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Steak in San Francisco


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#1 Shel_B

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 02:52 PM

Toots is from Argentina, and she enjoys a great steak every now and then.  We have a special day coming up in a couple of months, and I'd like to take her to San Francisco for a great steak dinner.  Even though we live in the area, it's been years since we've crossed the bridge for dinner in SF.  I last ate meat in SF at the House of Prime Rib several years ago.

 

So, which steak house would you recommend.  We are not impressed by huge portions, and drinks are of minimal interest.  We'd like great service, a quiet atmosphere, and a good choice of excellent steaks.

 

What would you "steak mavens" suggest?  Thanks!


Edited by Shel_B, 01 April 2013 - 02:53 PM.

.... Shel


#2 rotuts

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 03:43 PM

Wow  good for you.

 

I can't really comment as i have not been to SF in a while but i did grow up some what to the South.

 

Id ask for a steak place that had both grain fed and grass fed and you can try both.

 

very different but soooooooooooo interesting.!

 

there are some stunning places just N of SF that are said to grow the finest grass fed beef!


Edited by rotuts, 01 April 2013 - 03:44 PM.


#3 annachan

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 05:34 PM

Haven't been for a few years, but I really liked the steaks at 5A5 (prefer it much over Alexander's). It's more for if you're looking for wagyu and such, not a big piece of meat. If you want more traditional offerings, I like Epic Roasthouse. On a nice day/evening, it's good to sit outside and enjoy the view.

#4 sigma

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 05:59 PM

I cannot recommend any of the local steakhouses.



#5 Shel_B

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 06:03 PM

I cannot recommend any of the local steakhouses.

 

And why is that?  


.... Shel


#6 Shel_B

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 06:14 PM

Haven't been for a few years, but I really liked the steaks at 5A5 (prefer it much over Alexander's). It's more for if you're looking for wagyu and such, not a big piece of meat. If you want more traditional offerings, I like Epic Roasthouse. On a nice day/evening, it's good to sit outside and enjoy the view.

 

The Epic Roasthouse looks great.  The location and view makes it a special place, and since the menu has more than beef, Toots can eat her steak and I can get something else.  I like the interior decor as well.  And it looks like we can easily take BART over, and enjoy a nice walk to and from dinner.  We'll definitely look into it ... thanks for the tip!


.... Shel


#7 weinoo

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 06:40 PM

So, which steak house would you recommend.  We are not impressed by huge portions, and drinks are of minimal interest.  We'd like great service, a quiet atmosphere, and a good choice of excellent steaks.

 

What would you "steak mavens" suggest?  Thanks!

 

Why do you want a steak house if you don't want huge portions and drinks are of minimal interest; that's why you go to a steak house!

 

In all seriousness, you might be better off asking at what restaurant might you get the best steak, steakhouse be damned.  I just took a cursory glance, and many of the restaurants considered happening a bit right now basically have 1 steak on each of their menus.

 

Of course, San Francisco is a tough one for great steaks, but I think your best chance for both choice of steak (hopefully one of you will have a rib eye :wink:  ) and quality of beef might just be Ruth's Chris (which I like a lot in Florida) or Harris' (an old classic), both on Van Ness.  They won't fuck up your steak, that's for sure...and they both have that steakhouse mood you're looking for.


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#8 sigma

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 05:14 PM

I cannot recommend any of the local steakhouses.

 

And why is that?  

Because they pretty much suck.  If you want a good steak, go to Kokkari, but not one of the steakhouses.



#9 weinoo

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 05:00 AM

 

I cannot recommend any of the local steakhouses.

 

And why is that?  

Because they pretty much suck.  If you want a good steak, go to Kokkari, but not one of the steakhouses.

 

Kokkari only has one steak on its menu, though it is an allegedly dry-aged rib eye.

 

I doubt it's a better product than the steak houses I mentioned above are getting, though.


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#10 sigma

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 05:02 AM

 

 

I cannot recommend any of the local steakhouses.

 

And why is that?  

Because they pretty much suck.  If you want a good steak, go to Kokkari, but not one of the steakhouses.

