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San Francisco getaway... help with my itinerary?

San Francisco getaway... help with my itinerary?
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  • San Francisco getaway... help with my itinerary?

    Post #1 - September 19th, 2007, 10:38 am
    Post #1 - September 19th, 2007, 10:38 am Post #1 - September 19th, 2007, 10:38 am
    As I know from reading this board for the past few years, I am definitely not the only one out there who really looks forward to planning a trip to a new city by mapping out the must-eats… With that in mind, I need your help. My husband and I are going to San Francisco in October for a wedding and are spending a few extra days there. We arrive on a Wednesday afternoon and basically have all of Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning to eat and explore. I am finding, after reading the boards as well as chow.com, that this is not nearly enough time for us to go to all the places I would like. After doing some preliminary research, here is my tentative itinerary. I want to point out that other than one or two diversions (ala, Chez Panisse) we do want to avoid really high end eating, since the trip is already expensive and I think we can still eat amazing food without destroying our budget. Anyway, here we go:

    Wednesday night: Chez Panisse

    Thursday breakfast: coffee/pastries at a North Beach café (where we are staying) - any suggestions?
    Before heading on the morning Alcatraz Tour
    Thursday Lunch: Swan Oyster Bar? (I have no idea how far away this is from the tour and whether we’ll be able to get in without waiting an hour… any comments?)
    Thursday Dinner: Mystery ethnic restaurant with friends in Oakland (they are picking)

    Friday breakfast: Mama’s on Washington Square (also near our hotel)
    Before driving to Muir Woods
    Friday lunch: Dim Sum? where to go… Yank Sing? Ton Kiang? (I am open to suggestions for any other options to go to on the way back from Muir Woods too – since we are borrowing a friend’s car to make the trip we’ll have some flexibility)
    Friday afternoon activity: Anchor Steam brewery tour? (I don’t know much about this – is it worth going to?) Any other ideas?
    Friday dinner: ???

    Saturday breakfast: Ferry building Farmer’s Market

    That’s it. I would appreciate any comments or suggestions for eating, drinking and "touring". Other than the Friday trip to Muir Woods we won’t have access to a car so any restaurants would need to be BART or walking accessible. I appreciate your input! Very excited for this trip!
  • Post #2 - September 19th, 2007, 10:24 pm
    Post #2 - September 19th, 2007, 10:24 pm Post #2 - September 19th, 2007, 10:24 pm
    ktb77 wrote:Thursday Lunch: Swan Oyster Bar? (I have no idea how far away this is from the tour and whether we’ll be able to get in without waiting an hour… any comments?)



    One of the best lunches I've ever had. An institution and well worth the visit. Picture a perfect plate of chilled seafood, an amazing bowl of clam chowder, a hunk of terrific sourdough and a tall glass of Anchor Steam all set amongst a great vibe of SF locals. It's a must do.
  • Post #3 - September 20th, 2007, 7:13 am
    Post #3 - September 20th, 2007, 7:13 am Post #3 - September 20th, 2007, 7:13 am
    ktb77 wrote:Very excited for this trip!

    KTB,

    Having just spent time in San Francisco I appreciate your excitement, it's a absolutely terrific city, one of my favorites.

    Swan Oyster Depot is, in my opinion, an absolute must, it's small, crowded and there is, in particular around lunch time, a wait, but you will not find fresher tastier shellfish unless you ship out on a crab boat.

    Swan Oyster Depot
    Image
    Image
    Image

    Crab Louie combo
    Image

    Nice call on Mama's for breakfast, I was there just a few weeks ago and really enjoyed myself. I posted about breakfast here.

