San Francisco and the Bay Area
Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:22 PM
The places you want to be near are near where you'll be. Easy to get to the Mission, Chinatown, Nob Hill, Ferry Plaza and the street cars. And if you do decide that you want to invite a tranny hooker to your hotel, it's only a small walk to the Tenderloin.
A few things I would definitely do while in San Francisco: 1) Chinese/Dim Sum, 2) Burma Super Star, 3) A chowder and raw bar type of place like Swan Oyster Depot. Otherwise, there are too many choices.
Some places I'll try next time I'm down: Wise Sons Delicatessen, Beauty's Bagels, Lers Ros Thai, Mission Chinese.
The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin
Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole
Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home
Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's
Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:27 PM
We hit several cocktail bars when we were there last weekend. The highlights:
Bourbon & Branch (plus Wilson & Wilson, Library Bar) look for the line around the corner: http://www.bourbonan...om/?caseid=main
Jasper's (negroni cocktail on tap!): http://www.jasperscornertap.com/
Posted 30 December 2012 - 01:20 PM
Burma Superstar (309 Clement St) -- Wow. Really amazing flavors here. Definitely one of the highlights of our trip. We went for lunch and ordered Burmese Samusas, Pork Curry with Potatoes (Braised tender pork curry with potatoes, marinated with pickled mangos), and Pumpkin Pork Stew (Tender pork stew slow cooked with kabocha squash and ginger). Both entrees came with a side of coconut rice and a cabbage/mint salad.
Chez Panisse -- What can you say? This was a flawless experience. The menu changes daily, and we had reservations upstairs in the cafe where you can order from the menu instead of downstairs where the menu is prix fixe. They clearly showcase the best available ingredients, and the service was perfect.
Katana-ya (430 Geary Street) -- had a late dinner here, not far from our hotel. Katana-ya is a hole-in-the-wall place that seats maybe 20 people, and even at 10pm there was a 45 minute wait for a table. Fortunately, they are open til 1am. This may have been the best ramen I've ever had, even better than the broth at Boke Bowl, which was my previous favorite. We shared a bowl of the Katana-ya ramen (which comes with 2 pieces of fried pork, 2 fried gyoza, several slices of barbecued pork, seaweed, scallions and half a boiled egg) in rich soy broth. (You can choose rich vs light and soy vs miso vs maybe one other broth). We also ordered a salad of raw tuna that came with a fantastic soy/ginger dressing.
We also had mission-style burritos (which were as big as your arm) at Taqueria La Cumbre (515 Valencia St), which were delicious. The "lean pork" was fall-apart tender. And we had very nice indian food at Udupi Palace (1007 Valencia St). Paneer Makhani was delicious, and there was a spinach and paneer dosa on special that was fantastic (and really rich -- I couldn't finish it).
On our coffee crawl, we hit up Four Barrel, Sightglass, and Ritual. All 3 were excellent, but Sightglass was my favorite. It's 2 floors of retail + roasting + bagging + training + coffee bar, all mish-mashed together in one gorgeous space. Espresso drinks were excellent at all 3. We also visited Ma'velous, which is touted to function like Barista, with rotating featured roasters and talented baristas. Our visit there was a comedy of errors, but the most hilarious part was that the only coffee on bar.... was Hairbender.
Posted 01 March 2013 - 09:15 AM
Posted 10 March 2013 - 08:45 PM
Posted 10 March 2013 - 09:17 PM
Posted 12 March 2013 - 09:29 AM
This map might be helpful to you, Michael Bauer's Top 100, http://www.sfgate.co.../map/?region=sf you can zoom in on the Financial district to find his picks. Looks like Piperade (Basque food), Cotogna (Italian), Perbacco (more Italian), Bocadillos (Spanish small plates), Yang Sing for Dim Sum...though that might be too far South for walking. Depends where you're staying, how close will you be to the Ferry Building? Lots of fun to be had in there.
Posted 12 March 2013 - 04:39 PM
Posted 12 March 2013 - 08:33 PM
Posted 18 October 2013 - 12:45 PM
I'm headed to SF next week (probably staying in the Mission---my original accommodations with a friend fell through) for 5 days, Wed-Sun, and I'm wondering if people have any updated recommendations. I won't have a car.
Places I almost certainly want to hit are:
State Bird Provisions for an early dinner
Outerlands for brunch
dim sum (Wing Lee's? elsewhere?)
Ramen: where is there currently killer ramen in or near SF?
I've also been recommended Ebisu and Park Chow. Thanks!
Posted 08 June 2014 - 10:12 PM
Anyone know how long the wait typically is at Mission Chinese in SF?
