Current SF bay area restaurant recs

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by poorsod, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. poorsod

    poorsod Senior member

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    In my experience the SF bay area has a bigger Vietnamese population than a Japanese population and is reflected by the quality of the cuisine.
     
  2. flambard

    flambard Senior member

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    My do not miss list:
    Spruce
    Wayfare Tavern
    Woodhouse Fish
    Prospect (from the Boulevard people)
    Quince

    I'd say those are the best five restaurants in SF that are somewhat new.

    Classics:
    Zuni
    Town Hall (still the most consistently solid meal in SF)
    Fifth Floor

    Overhyped:
    Flour & Water
    Foreign Cinema (brunch is great, everything else not so much)




    Wayfare Tavern. Order the Fried Chicken. So good.[​IMG]
     
  3. NorCal_1

    NorCal_1 Senior member

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    SPQR has some great dishes these days, especially these:

    a) Sweet corn agnolotti, chanterelles, umbrian summer truffle & pecorino pepato
    b) Buckwheat spaghetti, suckling pig ragu, rapini & golden raisins
    c) Stuffed Gnocchi, lamb, apricot & sage brown butter

    the Sicilian wines they have are also very good and Burgundian-esque

    I'm going to Benu this weekend and will report back

    agree with Parker about Perbacco and surprised nobody mentioned a pilgrimage to Chez Panisse in Berkeley just for the heck of it

    I would also highly recommend Bottega in Yountville for a daytrip on weekends

    make sure to get:

    •Polenta Under Glass, caramelized wild mushrooms, balsamic game sauce
    •Garganelli, tomato braised Sonoma rabbit sugo, wild mushrooms, housemade ricotta
     
  4. Roikins

    Roikins Senior member

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    I'm going to Benu this weekend and will report back

    agree with Parker about Perbacco and surprised nobody mentioned a pilgrimage to Chez Panisse in Berkeley just for the heck of it


    Benu is soooo 2 weeks ago. [​IMG]

    Agree with Matt that Flour & Water is overrated. Went there a few weeks ago, 2 days after Jobs was turned away, actually, and not too impressed. Pizza is decent, but find Tony's better, and pasta was good, but not mindblowing. Not to mention they blast the music in the place so loud, you can barely hear the server or anyone sitting across from you.
     
  5. SField

    SField Senior member

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    I know. I now laugh at myself.

    I think the best Roast Chicken I ever had was at Barbuto. The other great one made by some old lady in Reims whose daughter I was banging for a couple weeks.
     
  6. pikaaarrr

    pikaaarrr Member

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    if you're into sushi, then mijori in oakland is pretty good. its small, but gets pretty busy. from my experience the fish is always fresh and the service is topnotch.
    for dimsum, restaurant peony in oakland chinatown is pretty good, and so is asian pearl in richmond.
     
  7. NorCal_1

    NorCal_1 Senior member

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  8. alex99

    alex99 Senior member

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    Here are a few places I go to on the regular:

    Range- I rate their chicken higher than Delfina and much higher than Zuni. They have a (much deserved) Michelin star and the prices are reasonable.

    Delfina- Haven't been here in a while but their buttermilk panna cotta is the best in the city, and maybe the best I've ever had.

    R and G Lounge- Skip the salt and pepper crab that everyone will tell you to get and order the salt and pepper scallops instead. You will pay less and get more food. Also try the R and G special beef, and the (cold) soy sauce chicken.

    For brunch I like Maverick. Try the duck hash. The Ceasar Salad at Zuni is also good, as are the Ramos Gin Fizz cocktails at Citizen Cake, which will hopefully reopen soon.

    For drinks there are many places, but my favorite is the Alembic. All of their drinks are well made but I particularly like their Blood and Sand and Pisco Sour. Another good place to try is Rick House.

    Pizza and Burritos are really personal and everyone has a favorite. La Taqueria at 2889 Mission is probably the most well known Taqeuria, but I haven't eaten there in years.

    Flour and Water is NOT overhyped, just crowded, so do what I do and go after 10:00 PM on a slower night, like Sunday- through Thursday. Just order a Margherita pizza and a simple pasta dish with pork and you will be happy. Their deserts are pretty good too, as they come from Jake Godby of Humphry Slocombe.

    A few more:

    SPQR for their pasta
    Humphry Slocombe for Ice Cream- but make sure to sample before ordering
    Bobs Donuts for Donuts (but only late at night when they are warm)
    Ferry Building for Acme bread- try the green onion
    Four Barrel for coffee
    Nopa for late night burger and drinks
    Nopalita for upscale Mexican
    Yank Sing for Dim Sum
    Ebisu for Sushi, although I love the Sushi and robata grill at Kirala in Berkeley more

    And then there are the big names, like Boulevard, Gary Danko, Coi, etc. I've eaten at all of them but much prefer the places I've listed for consistent good food at a much lower price. Two of my dishes at Coi were very bad, and the Sea Urchin my friend ate at Manresa bought her a trip to the hospital!

    Finally, everyone I know if talking about Frances, but I have not eaten there yet.

    Enjoy. There is no lack of good food here.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. binge

    binge Senior member

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    Happy to report Kokari is still quite good.
     
  10. NorCal_1

    NorCal_1 Senior member

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    so went to Benu this weekend and was not impressed

    I was with two other couples and we all ordered from the ala carte menu (as per Yelp reviews) and got 5 different things each, and while it was a nice experience, it was sadly nothng special

    no wow moments and we've all been to French Laundry and Manresa and the like before

    I'd much rather go to La Folie in SF and have their tasting menu to be honest

    by the way, my wife and I recently tried the tasting menu at Auberge du Carmel in Carmel, CA during the Pebble Beach Concours auto show and loved it - much more original and interesting than Benu
     
  11. scottcw

    scottcw Senior member

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    Some of these might be repetitive...

    Absinthe in Hayes Valley (also some of the best clothes shopping)
    Nopa
    Fleur de Lys
    El Tonayense for the best Mexican
    Charanga
    Blue Bottle for the best coffee, though Four Barrel is arguably as good
     
  12. dragon8

    dragon8 Senior member

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    so went to Benu this weekend and was not impressed

    I was with two other couples and we all ordered from the ala carte menu (as per Yelp reviews) and got 5 different things each, and while it was a nice experience, it was sadly nothng special

    no wow moments and we've all been to French Laundry and Manresa and the like before

    I'd much rather go to La Folie in SF and have their tasting menu to be honest

    by the way, my wife and I recently tried the tasting menu at Auberge du Carmel in Carmel, CA during the Pebble Beach Concours auto show and loved it - much more original and interesting than Benu


    Thanks for the update. Going in October
     
  13. binge

    binge Senior member

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    Fleur de Lys

    That sound you hear is heismatt retching.
     
  14. ChicagoRon

    ChicagoRon Senior member

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    Some of these might be repetitive... Absinthe in Hayes Valley (also some of the best clothes shopping) Nopa Fleur de Lys El Tonayense for the best Mexican Charanga Blue Bottle for the best coffee, though Four Barrel is arguably as good
    I think I mentioned earlier... Absinthe salts the living shit out of everything. I would go there for drinks again, but the food left a lot to be desired, IMO.
     
  15. scottcw

    scottcw Senior member

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    I think I mentioned earlier... Absinthe salts the living shit out of everything. I would go there for drinks again, but the food left a lot to be desired, IMO.

    My experiences (plural), nor those of my fellow diners, have not been the same.
     

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