 

Kokkari only has one steak on its menu, though it is an allegedly dry-aged rib eye.

 

I doubt it's a better product than the steak houses I mentioned above are getting, though.

OK.



#11 Shel_B

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 08:03 AM

Kokkari only has one steak on its menu, though it is an allegedly dry-aged rib eye.

 

And that's reason enough to skip over the place ... one of the main considerations is for Toots to have a choice.


.... Shel


#12 Shel_B

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 08:08 AM

 

I cannot recommend any of the local steakhouses.

 

And why is that?  

Because they pretty much suck.  If you want a good steak, go to Kokkari, but not one of the steakhouses.

 

Not much of a reason to exclude every steak house in San Francisco.  What does it mean that they all "suck?"


.... Shel


#13 sigma

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 08:24 AM

I am sure you and Toots will enjoy yourselves wherever you go.  You should really listen to weinoo.  I mean, he has a blog and everything, and he likes San Francisco.  He even blogged about it once.  All I can tell you is that the steakhouses around here are not very good.  They generally cook the meat poorly and emphasize quantity over quality.  They tend to have atrocious decor, and the crowd is made up of non-locals, men with noses swollen from alcohol abuse and people on sales dinners.  Fun, fun, fun.  If I were to avoid one over the others it would be A5.  It is like eating in a class teaching people who made their first money how to be kla$$y.  Maybe that is the level at which this place operates, though.  I have no idea.  



#14 weinoo

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 08:55 AM

I am sure you and Toots will enjoy yourselves wherever you go.  You should really listen to weinoo.  I mean, he has a blog and everything, and he likes San Francisco.  He even blogged about it once.  All I can tell you is that the steakhouses around here are not very good.  They generally cook the meat poorly and emphasize quantity over quality.  They tend to have atrocious decor, and the crowd is made up of non-locals, men with noses swollen from alcohol abuse and people on sales dinners.  Fun, fun, fun.  If I were to avoid one over the others it would be A5.  It is like eating in a class teaching people who made their first money how to be kla$$y.  Maybe that is the level at which this place operates, though.  I have no idea.  

Actually, I've blogged about it more than once.  That's neither here nor there, however; not with you having the ability to regale us with "they suck" or "are not very good."

 

I'll agree on this point - I'm pretty sure the steakhouses are not up to the quality of Bern's in Tampa or one of a few choice places still left in NYC.  But as I said above, I've had a great steak at Ruth's Chris in Boca Raton, so I wouldn't count that out.


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#15 sigma

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 09:10 AM

They suck is a blanket statement, and a true one.  Ruth's Chris is in a dismal apartment building on Van Ness and survives on prom and birthday from the near east bay and "hey honey let's go to the big city" from further out.  I have been a few times, never my choice, and they have "fucked up" my steak, as you say they wouldn't, each time.  I have been to other Ruth's Chris, this one is far worse, and far more dismal, that any of the others.  

 

Harris' is also awful.  There are a lot of drunk old men at the bar, if you want your leg touched or something like that, and the dining room is infected with plug ugly floral patterns.  The steak is generally of mediocre quality, and often "fucked up."  

 

5A5 is, as I said, for the nouveau not quite so rich on the weekends they can't squeeze themselves into too tight skirts and head off to Vegas.  I think it even has a neon screen flashing above the bar.

 

The others, maybe?  Alfred's was passable up until eight or so years ago, but they gave up, burdened by having to run a business in San Francisco as a family.  They will tell you so, too.  Mortons is a joke, and not a good one.  I am sure there are more.  For a while there was a "steakhouse" in a Holiday Inn in the Marina.  I never went.  

 

The joke is that the area has fantastic beef, perhaps the best in the country.  And you can find it at a lot of good restaurants.  But that isn't what Toots wants.  So yeah, they all suck, and now you know why.  

