• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Gil

San Francisco Restaurant Reviews & Recommendations

273 posts in this topic

Hmmm...I have reservations at Coi...now I am starting to doubt them!

It's not a cheap meal either, $140 or so per tasting menu, and if it didn't thrill.....

Is Aziza walking distance from Market Square area? (we wont have a car in SF)

Also - what about La Folie, Acquerrello, Fleur de Lys or Boulevard?

Now you guys have got me re-thinking Coi! :wacko:


Edited by sadistick (log)

"He who does not mind his belly, will hardly mind anything else."

- Samuel Johnson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I realize I'm the devil's advocate here. I've had fantastic, memorable meals at the Ritz dining room. Love the cuisine and the pairings.

I don't think you're going to find much in the way of sushi that you can't get in Toronto. Toronto has great sushi/seafood. (For the record, I love Fune. I know, it's not high-end, but the fish is fresh and generously cut. Also, Rodney's has absolutely ruined oysters for me. Everywhere else is 2nd best.)

I second the Aziza rec. Top flight food, and not anything of equal nature that I can think of in Toronto, or anywhere else, really. (Full disclosure: I live directly above this restaurant and smell the food cooking all day.) You wouldn't need a car, but you'd have to take about a $15-$20 cab ride each way or a 25-30 minute bus ride, depending on where you're staying.

Had a great, great meal a couple of weeks ago at Chez Papa, which is downtown. They have a foie gras terrine special that they've been running that kicked my ass. Also, though I generally don't order steak out, their NY with frites and Sauce Bordelaise kicked me off of my chair.

I hope this helps. I tend to obsess over my meals out. Sometimes too many options can be a negative. Have a good time wherever you go!


Edited by foodieherb (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As Foodieherb indicated, you can't get to Aziza by walking. But it is not a difficult bus ride at all (the 38 runs all the way down Geary) and then cab home (should be around $10/$12 that late at night).

I have written often that I am not a huge fan of Boulevard, but understand that it goes over well with tourists. On the La Folie/Fleur de Lys note, they are upscale French and very good upscale French. But if you are coming to San Francisco, I think there is a lot more interesting cuisine to be had (Burmese, amazing seafood, and California haute).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also have to voice my opinion of Coi. When I want to go no holds barred extravagant, I want good ingredients. Ones I can't either prepare myself, or ones that are generally too expensive.

Of course, the skill of the chef in preparing these ingredients is a must. However, Daniel Patterson has been quoted as saying that carrots are the new caviar.

I disagree.

For me, a great example of this type of balance between a chef's skill and the extravagance of ingredients is Alinea. I know that when I eat there, not only will I be wowed with the skill of the preparations, but I'm gonna have some hella (yes I know that word sounds silly but I live here now) extravagant ingredients, too.

Not so much at Coi.

If somebody were paying for me to go, I'm there. If I were an aspiring pro chef, ditto. But for a foodie all out meal, I'd go elsewhere.

With this value system in mind, you can't go wrong with the Ritz or La Folie.

I haven't been to Gary Danko yet.

Fleur De Lys was a slight letdown.

I sure hope you have a great time in this fair city!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have always liked both La Folie and Fleur De Lys, but I'm 60+. I'm not sure I would have liked them as much when I was young and lived in San Francisco. Fleur De Lys is a romantic restaurant with very good, interesting food and a decent, but over-priced wine list, and there won't be many people under 50 there. La Folie is fun and has very good, traditional French food, but it is not very romantic or inventive. I wouldn't recommend either one to my kids. (BTW. my 26 year old and his GF loved Acquerello when they went there.) I think Gary Danko is a much better upscale choice than La Folie and Fleur De Lys for people under 40.

I think San Francisco excels in moderately priced restaurants, so I would have one big night out and focus on the moderate places the rest of the trip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
... However, Daniel Patterson has been quoted as saying that carrots are the new caviar.

If, by that statement, Patterson means what I think he means, then that makes no sense to me whatsoever.