    Far as Ton Kiang vs Yank Sing, no question, Ton Kiang by a landslide. I say this from the perspective of having been to both within the last 30-days. In the past I've had good to very good dim sum at Yank Sing, but, frankly, not for years. On this most recent trip Ton Kiang beat Yank Sing on every count including price, dim sum lunch for 2-people at Yang Sing brushed up to $100, a total blow-out dim sum extravaganza for 8-people, including a whole salt baked chicken, salt and pepper shrimp, duck, couple of orders of soft shell crab, an amazing Burmese style tea leaf salad* and groaning excess of riches was under $200. Pictures of our lunch may be found here

    Ton Kiang Tea Leaf Salad
    Image

    Saturday at the Ferry Building Market is one of the best places to be on earth, what is a fun mostly interesting place to begin with is, by the addition of 70+ vendors, elevated to senses stunning heights. 5-types of figs, oysters hours from the water, cheese, bread, vegetables of types only previously imagined, a slice of Saturday morning heaven.

    Hog Island Oysters at Saturday Ferry Building Market
    Image

    Kadota Fig
    Image
    Image

    Pluot/Mango Plum
    Image

    Many vendors offered samples
    Image

    My Friday dinner suggestion, Zuni Cafe, typifies the best of 'market basket' California cooking, upscale casual and the much vaunted Zuni Cafe wood roasted chicken is even better than you have heard.

    Zuni Cafe Wood Roasted Chicken
    Image

    We also had dinner at Town Hall, which I found a bit weaker than previous visits, and Tadich Grill, a San Francisco institution which I thoroughly enjoyed. If you go to Tadish Crab Louie to start, Sand Dabs for an entree would be my suggestion. Piperad, a Basque restaurant which I posted about here would be a good choice as well. Though my top suggestion would be Zuni.

    Have fun, looking forward to your followup post on where you went and impressions.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    *I have no idea what a composed Burmese tea leaf salad was doing on Ton Kiang's dim sum menu, but it was certainly delicious.

    Zuni Cafe
    1658 Market Street
    San Francisco, CA 94102
    415-552-2522

    Mama's on Washington Square
    1701 Stockton St
    San Francisco, Ca 94133
    415-362-6421
    8am - 3pm
    Tues - Sun
    http://www.mamas-sf.com

    Piperad
    1015 Battery Street
    San Francisco, CA 94111
    415-391-2555
    http://www.piperade.com

    Swan Oyster Depot
    1517 Polk St
    San Francisco, CA 94109
    415-673-1101

    Ton Kiang Restaurant
    5821 Geary Blvd
    San Francisco, CA 94121
    415-752-4440

    http://www.yanksing.com/

    Town Hall
    342 Howard St
    San Francisco, CA 94105
    415-908-3900

    Tadich Grill
    240 California St. (near Battery Street)
    415-391-1849
    Closed Sunday
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #4 - September 20th, 2007, 9:57 am
    Post #4 - September 20th, 2007, 9:57 am Post #4 - September 20th, 2007, 9:57 am
    Thank you both for your input and for the great pictures G Wiv! I will keep you posted as we finalize the itinerary, and will definitely post a report on my trip. I may even try to get a few pictures in there, we'll see...
    thanks again!
  • Post #5 - September 20th, 2007, 2:01 pm
    Post #5 - September 20th, 2007, 2:01 pm Post #5 - September 20th, 2007, 2:01 pm
    More tea leaf salad at an actual San Fran Burmese spot and other Bay Area madness here.
  • Post #6 - September 20th, 2007, 7:11 pm
    Post #6 - September 20th, 2007, 7:11 pm Post #6 - September 20th, 2007, 7:11 pm
    I'll second Wiv's recs for Swan & Tadich. Swan is an absolute MUST for me on every visit to S.F.

    One trip when I was in town for the Original Meters shows at the Fillmore, we were even offered (and, of course, accepted) Swan's House Aged Tequila, which resides in wooden casks on a shelf against the back wall, behind the counter. But we were partying pretty hard for 9:30 in the morning on a week day, and happened to have a counterman that was a huge Meters fan, so we got lucky.
    I exist in Chicago, but I live in New Orleans.
  • Post #7 - September 22nd, 2007, 1:23 pm
    Post #7 - September 22nd, 2007, 1:23 pm Post #7 - September 22nd, 2007, 1:23 pm
    I'll dissent on Ton Kiang. It's way out in the Avenues and needlessly pricey; you'll also notice from the customer mix that it's another gweilo A-list place, though the percentage of Asians will be higher than the 1% you might find at Yank Sing (basically an expense-account place) on weekdays.

