• 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

OK, I am open to some suggestions for outstanding Vietnamese in SF. Give me some recommendations and I will try them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sunflower is my favorite (I started a thread on it). It straddles 16th and Valencia. I think it's at least as good as SD, at a much lower price, with a lot less hassle. Since I live a block away, it's where I go for vietnamese food.

I also love Tu Lan at 6th and Market. Although I guess I'll admit that at some level my appreciation of Tu Lan stems from its seediness, which is the analogue to those whose appreciation of SD is based on its trendiness. (see thread on reverse snobbery.)

Best is to try random places in the Tenderloin and out in the avenues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OK, I am open to some suggestions for outstanding Vietnamese in SF.  Give me some recommendations and I will try them.

Does it have to be in SF proper? Anyone tried Le Cheval in Oakland? Probably not the most "authentic" depending on whether you include the French colonial influences in authenticity, but I like it. Too bad for you if you don't! :biggrin:

Vo's is supposed to be good too, though I haven't made it there yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I also love Tu Lan at 6th and Market.  Although I guess I'll admit that at some level my appreciation of Tu Lan stems from its seediness, which is the analogue to those whose appreciation of SD is based on its trendiness.  (see thread on reverse snobbery.)

My first experience of Vietnamese food was at Tu Lan in 1979. I've always loved the place, although I think it declined in relation to other Vietnamese restaurants that subsequently opened in the Tenderloin. But the palpable greasy mist that hung over the upstairs dining room made it really special and reminded me of my favorite coffeeshop in New York's Chinatown (now cleaned up), where it was the custom to throw one's used napkins on the floor, where they piled up like snow until the end of the day, and everyone chainsmoked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I also love Tu Lan at 6th and Market.  Although I guess I'll admit that at some level my appreciation of Tu Lan stems from its seediness, which is the analogue to those whose appreciation of SD is based on its trendiness.  (see thread on reverse snobbery.)

I did not enjoy going to Tu Lan at all. I found the seediness to be off-putting rather than charming. Also, the neighborhood (6th and Mission) is not one I felt comfortable walking in at night, even when accompanied by two guys. Most of all, though, the food was not as good as I had expected it to be given its relatively high Zagat rating. I don't recommend it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I also love Tu Lan at 6th and Market.  Although I guess I'll admit that at some level my appreciation of Tu Lan stems from its seediness, which is the analogue to those whose appreciation of SD is based on its trendiness.  (see thread on reverse snobbery.)

I did not enjoy going to Tu Lan at all. I found the seediness to be off-putting rather than charming. Also, the neighborhood (6th and Mission) is not one I felt comfortable walking in at night, even when accompanied by two guys. Most of all, though, the food was not as good as I had expected it to be given its relatively high Zagat rating. I don't recommend it.

If you think 6th and Mission is sketchy now, you should have seen it in the 70s.

Is Meade's Cafeteria still there? Talking about seedy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Boulevard is a favorite. Also just tried One Market for the first time and was quite happy with it. Also Jeanty at Jack's was very good, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's taken longer than I thought to finish this list, but finally here it is. I could have added another 10 items I think, but just couldn't find the photos for them...

Take a look -- anything you think has been left off? Anything you disagree with?

:)

http://www.foodlover.com/dining/sfobest

Jordi.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fantastic, Jordi. You made me hungry and I just ate!


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow. That's outstanding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Man, you just stirred up some recent memories for me! I was in the Bay Area over the Holidays and had that very same roast duck from Yank Sing, and those same two dishes were on the tasting menus when we ate at French Laundry. We had three white Alba truffles with risotto at our table so the aroma was intoxicating. Some of it came back when I saw that photo! lol

R. Jason Coulston


R. Jason Coulston

jason@popcling.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mmmm. Great pictures. Is Kasper's still open? Last I heard it was closed and no one knew if it would open again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mmmm. Great pictures. Is Kasper's still open? Last I heard it was closed and no one knew if it would open again.

Really? I hadn't heard this, that's terrible... There were two places with similar names if I remember correctly. Apparently one is run by a cousin or brother-in-law or something of the original...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All I would ask for in addition is -- addresses!

Maybe they're there, and I just didn't dig deep enough?

(and yes, you can get them from different sources, but I like my information all in once place..)

Great images!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lovely work!

I was happy to see Swanton Berry Farm included.