 

Now, since you decided that it was necessary for me to explain to you exactly why these places you suggested are awful, and to explain that without full descriptions my opinion was worthless, why don't you explain to us why exactly you should be taken seriously.  I mean, you apparently have multiple blog posts about San Francisco, and that is very important in the credentialing process, and you once ate at a Ruth's Chris three thousand miles from here, but apparently have no experience with any of the places you recommend, and assure Toots and the Maytal that their steak will be cooked well, but you just kind of know, right?



#16 weinoo

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 10:04 AM

This post above is why I wonder why people think Californians are a happy bunch.

 

And whether I'm taken seriously, whether by you or anyone else, matters not a whit to me.

 

And Shel_B, now you know what the smartest person in the Bay Area knows, so you're much better off taking sigma's advice.


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#17 Katie Meadow

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 07:59 PM

Shel, I rarely eat out, and when I do eat out I don't go for steak. I've been disappointed enough times so that I'm pretty reluctant to order a high priced steak at a restaurant. Truly, when I do get a craving for juicy rare steak I do best by just buying a good quality rib-eye, giving it a nice cowboy rub, and grilling it in the back yard. I generally don't like the atmosphere or vibe of "steak houses" and have found that the better steaks I've eaten out have been at bistro type places. A Cote on College has a pretty good hanger steak, although it has been at least two years since I was there, so no guarantee. There must be some bistro type places in SF where you can get a good steak frites, but it may not be so easy to find. The last time I had a steak at a restaurant in SF it was very pricey and it was so oversalted I couldn't eat most of it. Several years ago I did have a great steak at Jardiniere, but I really don't have a clue what the food is like now, and it likely is break-the-bank expensive. To me, steak is one of those foods where the labor is so minimal that I would rather pay top dollar for the best meat than pay for someone else to throw it on a grill. Check out the Local Butcher Shop in north Berkeley. They might have suggestions, and if not, they certainly can sell you a quality hunk of meat.



#18 Shel_B

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 08:08 PM

I don't understand what's going on between sigma and weinoo, but a get I get a real sense of snarkiness ...

 

Sigma, you said,  "But that isn't what Toots wants."  Well, you don't know what she wants, so you can't know what she doesn't want.  In fact, she doesn't yet know about my plan to take her for a good steak ...

 

From what I've seen of menus and reviews, I agree that quantity is a big factor at at least some of these places.  That is a turn-off for me, and I know Toots is not enamored of huge portions either.  We're not looking for our own episode of "Man vs Food."

 

I think that what I'm going to do is take Toots to an Argentinean restaurant that has some decent reviews.  It will give her a sense of home, and make her happy.  Then, later in the year, we are probably going to NYC, and I'll make reservations at Peter Luger's.  That will make me happy.  I will ask a couple of my relatives to join us, and that will make both of us happy.


.... Shel


#19 Shel_B

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 08:25 PM

Shel, I rarely eat out, and when I do eat out I don't go for steak. I've been disappointed enough times so that I'm pretty reluctant to order a high priced steak at a restaurant. Truly, when I do get a craving for juicy rare steak I do best by just buying a good quality rib-eye, giving it a nice cowboy rub, and grilling it in the back yard. I generally don't like the atmosphere or vibe of "steak houses" and have found that the better steaks I've eaten out have been at bistro type places. A Cote on College has a pretty good hanger steak, although it has been at least two years since I was there, so no guarantee. There must be some bistro type places in SF where you can get a good steak frites, but it may not be so easy to find. The last time I had a steak at a restaurant in SF it was very pricey and it was so oversalted I couldn't eat most of it. Several years ago I did have a great steak at Jardiniere, but I really don't have a clue what the food is like now, and it likely is break-the-bank expensive. To me, steak is one of those foods where the labor is so minimal that I would rather pay top dollar for the best meat than pay for someone else to throw it on a grill. Check out the Local Butcher Shop in north Berkeley. They might have suggestions, and if not, they certainly can sell you a quality hunk of meat.

 

Thanks, Katie ...

 

We don't eat out very often, and rarely at spendy places, much prefering our local favorites.  Neither of us feel a need to spend a lot of $$$ for restaurant food, and most often eat out as much for convenience as for a special ocassion.  I discovered an Argentinean place in SF that has steak and other dishes that will remind Toots of home, and I know she'll enjoy the food and the atmosphere, as well as the choices.  While she doesn't miss Argentina very much, she never forgets that's who she is, and giving her a taste of home would be a gift that she'll appreciate.