@ sadistick: Take my opinion of coi with a grain of salt. Few things thrill me. Some of the restaurants that thrill me the most don't go over so well with others. And restaurants that often thrill others, don't really move me (alinea, wd~50, TFL, and per se, just to name a few). I'm a strange bird.

If you haven't already, can you give us a better sense of what kinds of restaurants/cuisines you like might help us give you better direction. I understand that there are too many choices when it comes to the Bay Area dining. But at some point, there is such a thing as paralysis of analysis and you have just got to make the best decision that you can.

If it makes you feel any better, I have come to a point in my "dining career" (how cheesy is that?) to accept the fact that there will be disappointments - often, very expensive ones. But I've learned take something important away from each one. No night out is a night wasted, no matter how bad the meal. I'm a true believer that there is something to be learned from even the most vexing plate of food.

Does this mean I get to be called an optimist?


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have always liked both La Folie and Fleur De Lys, but I'm 60+.  I'm not sure I would have liked them as much when I was young and lived in San Francisco.  Fleur De Lys is a romantic restaurant with very good, interesting food and a decent, but over-priced wine list, and there won't be many people under 50 there.  La Folie is fun and has very good, traditional French food, but it is not very romantic or inventive.  I wouldn't recommend either one to my kids.  (BTW. my 26 year old and his GF loved Acquerello when they went there.)  I think Gary Danko is a much better upscale choice than La Folie and Fleur De Lys for people under 40.

I think San Francisco excels in moderately priced restaurants, so I would have one big night out and focus on the moderate places the rest of the trip.

Being around half your age, I find this way of thinking about restaurants interesting. I guess, when it comes to cuisine and restaurants, I'm not ageist. I may notice that the average age in the dining room might be higher, or not. Food, however, is where my main focus is. I have been to neither La Folie nor Fleur de Lys, but I know what they are like in comparison to Danko. Classical preparations and presentations don't bother me in the least. In fact, if they're done well, they're sure to please and, quite possibly, impress me. More modern food, however, though it may be prepared and presented well, may not not - and often do not.


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I totally agree with Carlsbad about the selection of moderately priced restos. There are many good, if not great, ones. (And I will say right now that I am a Slanted Door fan.) To me, moderately priced means that you don't wake up the next day and say, "We spent how much? How are we paying rent this month?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for the replies...

Well I have canceled my reservation at Coi...I am just not sold on it, and to spend $300 or so, I need to be sold!

So, that means that for our 3 nights in SF - we are currently booked at Canteen - -

In terms for what I am looking for...all I need is fantastic food, the better the food, the happier I am. This does not mean however; that I must spend $300 to be happy...some of my favorite meals are at holes in the wall cooked by family run business that is to die for.

So, I would love a suggestion of 1 'awesome no holds barred' meal, and I think Aziza may have sneaked in one of our dinner slots...


"He who does not mind his belly, will hardly mind anything else."

- Samuel Johnson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So, I would love a suggestion of 1 'awesome no holds barred' meal, and I think Aziza may have sneaked in one of our dinner slots...

Make sure you order the Chef's tasting. Best way to get the most diverse tastes at the best price ($55 a person - KILLER deal!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So, I would love a suggestion of 1 'awesome no holds barred' meal, and I think Aziza may have sneaked in one of our dinner slots...

Make sure you order the Chef's tasting. Best way to get the most diverse tastes at the best price ($55 a person - KILLER deal!)

Will do and thanks.

Carolyn, have you been to La Folie? Thoughts?

Still looking for that one other stellar SF meal!


"He who does not mind his belly, will hardly mind anything else."

- Samuel Johnson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So, I would love a suggestion of 1 'awesome no holds barred' meal, and I think Aziza may have sneaked in one of our dinner slots...

Make sure you order the Chef's tasting. Best way to get the most diverse tastes at the best price ($55 a person - KILLER deal!)

Will do and thanks.