Also, which farmer's market is pictured? It looks like the one in downtown Santa Cruz, but probably not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will be travelling to San Fransisco with my family (two adults and three teenagers). We are looking for some good restaurants, both off the beaten track and in the touristy area of Fisherman's Wharf. Also, some suggestions for Carmel would be great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a recent thread on the Carmel/Monterrey area:

Carmel, Monterrey

For SF, I'm sure people will ask for some details re: type of food and/or price range...

Could also be helpful to browse around the California boards a bit; lots of SF suggestions there.

Welcome to egullet by the way!


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where you should go in SF as ludja said all depends on what kind of food you like and what your budget is like. You should stop by the ferry building, there are a bunch of great shops there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, do let us know details as to budget range, styles of restaurants (i.e. "fine dining", casual, cheap-and-quick, etc.), and types of food preferred. San Francisco has a plethora of dining choices and that information will help a lot in pinpointing places you'll enjoy.

Cheers,

Squeat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our price range is around 25-40 per person, and we are willing to eat most foods. We are especially interested in foods that are unique to northern California, and are willing to travel outside San Fransisco if necessary. Thanks for your help. GAD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well... I'd say Zuni Cafe and Boulevard are both worth visiting, how many days are you in town for?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ditto on Zuni and Boulevard-both are quintessential SF restaurants--CA/meditarranean cuise.

Some recs for some more casual cuisine:

Brandy Ho's Hunan Cuisine on Columbus in North Beach. Check out Molinari's wonderful Italian deli up the street for snacks or things to take along. Stop in Stella Pastries also on Colombus for great Italian pastry such as cannolis.

Ton Kiang on Geary in the Richmond for dim sum.

Marnee Thai on Irving in the Sunset.

Other nice place near SF MOMA, is Thirsty Bear Brewery. The food is spanish tapas and is very good; plenty of seating; pretty during the day or pm.

If you're interested in Afghan food and can't get it easily near home; consider The Helmand in North Beach.

If you are driving up or down Hwy 1 between Monterrey and SF--stop in Pescardero for Duarte's Restaurant Tavern (right off of Hwy 1) for famous articoke soup and green chile soup with freshly baked homemade bread. Also, homemade pies for dessert. Seafood is also a specialty. Beautiful orginal building (always a restaurant/bar) since the days of timber industry in Santa Cruz Mtns (turn of the century).

It would be tough to pick between the two, but another awesome place to eat on Hwy 1 is "3 Amigos" Mexican Restaurant (just south of junction w/Hwy 92). Incredible carnitas burritos, creamy horchatas to drink....

Oh--and while I don't know too many restaurants near Fisherman's Wharf--one place you might enjoy is Ana Mandara at Ghiradelli Square. Owned by Don Johnson and Cheech Marin, it is a rather dramatic, multilevel space that is supposed to invoke French Colonial Vietnam. The food is pan-Asian with emphasis on Vietnamese. I've enjoyed dinner there, but also go to the beautiful bar area for drinks and appetizers...


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
... We are especially interested in foods that are unique to northern California, and are willing to travel outside San Fransisco if necessary...

That would mean Chez Panisse! (if you don't eat too much, you can eat lunch at the cafe for $40/person) Then go across the street to the Cheese Board Pizza and get a pizza or two for those still-hungry teenagers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Our price range is around 25-40 per person, and we are willing to eat most foods.  We are especially interested in foods that are unique to northern California, and are willing to travel outside San Fransisco if necessary.  Thanks for your help. GAD

For local specialties, don't forget Dungeness crab (which will be in season through the end of June at least). Logic says that Fisherman's Wharf should be the place to get it, but in truth it's a much better deal at Asian restaurants in other parts of town. On the other hand, it might be satisfying to stop at one of the stalls at Fisherman's Wharf and watch them steam and crack the crab that goes in your crab cocktail or crab salad sandwich.

"Mission Style" burritos are uniquely San Francisco, and there happens to be a branch of my favorite (Taqueria San Jose) for "al Pastor" burritos close to Fishwharf (Mason and Francisco). These are dinner-sized things, not noshes.

For the Chinatown experience, I rcommend Great Eastern (649 Jackson) for dinner and Gold Mountain (644 Broadway) for dim sum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We are looking for some good restaurants, both off the beaten track and in the touristy area of Fisherman's Wharf.

My list of the best things to eat in the Bay Area:

www.foodlover.com/dining/sfobest

Have a great trip and let us know if you find any new gems!

J.

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.