the dolmas (not traditional at all, more like a small stuffed pepper, full of flavor) and the bone marrow, which was absolutely delicious. Indeed, we ordered a second order of that bone marrow.

          I used to go there for lunch regularly years ago. It's been a long while since I've been back. I now have a post game go-to place for those rare times I get to the City to see my Giants....and yes, I'd take a group there in a heartbeat (and request a table in the back/side room)

        3. How about R&G for cantonese cuisine on the edge of chinatown? they have banquet menus for 10 people at various price points from $300 to $800.

          1. Open Table is showing Jai Yun could take 10 at 7PM tomorrow.


            ETA: oops, I see that not a working site.

            1. For a business-oriented crowd, Bluestem on Market isn't far from Moscone, nor is Hakkasan...

              Coachman can probably pull together a table big enough but menu might be too limited and focused gastropub-wise.

              Call Nopa on a long shot.

              1. Based on Opentable availability, Ame or Lulu would probably work. I have had large business dinners at both.