Carolyn, have you been to La Folie? Thoughts?

Still looking for that one other stellar SF meal!

I have been to La Folie, yes. That is why I suggested that with all the great and interesting cuisines San Francisco has to offer, upscale French is just a bit too de rigeur.

I have to say that one of my most interesting evenings was spent walking around downtown on a Seafood Crawl; I started with oysters at the bar at Farrallon, crudo at Ame, then to Anchor & Hope for the sea urchin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not usually post on this board as I am in Manhattan, but I know SF well.

No one ever mentions Hayes Street Grill on their list of places to visit. Why? I have had the most wonderful meals there, especially their salads and fish. It's an old SF place and the food is always fresh and inventive. . If they know you, it's a big hello at the door and impossible to get into before the opera or symphony.

Any reason or just off the radar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I do not usually post on this board as I am in Manhattan, but I know SF well.

No one ever mentions Hayes Street Grill on their list of places to visit. Why?  I have had the most wonderful meals there, especially their salads and fish. It's an old SF place and the food is always fresh and inventive. . If they know you, it's a big hello at the door and impossible to get into before the opera or symphony.

Any reason or just off the radar.

Because it is mostly only frequented by locals who live in the 'hood. The menu prices are a bit high (entrées $25 to $32) for what one gets and for visitors (as you specify), there are more exciting and innovative places in the city. I have heard that if you aren't a known entity by the waitstaff, the service tends to be stiff and sometimes off-putting. I have eaten there, but never been wowed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will be in San Francisco, staying in the Union Square/Market Street area and was looking for a really fabulous place for lunch AND a great late late night eats. I am on foot, with a very tight schedule (have an appt at 1pm) for lunch. I love to try new and interesting things, but mostly I want to see fresh ingredients prepared beautifully and with imagination.

Would love any suggestions. So far, I am considering One Market and Canteen for lunch.

Thanks in advance.

Linda


< Linda >

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Go to Canteen for lunch (much better than One Market). The biggest problem is that there is NO place for late, late night eats of any worth. The only thing open late in that 'hood are diners. Unfortunately, this town rolls up the carpet too early. If you are willing to take a cab, you can head to Nopa on Divisidero; they serve late...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, Canteen it is. That was my initial first choice anyway.

I was considering Gitane for my late night endeavour and I did look at nopa. Any feedback on Gitane? I would like to avoid the whole cab thing if possible.


< Linda >

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for recommendations egulleters. :)

This was my dinner at Ame last night. I really enjoyed it especially with the wine pairing. The only two things I didn't finish was the cherry pie (only managed half) and the risotto with the pork chop because it blew.

1.jpg

2.jpg

Trio of Sashimi. In focus is the red tuna with a zukke sauce. There's also a smoked trout and a kanpachi with uni sauce.

3.jpg

Corn soup with lobster puppies.

4.jpg

Broiled black cod with shrimp dumplings.

5.jpg

Grilled quail with beans and chirizo sausage

6.jpg

Foie Gras Tortellini with truffle shavings

7.jpg

Tuna tartare with foie gras shavings

8.jpg

Scallops, geoduck and prawns in a tomato sauce (almost a cerviche)

9.jpg

Kurobuta pork chop with mushroom risotto

10.jpg

Abalone in a spicy mushroom sauce

11.jpg

Chocolate pudding with some sort of sorbet (which was good)

12.jpg

Strawberry parfait

13.jpg

Pistachio ice cream with pistachio cookies and matcha green tea

14.jpg

Cherry pie with creme fraiche and a malt milkshake.

At the end of it all, the kitchen gave me two shots (something rank and ginger beer) to help me digest it all.


I can't for the life of me cook a sunny side up egg. I cry *sob*. Dammit I can't bake bread either.

I like photography. It's fun | Japan Day 1 - Asahi, Pocky, Tonkatsu and Whale - Oh my!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for recommendations egulleters. :)

This was my dinner at Ame last night. I really enjoyed it especially with the wine pairing. The only two things I didn't finish was the cherry pie (only managed half) and the risotto with the pork chop because it blew.