    You'll be close to Chinatown, so I'd suggest Gold Mountain on Broadway; there you'll get the full dim sum experience with the locals. It's rolling carts (therefore point and shoot ordering) and the staff know enough English to steer you away from disasters. The prices will be lower and portions bigger than Ton Kiang's, and generally as good quality.

    I'll agree with Swan's and Mama's but willl underscore that there will be a wait at both places, though Mama's might not be too bad on a weekday.

    For North Beach cafes (and I've lived in NB for most of the past 40 years) my current favorite is Puccini on Columbus, or Trieste (Grant and Vallejo) when I can get a table, especially for the historicity -- you'll find the ghosts of all the beats there.
    All Chinese food all the time at http://www.eatingchinese.org
  • Post #8 - September 23rd, 2007, 6:05 am
    Post #8 - September 23rd, 2007, 6:05 am Post #8 - September 23rd, 2007, 6:05 am
    Gary Soup wrote:I'll dissent on Ton Kiang. It's way out in the Avenues and needlessly pricey
    ~snip~
    For North Beach cafes (and I've lived in NB for most of the past 40 years) my current favorite is Puccini on Columbus, or Trieste (Grant and Vallejo) when I can get a table, especially for the historicity -- you'll find the ghosts of all the beats there.

    Gary,

    First of all, nice to see you on LTH, welcome.

    Far as Ton Kiang being out a bit from city central, absolutely, pricey, I'd disagree. Last I was there 8 of us, including 4-teens and an active ex-army 6'4" early 20's male were over sated* for $180, including a couple of orders of soft shells and a whole salt baked chicken. While I agree there are less expensive dim sum options to be found, I would not characterize our lunch or Ton Kiang in general as expensive.

    Ok, enough picking nits, next time I'm in SF Gold Mountain on Broadway is a must do. I'm also looking forward to trying Puccini as Trieste has been a long time North Beach must-stop for me, as are Molinari (a top notch Italian deli) and Columbus Cutlery (small, packed to the rafters, literally, cutlery shop).

    Speaking of North Beach, Pigmon, a fellow poster on LTH, recommended Capp's Corner. I only had a solo lunch, but it's not often I've been so favorably impressed by both food and customer interaction on a single visit.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    *In other words we ate way too much. :)
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #9 - September 23rd, 2007, 9:35 am
    Post #9 - September 23rd, 2007, 9:35 am Post #9 - September 23rd, 2007, 9:35 am
    G Wiv wrote:Far as Ton Kiang being out a bit from city central, absolutely, pricey, I'd disagree. Last I was there 8 of us, including 4-teens and an active ex-army 6'4" early 20's male were over sated* for $180, including a couple of orders of soft shells and a whole salt baked chicken. While I agree there are less expensive dim sum options to be found, I would not characterize our lunch or Ton Kiang in general as expensive...

    Speaking of North Beach, Pigmon, a fellow poster on LTH, recommended Capp's Corner. I only had a solo lunch, but it's not often I've been so favorably impressed by both food and customer interaction on a single visit.



    Gary W., we are both right, of course. All things are relative, and your asterisk tells it all. It's just that I'm so used to the likes of Gold Mountain, Lichee Garden and Y. Ben House that it's difficult to contemplate spending over $20 pp for dim sum, even when splurging on "anchor" dishes.

