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Fun Lunch places for dining alone in SF and dinner for 2 in Napa

This is a great question. As a frequent traveler myself, I'm always impressed by places that make a solo diner feel welcome. Too often, the response is snippy and dismissal, as though the lone diner is simply too much trouble.

But enough of the soapbox. I second the recommendation for Tadich (at the bar) for lunch. I think Boulevard may similarly accomodate solo diners, but I'm not sure.

Oct 07, 2006
DRR in San Francisco Bay Area

New Orleanian in search of great San Francisco dinner

The Ferry Building recommendation is a good one. Sand Dabs at Tadich would be a true San Francisco experience. I like Slanted Door, but despite the rep, I just don't think it would be one of my "first choices."

Alternatively, you could go West on Market (under Market, actually) on Muni and have lunch (or dinner) at The Zuni Cafe. A San Francisco classic, indeed.

Oct 01, 2006
DRR in San Francisco Bay Area

Quiet restaurant in Oakland/Berkeley for birthday with elderly parents?

I second the joJo suggestion.

Sep 19, 2006
DRR in San Francisco Bay Area

Looking For Great Bahn Mi in Oakland/Berkeley Area.

Cam Houng in downtown Oakland, perhaps?

Aug 26, 2006
DRR in San Francisco Bay Area

Flint's on Shattuck

Very interesting. Thanks for taking one for the team and posting. Even if the sauce is a bit different, one way I can tell for sure that this isn't the Flint's of old: "She greeted me with a nice 'Hi darlin'..." In dozens of visits to the "old" Flint's, I don't think I ever got more than a surly grunt of recognition/contempt. But it sure was worth it...

Aug 20, 2006
DRR in San Francisco Bay Area

Anniversary Lunch--Napa, perhaps?

Auberge du Soleil is delightful for a mid-week lunch. Spectacular location and very good food.

Aug 18, 2006
DRR in San Francisco Bay Area

SoCal Hound visiting this weekend - lunch, dinner and ballpark recs...

Oh, indeed, Zuni is a bit out of the way from the others. But, let's face it, S.F. isn't exactly a geographically huge town (especially on the scale of L.A.). And I, for one, would hate to miss out on a place of Zuni's quality simply because it was a bit too far out of hte way...

Aug 16, 2006
DRR in San Francisco Bay Area

SoCal Hound visiting this weekend - lunch, dinner and ballpark recs...

I suppose I'm just going to reiterate my own faves here but, if I only had a couple of days, and was in that neighborhood, I'd try: Zuni, Boulevard, Fog City Diner, One Market, Yank Sing (lunch).

Aug 16, 2006
DRR in San Francisco Bay Area

Family Friendly in SF?

Didn't see your post before I sent my own reply below. Dim sum is a great idea.

Aug 13, 2006
DRR in San Francisco Bay Area

Family Friendly in SF?

How about dim sum? That's what we did a lot when my kids were little. The (good) dim sum places are typically crowded, often with a lot of families (at least on the weekends). I also liked the fact that (1) the kids could see the food before picking something and (2) if it turned out they didn't like their selection, it was no big deal (and another cart came by quickly).

Aug 12, 2006
DRR in San Francisco Bay Area

New Julie's Kitchen location open in SF FiDi

Yes, they definitely have a bunch of "non-Asian" items. Salad bar, carved meats, that sort of thing. It's no big deal to walk through and take a look at what they've got, by the way. They are also open after the regular lunch rush (until 4:00, I think), though I think that kind of place benefits greatly from a lot of turnover.

Aug 12, 2006
DRR in San Francisco Bay Area

New Julie's Kitchen location open in SF FiDi

I agree competely, by the way. Nonetheless, I still think Julie's is a bit pricey given the quality (though some items have surprised me--in a good way). All of which exposes, I suppose, that I've gone back a few times. Maybe it isn't so horrible.

It reminds me a bit of when I worked in Embarcadero 3 and Lightening Foods opened. At first, it was fascinating, then the novelty wore off, at least for me. I think the quality at Julie's easily rivals that of Lightening, meaning (IMHO) that they're pretty much the top "by the weight" places in the Financial District. It remains to be seen whether they can convince me that it's worth the cost.

Then there's Tasty Express, the hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese buffet place on Kearney...that's another topic for another day...

Aug 12, 2006
DRR in San Francisco Bay Area

Dim Sum near civic center??

They do. It's mediocre, at best. Sort of "hey, there's dim sum. Ah, what the hell, I might as well give it a try..."