 

Frankly, I was astounded at what some of these places charge for steak ... and for sides.  One place had a 1 1/2 pound baked potato on the menu for $12.00!!  Excessive in every sense ...

 

I know the Local Butcher, and sometimes shop there.  I don't believe they carry aged beef, and certainly not dry aged.  A couple of friends invited us to dinner last year, and they threw some dry aged rib eye onto the grill.  Pretty good ...

 

Thanks for your comments ...


Edited by Shel_B, 03 April 2013 - 08:26 PM.

.... Shel


#20 Raoul Duke

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 08:52 PM

I don't write a blog, am a happy Californian (82 degrees today here in Paso Robles) and enjoy eating in SF since I think they have some excellent choices. For what it's worth Farallon has a very nice filet and Boulevard doesn't disappoint. Granted not a lot of menu choices but, still good. And fer Cris' sake if you're so unhappy, move on.


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#21 Shel_B

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 09:47 PM

And fer Cris' sake if you're so unhappy, move on.

 

To whom are you addressing that admonishment?


.... Shel


#22 pbear

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 11:07 PM

I discovered an Argentinean place in SF that has steak and other dishes that will remind Toots of home, and I know she'll enjoy the food and the atmosphere, as well as the choices.  While she doesn't miss Argentina very much, she never forgets that's who she is, and giving her a taste of home would be a gift that she'll appreciate.

 

What place do you have in mind?



#23 Shel_B

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Posted 03 April 2013 - 11:16 PM

I discovered an Argentinean place in SF that has steak and other dishes that will remind Toots of home

 

What place do you have in mind?

 

Lolinda ... although I may reconsider it as I now see that reviews describe it as noisy. Everything else looks OK, though.   http://lolindasf.com/


Edited by Shel_B, 03 April 2013 - 11:16 PM.

.... Shel


#24 pbear

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 12:57 AM

That's what I thought you might be considering (not like we have a lot of Argentine restaurants) and was the concern I was going to mention.  (Haven't been myself, but know it by reputation.)  Another place to consider is Espetus.  Brazilian rather than Argentine, but the approaches to steak are similar.  And the space is rather more sedate.  Haven't been to in several years, though, so I can't vouch for whether it's still at the top of its game.  FWIW, the current Yelp says mostly yes.

 



#25 annachan

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 01:48 AM

Espetus is good if you want a lot of meat. Not that the beef is bad, it's just not great. The best steak in SF that I've had was at Boulevard. But that was 10+ years ago. I personally do prefer small portions of wagyu over a big steak (most of the time), that is why I like 5A5. Yeah, it's pricey....but good wagyu ain't cheap anywhere. Frankly, the wagyu there was much better than the Kobe I had at Michael Mina.

Used to love the steak frites at Cafe de Paris. It's been closed for a number of year now. I think Chouchou had a good steak frites, but it's changed owner a few years back and I haven't really been there since.

Lolinda looks great. Haven't been, but I like Beretta and Starbelly.

I may not live in SF now, but I did for over 20 years before moving to Australia 2 years ago. One of the best things about SF is definitely the food scene. You can always find something good to eat there, from the cheap to the extra pricey.

#26 mgaretz

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 03:25 AM

Been a very long time since I had steak in the city. But our new favorite is an old school dinner house here in San Ramon called the Brass Door. Excellent steaks and plenty of other interesting things on the menu. And it won't break the bank. McNamara's in Dublin is also good but pricier and less non-steak choices. Esin, in Danville, always has a steak or two on the menu and other great choices (see my EG blog for a review) and never disappoints.

#27 weinoo

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 05:00 AM

I don't understand what's going on between sigma and weinoo, but a get I get a real sense of snarkiness ...

 

No, not at all...just two posters arguing about each of our points of view  :cool: .

 

From my first post in this topic, all I've been trying to do is answer the OP as best I can.


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