    Capp's Corner is also the best bet for a legacy, bust-your-gut red sauce Italian place, now that Gold Spike is gone. It's the kind of place you might see politicians, off-duty policemen or Tony Bennet at. It's just not haute and I'm so used to the elitism I left behind on Chownhound that I have to duck every time I say something positive about a place like Capp's.
    All Chinese food all the time at http://www.eatingchinese.org
  • Post #10 - September 26th, 2007, 9:32 am
    Post #10 - September 26th, 2007, 9:32 am Post #10 - September 26th, 2007, 9:32 am
    Gary Soup wrote:Capp's Corner is also the best bet for a legacy, bust-your-gut red sauce Italian place, now that Gold Spike is gone. It's the kind of place you might see politicians, off-duty policemen or Tony Bennet at.

    Gary,

    Funny you should mention cops, I sat at the bar for lunch and had a nice conversation with the bartender, who turned out to be from Chicago, and a couple of SF cops.

    Manny Herrera chef/owner Capp's (Middle)
    Image

    Manny seems a friendly fellow who runs a tight ship, Capp's was spotless, verging on gleaming with big bar and comfortable dining area with a open airy feeling, plus I very much enjoyed my lunch.

    Linguine with seafood, $10 Daily special, was excellent. Perfectly cooked pasta, nice mix of seafood, including a small chunk of pink on the inside salmon, clams, shrimp, mussels, squid, all tender with good texture. Sauce was a lightly spicy, Manny said he would have amped it up if he knew I liked spicy, mix of cream and butter enhanced tomato sauce.

    Linguine with seafood
    Image

    Capp's, being scant blocks from Chinatown, might be the perfect place for a quiet drink after the hustle and bustle of Chinatown. Speaking of Chinatown, Gary, are you familiar with the following dim sum place? Late morning it had a line 40-people strong out the door.

    San Francisco Chinatown
    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Capp's Corner
    1600 Powell St
    San Francisco, CA 94133
    415-989-2589
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #11 - September 26th, 2007, 9:51 am
    Post #11 - September 26th, 2007, 9:51 am Post #11 - September 26th, 2007, 9:51 am
    G Wiv wrote:Capp's, being scant blocks from Chinatown, might be the perfect place for a quiet drink after the hustle and bustle of Chinatown. Speaking of Chinatown, Gary, are you familiar with the following dim sum place? Late morning it had a line 40-people strong out the door.



    Gary, the place in the picture is the "Good Mong Kok" dim sum place on Stockton St. (it just charmingly says "Dim Sum Nice Food" on the wndow). It's one of the best walkaway dim sum places (Chinatown has many) but I've never seen the kind of line you mentioned. Are you sure you are not thinking of Golden Gate Bakery, a block over on Grant Avenue? It often has a line that long for its egg custard tarts.

    When you mention "Chicago" and "cops" in the same sentence, I have to wonder if the cops at Capps Corner are there for a free meal ;-)
    All Chinese food all the time at http://www.eatingchinese.org
  • Post #12 - September 26th, 2007, 10:25 am
    Post #12 - September 26th, 2007, 10:25 am Post #12 - September 26th, 2007, 10:25 am
    IMHO Chez Panise, while extremely important to the dining scene today is so remarkably overrated for the current quality of its food. My buddy said it best when he told me, "This is a place that takes their food WAY too seriously and thus the food suffers." My 2 meals I've had there were somewhere between bland and bad.

    I'd really suggest a couple of other spots that I think are significantly better- and I've been to these each 3-4 times- Boulevard and PlumpJack. Both are among the best SF has to offer in terms of high end dining.
    is making all his reservations under the name Steve Plotnicki from now on.
  • Post #13 - September 27th, 2007, 7:37 am
    Post #13 - September 27th, 2007, 7:37 am Post #13 - September 27th, 2007, 7:37 am
    Gary Soup wrote: Are you sure you are not thinking of Golden Gate Bakery, a block over on Grant Avenue?
    Gary Soup wrote:Gary, the place in the picture is the "Good Mong Kok" dim sum place on Stockton St. (it just charmingly says "Dim Sum Nice Food" on the wndow). It's one of the best walkaway dim sum places (Chinatown has many) but I've never seen the kind of line you mentioned. Are you sure you are not thinking of Golden Gate Bakery, a block over on Grant Avenue? It often has a line that long for its egg custard tarts.

