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discount alcohol places in SF/Oak?

We are planning a big party and are looking for some discount beer/wine/liquor stores in the SF or Oak/Berkeley area - anyone know the best places to look? Is Costco our best bet?

Sonoma - suggestions for rehearsal dinner?

sorry for not being more specific - there is no set amount that is too much, I'm just looking for something "reasonable" - i.e. $15-30 per person (without drinks). Private room would be nice but not necessary. I figure our options are limited as is, so in terms of types of food, I am open to anything.

Sonoma - suggestions for rehearsal dinner?

Thanks! I'll take a look at those for starters, but please, pile it on. I don't expect this to be easy since I'm asking a lot, so please feel free to suggest any places that you know are a) good, b) can accomodate 20 or so people, and c) is not going to cost more than the wedding itself! thanks!

Sonoma - suggestions for rehearsal dinner?

We are getting married next month up in Sonoma and are looking for a nice place to have a rehearsal dinner. I think we will need space for about 20 people. We don't want to spend too much, but I realize that may not be an option up there. I think we would be willing to go somewhere outside of Sonoma, but it needs to be within a 20 minute drive or so. Santa Rosa is probably too far. Any help would be appreciated!

Best Californian cuisine?

Why hasn't anyone mentioned Delfina? Do people not consider that California cuisine? I do, and I think that other than Zuni, it is the best of the bunch. I would skip NOPA and go to Delfina instead. NOPA is a glorified "neighborhood" restauarant and certainly not worth your time if you are coming in for only a few days from NYC - restaurants like NOPA are a dime a dozen in NYC, whereas you won't find anything like Zuni or Delfina out there

Aura, we hardly knew ye?

Walked by Aura last night in Bernal Heights (the old Cafe Chez Maman) and it was closed, with a sign in the front thanking its customers for all of their support. Does that mean they are closed for the holidays, or for good? Is the owner going to change the restaurant again? We only ate there once, but it certainly had potential once they worked out the kinks. That would really stink if we have to wait another 6 months for something new to go in there- we are still waiting for something to go into the old Moki's (and does anyone know anything about that?).

Aslam's Rasoi - great northern indian food, valencia & 22nd

we ate there on saturday night. nothing was going on to suggest they were about to remodel or anything like that.

The food was delicious by the way. Their Raita is the best I've had in the city.

beaujolais noveau?

When I used to live in DC there was a french bistro that would celebrate today by inviting everyone and anyone in for a big party that went all night, with free wine flowing.

Anyone know if any of the bistros in SF have something similar tonight?

Spot for cocktails near Incanto

Emmys has delicious cocktails, and is not too far away. Also, you could try the Latin American Bar, on 22nd and valencia, which has really good, cheap cocktails and if it is still nice out tonight you can sit outside in front.

dinner tonight around 6th and market

Going to see our friend's band play at the Warfield and was hoping to get some decent food near there. It's pretty gritty over there, so I'm not too hopeful. Would prefer something real close by, like within a block or two (in other words, Canteen is out). Is Farmer Brown our only bet?

Looking for Great SF Restaurants with Sociable Bar Scene

You might also want to check out Frisson. Good bar scene, good food. Youngish crowd on Friday's after work.

Anniversary Dinner: Fine Dining and easy reservations this weekend

We had our anniversary dinner recently at Piperade. I bet you can still get something there. Pretty romantic, and absolutely delicious food. You can also go to Frisson down the street for a pre-dinner cocktail.

Favorite Chinatown spots?

sweet! I'd be curious to know how you like it there. Everyone I've taken really likes it, except for my fiance (unfortunately), which means I often eat there solo. Lunch is hectic, but if you go after 1:30 it should be easy to get a table. And if you walk down the hill on Washington about a block and a half, on the lefthand side just on the westside of the park is a huge restaurant (I forget the name) that has lots of custards and what not that are really good.

Good Chinese in Mission/Potrero Hill

I say forget Chinese, and just order Lotus Garden. We have never been disappointed by their food, regardless of delivery or eat-in. Their soups are great.

Favorite Chinatown spots?

I always eat at Lucky Creation on Washington. All veggie, but delicious and cheap. Lots of good mock meat and good tofu.

Cheer up/comfort meal in SF?

All great suggestions- I appreciate it. It looks like it is between Incanto and Firefly (no car, so Chez Papa is out of the running, at least for tonight). Again, thanks all!

Cheer up/comfort meal in SF?

have you tried the new bistro? it looks good, but pricey, so I don't want to risk it if it isn't worth it.

Cheer up/comfort meal in SF?

we just ate there last week and probably eat there too often as it is. But something along those lines is exactly what I was thinking of.

Cheer up/comfort meal in SF?

So my fiance is feeling a little blue today, and I was thinking of cheering her up by taking her to dinner someplace that will just get her mind off of things and cheer her up a bit. Zuni would be my first choice, but it is closed today. I would prefer someplace in the Mission/Castro/Church St/Noe Valley part of town, just out of convenience.

Marina District Cocktails

Zuni has great cocktails and if it's nice out, you can sit outside.

Limon has some interesting drinks, although I don't know if you can just have drinks there.

Puerto Allegre if you just want to get hammered- very strong, delicious margs.

Emmys Spaghetti Shack has a great new cocktail menu, although it is in the outer mission.

Does anyone know when Little Star is due to open on Valencia?