EDIT: I should add to this. I need to find someplace to eat in SF this Sat night that would be okay to take the kid, but not be a kid place. Most places I know are expense-acct type places. I usually default to Zuni for us but my H said "nah". So now I'm rattling my brain for an aha moment, and thinking ridiculously that I'd actually land a res if I even figured out where to go in the first place.
Posted 09 June 2014 - 06:56 AM
Tartine Bakery (for a Croque and a slice of Banana cream pie)
P.S. I agree on Zuni, that place gave up a decade ago
Posted 09 June 2014 - 03:48 PM
Burma Superstar in Oakland looks like they actually take reservations. I have no idea if it's as good as the Clement St, but I do know a Saturday night wait at the SF location with a kid is a potential disaster.
Posted 10 June 2014 - 06:59 AM
Jennifer, we really enjoyed the Shanghai Dumpling King last time we were in SF. There were kids there! That was my first real XLB. I'm sure others may have more experience with XLB in the Bay Area, but it made me pretty happy.
Posted 20 June 2014 - 03:31 PM
Ended up eating in Berkeley/Oakland instead of SF.
Comal, 2020 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley CA, 94704 (510) 926.6300
Lush Gelato, Across from Cheeseboard on Shattuck.
Epicurious Garden: A beautiful food court where Lush Gelato is. Secret terraced garden in back with tables and chairs. The owners must've spent $100k+ on that garden.
Very good, we'll go back. Very kid friendly without being a kid place. Portland looking place, open slider doors, exposed ducting, lots of wood & brick, etc.
Pics below. Shared a wood roasted whole chicken. Serves 3 easily. It had fingerling potatoes under this pile, Mexican spice rub on the outside without being cumin heavy, which made me happy. Served with fresh made tortillas, salsas, saffron rice & black beans. I liked 2/3 salsas and did not like the rice, but everyone else did. The chicken, tortillas and beans were excellent. We also shared a very competent chicken amarillo mole quesadilla with fresh made tortilla and other things that I forgot. They sold out of the lamb barbacoa, really wanted try that quesadilla. Tequilas, agua frescas and desserts. All very good. Our total tab was $125 before tip for 3.25 people, which seems reasonable with sodas, tequilas, desserts and so on. Tequila list is huge and more reasonably priced than I'd expect for the area, but not as well curated as mmm's.
Just like Portland, show up, put your name on the list, they'll call your cell when your table is ready. They gave us a 45-min wait but called us in 30. Walked over to UC Berkeley to let the kid run on the grass while we waited. Not much else to do in that area of Shattuck. Also like Portland, they won't seat you if everyone in your group isn't there. Oh, there's a parking garage about 3 blocks down on Addison that worked perfectly, in what appears to be a newly sprung theater district.
Agua frescas: One was pineapple, guava and I forget what else. The other was a tart jamaica.
Epicurious Garden: If you need a quick casual bite or take out, this is your place. Across from Cheeseboard on Shattuck. There's a soup place in there where we got soup & banh mi's to go, a food stand with bento & sushi boxes, hot gyoza to go, etc. A Vegan place (of course), Lush Gelato, an Indian place and more. Something for everyone, and a beautiful garden to sit and eat if you want.
I was going to post photos from their site but they're locked down, and I didn't want to post some random person's photos from Flickr. So, go here for photos.
Posted 19 August 2016 - 04:32 PM
Updated rec's on East Bay? Will be pulling into town 7 or 8pm tomorrow night.
Have read about new ramen joints down there over the past year, but heck if I can find any of that info now that I'm actually looking for it.
Anything would be fine, pizza, ramen, something nice, a dive with good food, whatever.
Eater is little help for Berkeley/Oakland.
We can do a 1-hour wait but anything past that and the kid will melt.
My bro-in-law down there told me a story about waiting 3 hours last Mother's Day for a sushi place. Who does that??! OMG no!
Posted 02 September 2016 - 03:32 PM
Circling back around on this. We ended up at Comal again because the wait was only 35 min at 7pm on a Saturday, even with a stack of people at the door & waiting outside. They've expanded x2 in the rear. A covered outside seating area, and a beer garden where you can order drinks & chips at the bar & have a seat (heated outdoor seating area) while you wait. So they've figured out ways to get people in & ordering without actually sitting for dinner yet.
Another interesting thing they did is somehow knew what we were going to order. The whole chicken, because it's awesome. And after the server took the order, our food was on the table in 5 minutes. Crazy! So they clearly turn tables quickly this way. Better than any whole bird I've had in Portland. But I haven't tried Chicken n Guns yet. Even the breast meat was juicy without being weirdly spongy or over marinated. Great spices, really good salsas, hand made tortillas, fingerling potatoes and so on.
$42 for the whole bird + all the sides, and fed the 4 of us easily. Agua frescas were outstanding. And a nice Sotol for Max. Pics are up thread.