    Gary,

    Absolutely the line was at the place in the picture, which is why I snapped the picture in the first place. Truthfully, I didn't exactly count the number of people in line, might not have been a full 40, but it was long enough to cause me think this place must have either excellent dim sum or very low prices. I considered going in, but the line was moving glacially slow.

    Gary Soup wrote:When you mention "Chicago" and "cops" in the same sentence, I have to wonder if the cops at Capps Corner are there for a free meal ;-)

    I left before they were done, so I couldn't say, but, like many cities, there is a new breed of straight laced Chicago cop with the occasional bad apple giving a black eye to the hard working line toeing other 99%.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Gary,

    No question the line was at the place in the picture, which is why I snapped the picture in the first place. Truthfully, I didn't exactly count the number of people in line, might not have been a full 40, but it was long enough to cause me think this place must have either excellent dim sum or very low prices. I considered going in, but the line was moving glacially slow.

    Gary Soup wrote:When you mention "Chicago" and "cops" in the same sentence, I have to wonder if the cops at Capps Corner are there for a free meal ;-)

    I left before they were done, so I couldn't say, but, like many cities, there is a new breed of straight laced Chicago cop with the occasional bad apple giving a black eye to the hard working line toeing other 99%.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #14 - November 23rd, 2007, 3:21 pm
    Post #14 - November 23rd, 2007, 3:21 pm Post #14 - November 23rd, 2007, 3:21 pm
    Hello LTH,

    My parents and I are visiting my sister and brother-in-law in San Francisco, and we are looking for an authentic but elegant (i.e. not too dive-y) restaurant that we can go to in San Francisco. I realize that the quality of authentic Chinese food is often inversely proportional to the decor, but my parents aren't able to ignore the ambiance of the restaurant even if the food is amazing. We have a car so we can get almost anywhere in the city.

    I've done my research, and as of now, we are looking at R&G, but not much was said about the decor... Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

    asami
  • Post #15 - November 23rd, 2007, 3:45 pm
    Post #15 - November 23rd, 2007, 3:45 pm Post #15 - November 23rd, 2007, 3:45 pm
    asami wrote:Hello LTH,

    I've done my research, and as of now, we are looking at R&G, but not much was said about the decor... Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

    asami


    R&G is certainly presentable enough, though it's a notoriously inconsistent restaurant. Along with their signature dishes like the pepper-salt crab which are usually well executed, you'll get some stinkers (nd I'm not refrrring to tofu) if you don't select wisely. Great Eastern, on Jackson St. is slightly less elegant but certainly presentable enough and much more consistent.

    Since you have a car, though, I'd advise you make the short drive out of town to Koi Palace in Daly City. Arguably the best Cantonese cuisine you'll find this side of Hong Kong or Vancouver and a very attractive facility to boot. Yes, they have A koi pond and it's not all thqt expensive, either, if you avoid the more exotic aquatic creatures you'll see on display by the front desk.
    All Chinese food all the time at http://www.eatingchinese.org
  • Post #16 - November 24th, 2007, 10:43 am
    Post #16 - November 24th, 2007, 10:43 am Post #16 - November 24th, 2007, 10:43 am
    If you want an amazing Chinese meal in San Francisco, I would highly recommend Jai Yun. It has been a few years since I have been there but I had a remarkable meal. There was no menu and one just needs to indicate how much they are willing to spend. As it is BYOB, the seemingly high prices ended up being not so bad. Here is a link to a recent article in the San Francisco Examiner http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/listings/ ... vid=183494

    We opted for the $100 per person meal. I don't remember very many of the details but we must have had about 20 dishes including a delicious abalone and a really good lobster. When we finished the last dish, the kitchen asked if we wanted more but we threw in the towel.

