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5 meals in San Francisco...


jsfreed
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Any updates on these recommendations. I will be in S.F. at the end of March for a meeting for 4 nights and looking for the best of S.F. Unfortunately I believe my lunches are covered at the meeting so that will limit my exposure time. One restaurant I plan on visiting for a number of reasons is Gary Danko. I am interested in creative haute cuisine and top-notch ethnic, especially places that are better than anything of its type on the east coast or elsewhere. I may or may not be dining alone on those nights so that might or might not be a factor too. Your thoughts and recommendations are as ever appreciated.

For what it is worth I will be staying at The Hyatt Regency in Embarcadero, although I will travel within the City for the right stuff.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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In the creative haute cuisine realm, I was very impressed by a recent dinner at the Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton. The new Ame also has quite a buzz but I haven't been there yet.

If you're willing to venture out of the strictly haute cuisine realm, the newish Canteen has creative plating and combinations, but in a casual diner-like atmosphere.

Edited by Hest88 (log)
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I am also interested in this topic as I will be in SF in January. Though I'm probably looking for less expensive options, good ethnic food, dim sum, etc.

Thanks!

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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Doc, curious what your various reasons are for visiting Danko -- honestly, I believe from various reports that it has been slipping lately (shoddy service, over seasoning, mis-steps in the kitchen, etc).

Like Hest88 said, Ame seems to be popping up on radar as well as Michael Mina (although I have yet to eat at either).

I still heartily recommend Aziza for MoroccanFusion food at its finest. Ethnic cuisine taken to a Haute Cuisine level that is truly impressive AND affordable.

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gary danko: i recently ate a dish of sauteed foie gras with apples that made me cry with happiness.

and eat the good bread of acme, grace, and other good san francisco area bakeries. go to the cowgirl creamery at the ferry building, in fact, if you are there on a market day, go to the market (sat, and ?).

go to the mission. i like izalco which is a total dive on 24th street, el salvatorean food. wonderful black beans and fat tortillas.

there is a lovely chef at the ritz carlton room service, her name is oh, i forget. i interviewed her, she made me the BEST TAMALES, and great huevos rancheros, she is very inspirational and really loves to prepare special things for 'her guests'. all you need to do to be 'her guest' is to pick up the phone. oh and you gotta be staying at the hotel.

marlena

Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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If you go to the dining room at the Ritz's website, Chef Siegel has a very interesting salt and pepper tasting menu, in which different salts and pepper are featured in a variety of dishes. The menu looks very interesting and this is a very original idea that I like very much. This is definately on my list at the moment!!

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On the bargain side, try Burma Super Star at 309 Clement between 4th and 5th Avenues in the Inner Richmond neighborhood. Either the ginger salad and the smoked tea salad alone are worth the trip.

The New Central Restaurant on South Van Ness at the corner of 14th Street has homemade tortillas, refried beans made with lard, and terrific carnitas.

Whenever someone asks for recs for the haute places, I don't know whether to bother mentioning what I can only call the half-hautes. Places that in a smaller town would be whole-hautes. I'm going to do it! Try them! They're worth the trek away from downtown/Marina!

-Clementine on Clement at 2nd Avenue. French bistro, excellent all around, esp for price.

-Chapeau! on Geary at 15th Ave. Similiar to Clementine, but much louder.

-Zazie on Cole between Parnassus and Carl. I have much affection for this place as I lived in the neighborhood (Cole Valley) for a long time. French/Cal.

(And for whole-haute, I'm going to, as always, plug La Folie. Just don't plan on eating much until the next evening.)

edited to add Manresa because, although it's location in Los Gatos (south of SF) is a schlep requiring a car rental, eGulleteers have been saying it's more than worth the trip. You said creative and innovative was what you wanted, and that's what folks say it is.

Edited by ingridsf (log)

My fantasy? Easy -- the Simpsons versus the Flanders on Hell's Kitchen.

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Thanks for the replies so far.

A couple of things - I am looking for the best of S.F., not necessarily the most expensive, although I won't shy away from that if it is worth its cost. The R-C menus do look interesting, especially the S&P.

Carolyn, I have an interest in Danko because he is from upstate NY and started out in an area in which I used to live. While I have heard some negatives lately, I have also heard some big positives. i have eaten at RGD a few years ago and it was excellent.

I have eaten at La Folie before and it was indeed excellent. I also at at Aqua ehen Mina was there and I was disappointed(I loved Aqua in Vegas, though).

I would prefer to eat haute for two of my four nights in the City and go with top-notch ethnics for the other two. The areas that I imagine are better than on the east coast perhaps are the various Asian cuisines and Mexican. I will have returned from a culinary ttrip to Mexico City a few weeks earlier so that jones may not be as needy, but by then it might just be really stoked!

I have previously been to both Tong Kiang and Yank Sing and wouldn't mind returning to either if they are still at the top of their games and also at the top of the current S.F. dim sum pile. Then again, dim sum isn't usually dinner fare and I likely won't have the daylight time for it :sad:

I will be venturing out from S.F. for a few days after my meeting and believe I have that covered and yes, Manresa is most definitely on my list. In fact it is the single biggest culinary reason I chose to attend this meeting as opposed to some other good ones. I did have other reasons as well, though :wink:

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I also must attend the market! There is nothing I love to do more than wonder a great food market.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Thanks for the replies so far.

I have eaten at La Folie before and it was indeed excellent.

I have previously been to both Tong Kiang and Yank Sing and wouldn't mind returning to either if they are still at the top of their games and also at the top of the current S.F. dim sum pile. Then again, dim sum isn't usually  dinner fare and I likely won't have the daylight time for it :sad: 

You're welcome.