Aug 12, 2006
DRR in San Francisco Bay Area

Need business dinner recommendations in SF

These are all good recommendations. I'd especially ditto the Boulevard recommendation and add Zuni as another option.

Aug 11, 2006
DRR in San Francisco Bay Area

House of Nanking - yay or nay?

I've always kinda wondered about this theory. At some level, I suppose it makes sense. But there are a lot of Caucasians who eat at Denny's and Olive Garden. If you're non-Caucasian, does that mean they're good? I wonder. It's sort of like the old traveler's rule that "it must be good if all the truckers eat there." Maybe, maybe not.

Aug 09, 2006
DRR in San Francisco Bay Area

In East Bay for one night - help please!

Not sure whether they're open on Sunday, but I'd sure consider giving JoJo (on Piedmont Ave.) a try if they are. I imagine somebody will suggest A Cote, but while it has its fans, I've been kind of underwhelmed by the experience.

Aug 06, 2006
DRR in San Francisco Bay Area

Quiet Lunch in or around Napa

Auberge du Soleil seems like a perfect fit, in my experience. Food is fine, surroundings are spectacular, and I've never foud it the slightest bit noisy.

Aug 04, 2006
DRR in San Francisco Bay Area

New Julie's Kitchen location open in SF FiDi

I'm still not sure about these places. They seem to do a lot of things (from salad to carved turkey to sushi), but none of them are done particularly well. Or maybe I should say that they all seem "okay, but not great." Moreover, the place isn't cheap.

Having said that, I needed a quick lunch today during a break in a meeting and my clients (in from San Antonio) thought this newest Julie's was great.

I'm sorry, but I've tried it maybe three times now and each time I've walked out thinking (1) it was too expensive for what I got and (2) I could've done better.

Maybe my opinion will change.

Aug 04, 2006
DRR in San Francisco Bay Area

Sports Bars with Decent food in downtown SF

Wow, that's a tough call. For the life of me, I can't think of ANY "Sports Bars" in/around the Financial District, let alone one with "great food."

Jul 30, 2006
DRR in San Francisco Bay Area

Good Early Dinner by Embarcadero Center

I second the Tadich recommendation. Very "old school," but fun.

Jul 19, 2006
DRR in San Francisco Bay Area

Looking for Memorable Food and Ambience in Napa/Sonoma

Not so sure about ambienca at Girl & the Fig, though the food is quite good. It has alwyas struck me as an odd little place--not sure what it is about it. For knock-you-socks-off ambience and decent (to very good) food, how about Auberge du Soleil in Rutherford?

Jul 19, 2006
DRR in San Francisco Bay Area

Best Eggs Benedict?

I will second the Sunnyside Cafe recommendation. i have had the Eggs Benedict and give them thumbs up. But "best"? I'm not sure.

Jul 19, 2006
DRR in San Francisco Bay Area

Ferry Building Dinner Thursday

Boulevard is "can't miss." One Market is nice as well. And not too far up the street is the always reliable and recently rejuvenated Fog City Diner. And if you want to stay in the Ferry Building itself, Hog Island is good too (though it's pretty much a one note operation--albeit a good one).

Jul 19, 2006
DRR in San Francisco Bay Area

where to eat at Jack London Square

At the risk of reviving the dreaded "best BBQ" debate, I rather like Everett & Jones on Broadway. Beyond that, your friends will not be that far from Oakland Chinatown, which opens up a huge number of possibilities.

Jul 19, 2006
DRR in San Francisco Bay Area

L.A. Chowers Looking for Napa Lunch Recommendations

Mustard's has always been good for lunch, IMHO. I go there twice a month or so (last Friday being the most recent time). Auberge du Soleil is also wonderful, even if only for drinks/snacks/dessert. The patio there is glorious this time of year!

Jul 17, 2006
DRR in San Francisco Bay Area

Food near Freight and Salvage - Berkeley

Positively second the Lanesplitters recommendation.

Jun 24, 2006
DRR in San Francisco Bay Area

City girl moves to Rockridge - need sushi recs!!

Isobune is the McDonald's of sushi. It's not particularly "authentic," but at the same time, it has no pretense of being so. Sometimes a burger from McDonald's is what I really want. Sometimes Isobune is what I really want--quick, decent (not great), and reasonably inexpensive. But certainly far from the "gold standard" for the area.

Jun 24, 2006
DRR in San Francisco Bay Area

Love the new software

Oh, my goodness. What a huge improvement! It's so much easier to scan through a thread now!

Jun 24, 2006
DRR in Site Talk