    At the time there were no menus and no one spoke any English so we just told them how much we wanted to spend and off we went on a fabulous culinary adventure. The place was a dive which made the meal all the more appealing for me. It looks like they have white tablecloths now and I imagine they have bridged the language barrier but how bad can a place be if it has been in the top 100 San Francisco Restaurants for five years?

    Reservations are probably required. I can't say enough good things about my experience here. I liked it so much I devoted my 100th post to this thread after being a "member" for only three years.
  • Post #17 - November 24th, 2007, 11:31 am
    Post #17 - November 24th, 2007, 11:31 am Post #17 - November 24th, 2007, 11:31 am
    deesher wrote:If you want an amazing Chinese meal in San Francisco, I would highly recommend Jai Yun....

    ....The place was a dive which made the meal all the more appealing for me...


    Jai Yun just moved to slightly more elegant quarters, closer to the Financial District at 680 Clay Street (same telephone number) and therein lies a bittersweet tale. The chef/owner of Jia Yun, Nei Chia Ji, bankrolled a Jai Yun spinoff serving casual and inexpensive lunchtime (and initially dinnertime) food at that location, with his apprentice chef at the stove. The venture lasted less than a year but failed due to a maddeningly incomprehensible lack of business, despite serving some of the most "haute" Chinese house-made noodle and small plate offerings the vast majority of diners will ever experience, at the price of an office district lunch (less than $10). A few of the items I tried (and the small apps were usually complimentary) can be seen in a small set I started in my flickr account at:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/garysoup/s ... 2035862571

    The good news therefore, is that Chef Nei now has a slightly spiffier, larger and more well-located facility to showcase his talents. The bad news is that the opportunity to sample his brand of Shanghai region cuisine without having to commit time, budget and appetite to one of his $50++++ "tasting menus" may be gone forever.
    All Chinese food all the time at http://www.eatingchinese.org
  • Post #18 - December 22nd, 2007, 12:52 pm
    Post #18 - December 22nd, 2007, 12:52 pm Post #18 - December 22nd, 2007, 12:52 pm
    I know this is a bit of a topic change from the run of Chinese spots mentioned, but having moved from SF to Chicago 12 years ago, I really, really miss SF-style pizza (if there is a "style" I'm not sure) and especially North Beach Pizza. They use a sourdough crust, nice and chewy, with delicious toppings. It's a nice little restaurant in (natch) North Beach neighborhood, and they also deliver. And they cut their pizzas on the radius, not in irritating squares!

    www.northbeachpizza.com

    I definitely recommend Boulevard, Plumpjack, Aqua (seafood-focused fine dining), Tadich Grill (old school baby!) and will try Swan when the GF and I are out there next week. Looking forward to the Ferry Market as well.
    - Mark

    Homer: Are you saying you're never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon? Ham? Pork chops?
    Lisa: Dad, those all come from the same animal.
    Homer: Heh heh heh. Ooh, yeah, right, Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal.
  • Post #19 - June 17th, 2008, 6:20 pm
    Post #19 - June 17th, 2008, 6:20 pm Post #19 - June 17th, 2008, 6:20 pm
    I never thought being stuck near SFO without a car and only a few hours to spare would be so easy-breezy.

    Literally walking distance from my hotel in Millbrae, is a great Cantonese place, and a favourite dim sum joint for the Bay Area at large.

    Hong Kong Flower Lounge

    Image

    I ankled it over to HKFL just in time to catch some dim sum, something I've not actually had in far too long. (Curtain closes on dim sum at 2:30pm)

    The whole walk over there I kept hearing a voice tell me, "It's okay to let a few carts pass you by. Be patient. Choose wisely, my son."

    The glutton gods must've cast some kind of evil spell on me, because all I could do was nod at each cart-pusherman's offer. Before I knew it, it was game-over and I was begging to be rolled out of there on a cart.