La Folie had a recent remodel and feels much morre elegant in the main dining room. I like the new look.

Ton Kiang offers dim sum items from 10am-10 pm, though the carts only come out in the daytime. I get stuff delivered at home at least once a week, and even after traveling, the food's consistently first-rate. Eating there is of course even better. Their soup dumplings are de-licious, also the roast duck and roasted prawns (in shell with heads) with chilis and rock salt. I live for their green sauce which is made, if my experiments are correct, with green chilis, garlic, rice wine vinegar, and sugar.

Edited by ingridsf (log)

My fantasy? Easy -- the Simpsons versus the Flanders on Hell's Kitchen.

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Doc,

        Have you been to Zuni Cafe, Fifth Floor or Slanted Door?

Molto E

Negative. How would you or others rank them?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Consider a quick jaunt down to Los Gatos to dine at Manresa. THAT would more worth your time and effort than almost anything within the city...

I most certainly will, but that is separate from my S.F. agenda. I also hope to hit a specific spot in Napa and will be staying a couple of nights with an old friend in Oakland.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Doc,

        Have you been to Zuni Cafe, Fifth Floor or Slanted Door?

Molto E

Negative. How would you or others rank them?

Zuni is great of course, Ive done a stage there and the ingredients used in the food are second to none. The food itself is simple but delicious. The roast chicken is done in a wood fired oven and meats are cooked over and open fire...really nice touches. The Zuni burger is one of the best Ive had!! Prices are also approchable...not quite on the level of some of the other restaurants mentioned.

Unfortunately I have not been to the other two restaurants, although I dont think you can go wrong with Slanted Door...if u can get in. Every report from there is nothing but praise!! hope this helps and wish i could come..lol

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For a relatively recent review of some Bay Area restaurants, including Gary Danko and Manresa, you might want to check out this topic. In fact, it reminds me that I still need to try Quince.

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Doc, I have been reading your post for some time now and have a pretty good understanding of your taste. I have no doubt your going to love Manresa.

I never been but people I trust praise Incanto.

http://www.incanto.biz/

Another casual possibility is Canteen.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...CMGL7CDMN11.DTL

Edited by robert40 (log)

Robert R

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It certainly isn't haute cuisine in setting; but, one of the single most amazing Asian meals I've ever had was at Jai Yun this last year.

Jai Yun

The man is a true artist with texture and a wizard with a knife.

If you go, I would recommend a group of 4-6, you will get the best selection of dishes.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Thanks for the replies so far.

A couple of things -  I am looking for the best of S.F., not necessarily the most expensive, although I won't shy away from that if it is worth its cost. The R-C menus do look interesting, especially the S&P.

Carolyn, I have an interest in Danko because he is from upstate NY and started out in an area in which I used to live. While I have heard some negatives lately, I have also heard some big positives. i have eaten at RGD a few years ago and it was excellent.

I have eaten at La Folie before and it was indeed excellent. I also at at Aqua ehen Mina was there and I was disappointed(I loved Aqua in Vegas, though).

I would prefer to eat haute for two of my four nights in the City and go with top-notch ethnics for the other two. The areas that I imagine are better than on the east coast perhaps are the various Asian cuisines and Mexican. I will have returned from a culinary ttrip to Mexico City a few weeks earlier so that jones may not be as needy, but by then it might just be really stoked!

I have previously been to both Tong Kiang and Yank Sing and wouldn't mind returning to either if they are still at the top of their games and also at the top of the current S.F. dim sum pile. Then again, dim sum isn't usually  dinner fare and I likely won't have the daylight time for it :sad: 

I will be venturing out from S.F. for a few days after my meeting and believe I have that covered and yes, Manresa is most definitely on my list. In fact it is  the  single biggest culinary reason I chose to attend this meeting as opposed to some other good ones. I did have other reasons as well, though :wink:

"mmmmm purple" Homer Simpson

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For a relatively recent review of some Bay Area restaurants, including Gary Danko and Manresa, you might want to check out this topic. In fact, it reminds me that I still need to try Quince.

Janet, that is a nice report. Thanks. His review of Danko was one of the recent positives that has whet my appetite. I've been wanting to get out to Manresa for some time now and finally have my opportunity.

How about for a special cocktail?

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Keep the recs coming. I knew that this was going to be difficult with so many great possibilities and not enough time! Thanks.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Keep the recs coming. I knew that this was going to be difficult with so many great possibilities and not enough time! Thanks.

Doc, I had a terrific experience at Danko in November. So much so, I intend to return in mid-March.

In Napa Valley, I had likewise experiences at TFL and La Toque. Which "specific spot" in Napa are you considering?

Edit: spell

Edited by MichaelB (log)
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Keep the recs coming. I knew that this was going to be difficult with so many great possibilities and not enough time! Thanks.

Doc, I had a terrific experience at Danko in November. So much so, I intend to return in mid-March.

I have a local friend who was there in October who loved his meal as well.

In Napa Valley, I had likewise experiences at TFL and La Toque.  Which "specific spot" in Napa are you considering?

Edit: spell

TFL if I can get a reservation on the day I need.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I'll always throw in a good word for Quince. It's just one of those places that is so right (comfortable, small, friendly, house-made pastas, well-considered wine list) that I can't seem to leave town without visiting.

If La Toque were anywhere else (meaning not down the street from TFL) it would be a no-brainer. We also enjoyed the Martini House not long after it opened, but I haven't heard any recent news of it. Would appreciate an update if anyone has been lately. I noticed Todd H has a menu devoted entirely to mushrooms, which would probably inspire me to walk there from SF, if I had to.

Might check with Rebel Rose or Rancho_Gordo to see what's been affected by the flooding (if appropriate - I can't recall when your trip is precisely).

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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