15th and valencia? you mean in that spot that has housed 2 failed Thai restauarants recently? Awesome! Now we'll have an alternative if the line at Paulines is too long...

Oi vey, not another one of these...

As a former DC resident, i would suggest that for pizza you try little star. Normally, I would say Pauline's is the best in the city, with super fresh ingredients and delicious crust, but it reminds me too much of Pizzeria Paradiso, so I think you might appreciate trying something a little different. Little Star not only has good pizza, but also a kick ass jukebox and cheap drinks.

Picnic in or around Sonoma?

Thanks! Preston looks perfect!

New Yorker Visiting SF for First Time Ever! Any Suggestions...

As a recent transplant from NYC, the places that I have found out here that are not like anything in NYC are as follows:

Little Nepal. In Bernal Heights- reasonably priced, solid Nepalese food in a very serene, interesting setting.

Burmese Superstar. In the Clement (aka the Inner Richmond). Cheap, delicious burmese food, with some real interesting drinks and desserts. If you drive, prepare to search for parking for 20 minutes (nothing you aren't used to if you drive in NYC). Also, try to go early because the wait can be insane.

Zuni Cafe. On Market Street, in the Hayes Valley area. A bit pricier, but amazing. Definitely a "California" experience. If you go one place, this would be it in my opinion. Also no need to drive.

La Taqueria. Mission btwn 24th and 25th. Order some carne asada tacos "crispy". Can't get that in NY for sure.

In Chinatown, my favorite place is Lucky Creation, on Washington between Grant and Stockton. Cheap and delicious, and everyone who works there is super friendly. It is all vegetarian though.

Swann Oyster Depot, on Polk Street. This place is a tourist trap, and you may have to wait awhile for a seat, but it is well worth it. Delicious, fresh seafood, all pretty reasonably priced. Plus the place has a lot of history. I went the first day I came to visit (when I was deciding whether to move here) and I knew I would love this place after that.

Good luck!

Picnic in or around Sonoma?

We are going up to Sonoma (the town) on Saturday and I was thinking about picking up some picnic stuff and finding a winery to eat at. Anyone have any good suggestions for: 1) where to pick up the picnic food (only looking for sandwiches/salads/cheeses; nothing to fancy); and 2) which winery has a good picnic area. We are willing to travel outside of Sonoma but not too far. Thanks!

The Front Porch Opens -- (long)

time for some more dissent.

to say that my fiance and I were extremely excited about the opening of Front Porch would be an understatement. We live in the hood and love Emmys, so we figured this would be a wonderful new addition to the area. We thus decided to wait over an hour on friday night for a table. After an hour, when we seemed to be getting no closer to our goal, we managed to score some seats at the bar, where we decided to eat our whole meal.

Now, we both have been waiters/bartenders in very busy places, so we make just about every excuse possible for bad service. And I know this is a new restaurant. BUT COME ON PEOPLE. we shouldn't have to wait 20 minutes to give our order to the bartender while she chats with friends and does little else, all while two feet away from us. I can honestly say that was the worst service I've ever gotten in my life. Inexcusable on a busy Friday night, even if you haven't worked out all the kinks yet.

One more service note: the fries that were supposed to come with the burger we ordered did not come right away, but we were told when the burger came that they were "coming right up". 15 minutes later, when the burger was mostly done, still no fries. Finally we managed to get the bartender's attention (not an easy feat mind you) at which point she went and got us a plate of soggy fries, which she handed to us without apology, as if we were lucky to even get them at all. ugh.

With all that said, I would have been happy to come back if the food was good. But unfortunately it was horrible. I'm amazed at the glowing reviews from fellow chowhounds, since I usually agree with most recommendations on here. I should have known from the start that it would be bad, since the free cornbread we got was pretty stale. The tomato salad couldn't be more boring, and too much mayo. The steak was mostly fat, and had this spicy rub on it that was just about being spicy, with little flavor. The side of corn was fine, but nothing special (certainly not as good as Blue Plate's side of corn). The fries, as I mentioned above, were soggy. And the only way I can describe the burger is "meh".

oh- but the homemade pickle was good.

overall, I would say that the meal was so bad that I don't think we'll go back. The best part about the place is the rocking chairs in the front- we did enjoy sitting out there after our meal while we finished our wine. A nice ending to a bad meal.

Delicious Arabic/Lebanese brunch at GFC in outer mission

yes- nice and strong. The only "speciality" coffee I like more is the vietnamese coffee at Sunflower. That stuff is amazing.

Delicious Arabic/Lebanese brunch at GFC in outer mission

I just wanted to share with you guys the delicious brunch we had this weekend at Good Frickin Chicken on Mission and 29th (right near Front Porch). Don't let the name fool you! I guess they recently started serving "arabic" brunch in the dining room (the side entrance). We used to live below an Israeli who would make this killer breakfast on the weekends, so we figured we would give it a try. It was great. Cheap ($20 for the two of us), lots of food, lots of variety. The Lebneh was great, and they also had this great dish with chickpeas in this really flavorful sauce that I can't even describe. And the tea comes with fresh mint and is a great way to start the day.

offal and game meats in sf

Incanto Incanto Incanto. the best place for this kind of stuff.

Best Japanese Restaurant in Japantown (other than Kiss)?

Thanks! I've read about Ino- will probably give that a try.