1.jpg

2.jpg

Trio of Sashimi. In focus is the red tuna with a zukke sauce. There's also a smoked trout and a kanpachi with uni sauce.

3.jpg

Corn soup with lobster puppies.

4.jpg

Broiled black cod with shrimp dumplings.

5.jpg

Grilled quail with beans and chirizo sausage

6.jpg

Foie Gras Tortellini with truffle shavings

7.jpg

Tuna tartare with foie gras shavings

8.jpg

Scallops, geoduck and prawns in a tomato sauce (almost a cerviche)

9.jpg

Kurobuta pork chop with mushroom risotto

10.jpg

Abalone in a spicy mushroom sauce

11.jpg

Chocolate pudding with some sort of sorbet (which was good)

12.jpg

Strawberry parfait

13.jpg

Pistachio ice cream with pistachio cookies and matcha green tea

14.jpg

Cherry pie with creme fraiche and a malt milkshake.

At the end of it all, the kitchen gave me two shots (something rank and ginger beer) to help me digest it all.

I am making reservation for Ames right now for 8/22/09. The food looks wonderful. However, I thought it is a 5 courses tasting menu and you showed a lot more than 5 dishes, what happened?

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So,

In a few short weeks, I will be escaping the culinary wasteland that is Tampa, FL and coming to partake in the joys of SanFran. However, the choices are somewhat overwhelming and so I need some help. I will be visiting for about seven days, and have alloted three budget busting meals for myself. Of course, I made the mistake of leafing through the Michelin guide and now have more options than I know what to do with. So, if you could only do three for dinner, which of these restaurants would you pick?

I don't have culinary restrictions except that I dont eat pork. Love Japanese food and sushi/crudo type dishes, vegetables when inspired and creative, and, of course, I appreciate a really fine piece of meat.

Here's the list:

-Ame - read some reviews here and was thinking to do the sitting at the bar thing and order crudo

-Canteen

-Coi

-Fleur de Lys

-Koo sushi

-Gary Danko

-La Folie

-Chez Panisse - requires a trip to Berkley and there's a lot of talk about it not being worth the hype, but so much history and influence that I feel almost shameful not going there

-Michael Mina

-Aqua

If some of these are better for lunch, please let me know.

Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in the East Bay, and rarely go out any more. I'm clueless about SF restaurants now, but here's my take on Chez Panisse. Whenever my mom's in town we take her to Chez Panisse upstairs cafe for lunch; she likes to wander around that area in Berkeley. If you call for a reservation for lunch try asking for a table on the porch (I don't exactly know what they call it, but it's sort of a glassed in porch area) you will be eating in daylight and it's extremely congenial, although a tad cramped; the upstairs cafe can be a bit dark otherwise, but then the older I get, the more light I need on my food (or book.) I've never left there unhappy. I always end my meal with one of their home-made fruit sorbets. Costs a fraction of a dinner downstairs, I am sure. And if you go for lunch, you can always check out the shops in Walnut Square and buy some cheeses and pastry at that long-standing institution known as the Cheese Board.

If you decided to eat downstairs, get hold of the week's menu ahead of time, so you will be able to pick a night that suits your taste.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For starters, I would strike Aqua off the list as Laurent Manrique and the bulk of the staff has recently walked out (rumors they will close soon).

I am also not huge fans of Danko, Mina, or (sadly), Coi. Danko has not changed their menu in five years which is my biggest complaint. They are very solid if you only dine there once. Mina is radically inconsistent with abjectly bad wine pairings. And on my recent visit to Coi, the dishes which were misses were remembered more than those which were hits. Actually, for me, the same can be said of my last Chez Panisse visit -- there were too many off dishes.

Have you considered Aziza?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Forget Michael Mina, the Dining Room at the Ritz is so much better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.