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Dining Talk 2003


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I'm visiting SF next week, for the first time in 10 years, and it seems that most of the restaurants I remember are either gone or should be! looking for some recommendations, especially for casual lunches, in the city and in Napa. And anybody have any comments on Kokkari - we're headed there for dinner one night. Thanks.

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I haven't been to Kokkari, but I've heard very good things about it. For other recommendations, there are a bunch of threads in the California section that will be helpful. Do you have any particular preferences, likes or dislikes?

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Ton Kiang (or something like) out in the Avenues is supposed to be the place for dim sum. Yank Sing, downtown, is also supposed to be very good, but perhaps not as traditional.

Yabbies (Polk and Vallejo) appears to be the place for standard seafood. Perlow is a fan of Aliotos down at Fisherman's Wharf. But although there aren't a lot of "seafood" restaurants in town, almost every good restaurant will serve a pretty good piece of fish, etc.

I second the Delfina's recommendation.

Edited by Stone (log)
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Kokkari is very good but try to get yourselves seated in the front dining room- it's far more appealing with a huge fireplace. Their mezethes are excellent- we like their Pikilia.. with extra home made pita. The grilled lamb chops and moussaka are dinner favorites.

Another suggestion is Piperade. It's a Basque restaurant owned by Gerald Hirigoyen who owns Fringale. We had a wonderful dinner there around Christmas. Prices are reasonable but reservations are difficult.

Edited by oakland barb (log)
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Another suggestion is Piperade. It's a Basque restaurant owned by Gerald Hirigoyen who owns Fringale. We had a wonderful dinner there around Christmas. Prices are reasonable but reservations are difficult.

A friend of mine was at Piperade tonight. She said it was fabulous.

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  • 1 month later...

I know there was a previous thread similar to this, but it didn't get many responses, so I am trying again.

My parents are going to San Fransisco this July. They're looking for some good restaurant recs. They didn't get around to making reservations at French Laundry - why I don't know - and they are looking for moderately priced places. Any and all recs are welcome and appreciated!

Thanks!

-Eric

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Are they staying in SF or touring the wine country? The French Laundry is in Yountville in Napa County and I very difficult reservation to get as well as one of the more expensive meals in the area.

Robert Buxbaum

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Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Spent a week in SF last Xmas holidays. Did plenty of eating. :rolleyes:

As far as moderately priced, some stand-outs . . .

--Zuni Cafe

--Chez Papa

--Vietnamese spot in Chinatown (can't remember the name right now but could find it)

--Spanish place in the upper Haight (again bad memory)

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As others have mentioned, it would help to know exactly where they're staying, and whether they'll have a car. Also, how do they feel about slightly seedy neighborhoods?

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To address a number of issues raised in this thread:

By 'old' I mean that my Father is 60 and my mother is 56. However, when in a crabby mood - which tends to be more and more frequent these days - they seem to rank up there with the most crotchety 80 year-olds. All kidding aside, quiet is not necessarily a requirement although very noisy might be a problem.

In terms of where they are staying - they will be there for one week. Part of it will be in San Fran, the other part will be touring wine country in a rented car.

In terms of seedy neighborhoods - depends on how seedy. They're from New York and don't seem to have any problems exploring new neighborhoods. Don't know if this holds for a unfamiliar city, however.

Final comment is that while I'll pass along ethnic restaurant recs, my father tends to dislike anything too unfamiliar. He "claims" that his stomach bothers him from all sorts of food types including garlic, any crunchy lettuce, spicy foods, and even water! When these ingredients are included in meals unbeknownst to him, however, he has no averse reaction. Anyway, the best types of recommendations include restaurants serving: American, Italian, Spanish, French, or mainstream fusion type things. Nothing too far 'out there.'

Hope this information helps.

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Now that I am almost 58, I guess I better start winding down. Maybe your father should stop eating, maybe just learn to get by, by reading about food. I'm sorry I can't help you with serious suggestions. I know you mentioned overspending but I would recommend La Folie as a splurge. Wonderful food.

" Food and Wine Fanatic"

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Well, I guess I'm ALMOST old. :shock:

I second Zuni -- although I haven't been there since just after it opened, but I guess it's still okay. :wink: It might be very hard to get in now.

And there's always Tadich Grill. 100% traditional in menu (fish) and decor. Been around longer than your dad. Can be uneven and kind of boring, but definitely unthreatening (they'll bone your sand dabs for you). I eat there whenever I'm in SF.

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Well, I guess I'm ALMOST old. :shock:

I second Zuni -- although I haven't been there since just after it opened, but I guess it's still okay.  :wink:  It might be very hard to get in now.

Old? Nah, Suzanne, you're just more years younger!

The meal at Zuni was *the* meal for the value when we were in SF (less than six months ago).

As far as hard to get into, we didn't find that at all. We called at 4 PM the same day, stated our intentions, and the response was "We'd love to have you. We always hold a few spots for walk-ins. You said 7? How about you show up around 7 or so & we'll seat you in approximately 25-40 minutes?"

Which we did. Hung out at the beautiful zinc bar, chatted with the very personable bartender, had a drink & munched on grilled fresh sardines. And had a table in 35 minutes.

Next time I'm in SF, one of the first places I'm headed is Zuni.

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For dinner, I agree with the choice of zuni. Just was there about two weeks ago and it was as good as ever.

Lunch in the wine country? I would choose angele along the napa river in Napa. I think it is really good.

I also suggest lunch at chez panisse's cafe in Berkeley.

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UPDATE: I have been informed by my parents that they will being going to Sonoma, not Napa. They also mentioned that they are most interested in restuarants in the Downtown San Fran area and Sonoma. As always you're suggestions are welcome and helpful.

-Eric

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Downtown SF:

Postrio (Second tier masquerading as first $$$$)

Boulevard (2d-3d tier masquerading as first $$$)

Farallon (Through the looking glass and into Captain Nemo's wet dream $$$-$)

Plouf (Best mussles in the city, outside seating in the alley $$)

The Globe (A little outside Downtown, very good upscale casual $$)

Kokari (Supposedly excellent upscale Mediterranean ??)

Tadich Grille, Jeanty Jeans, Sams (Trading on reputation?)

Aqua (Pretty good seafood. $$$$)

Sonoma:

The only place I know is called The General's Daughter. (I think.) Upscale, but very good.

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in sonoma, the Girl and the Fig is quite good. they have a lovely outside patio as well.

there's a also a very good thai place in sonoma, not far from the center of town, but the name escapes me. i'll try to find it. it's worth a visit, if not for dinner, for lunch.

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I assume you mean the Union Square area when you say downtown, here's a couple of good places for your parents:

- Grand Cafe

A French brasserie in downtown, at the corner of Geary and Taylor, two blocks from Union Square. Very classical decor (modeled after La Coupole in Paris), simple but good menu, not too noisy, moderately priced.

- Anjou

Classical French bistro a block from Union Square, the food is quite good and not too expensive. The place is on the small side so it could get a bit noisy.

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