    BBQ pork pastries (char siu so?)
    Image
    I rarely order these, but like I said, there were other powers at play here. Pretty tasty, though not worth wasting precious stomach-space on.

    Fishball soup
    Image
    Slight heat, lots of turmeric and other spices I couldn't put my finger on, quite delicious.

    Chinese broccoli w/ oyster sauce
    Image
    Bright, fresh, crisp, right on the money.

    The cart with the broccoli also had some wontons, which the pusherman quickly boiled on the spot. These were the highlight of the meal -- just perfect skin, chock-full of shrimp and pork.

    Boiled wontons
    Image

    Image

    It had been a coupla years since the last time I burned my mouth on some xiao long bao, and sure enough, never learning my lesson, I burned myself again. Not the best xlb's (skin was nice and thin, but a little weak on the 'soup'), but even a mediocre xlb is a damn fine thing.

    Xiao long bao
    Image

    I also managed some pan-fried turnip cake and black sesame dumpling which was a knockout. And I was knocked out by this point too, but if there were a few more stomachs with me, I would've wanted to try the specials:

    Image

    I wish I had more time here to get to some of my other favourites in town, but Honk Kong Flower Lounge definitely did the trick.

    Hong Kong Flower Lounge
    51 Millbrae Ave
    Millbrae, CA 94030
  • Post #20 - August 26th, 2008, 11:10 am
    Post #20 - August 26th, 2008, 11:10 am Post #20 - August 26th, 2008, 11:10 am
    I finally had the opportunity to try dim sum at Ton Kiang. I think the quality has dropped since Gary's been there! Mike and I walked out after 3 trays of dim sum. Overpriced, and not that great! I had a sinking feeling when I realized that there were few Chinese people eating in the restaurant as we waiting 45 minutes for a table.

    We walked down a few blocks and had Shanghainese food at another restaurant instead.

    For good Chinese seafood in San Francisco Chinatown, try Yuet Lee. One of my favorite restaurants serving really good garlic salt and pepper shrimp, S&P squid, black bean clams, and round off your dinner with porridge. My team and I go almost every week!

    Image
    Garlic Salt and Pepper Shrimp

    Image
    Salt and Pepper Squid

    Image
    Black Bean Clams

    Image
    Porridge

    Yuet Lee
    1300 Stockton Street
    (at Broadway St)
    San Francisco, CA 94133
    (415) 982-6020
    Open till 3 am on the weekend
  • Post #21 - August 26th, 2008, 11:15 am
    Post #21 - August 26th, 2008, 11:15 am Post #21 - August 26th, 2008, 11:15 am
    I was just in SF and was told the owners had sold out and the quality had dropped. Unfortunately, C, you have just confirmed it.
  • Post #22 - August 26th, 2008, 11:28 am
    Post #22 - August 26th, 2008, 11:28 am Post #22 - August 26th, 2008, 11:28 am
    CrazyC wrote:For good Chinese seafood in San Francisco Chinatown, try Yuet Lee. One of my favorite restaurants serving really good garlic salt and pepper shrimp, S&P squid, black bean clams, and round off your dinner with porridge. My team and I go almost every week!


    Yuet Lee
    1300 Stockton Street
    (at Broadway St)
    San Francisco, CA 94133
    (415) 982-6020
    Open till 3 am on the weekend


    Crazy, speak of the devil! I was wasting some time in the City (love that, and it is unless you are from NY or Chicago) after a week in Palo Alto last month. My coworker and I wanted to grab some dinner, so I used the tried and true technique -- drive to an ethnic neighborhood, park, find the nearest police or fire station, and ask for a reco. The cops at the Chinatown SFPD sent us around the corner to Yuet Lee. Great no frills spot with a Cantonese menu similar to, say, Silver Seafood in Chicago, but a significantly better kitchen for most dishes. S&P preps, esp. cuttlefish/squid are great. Noodle soups pretty good (not as good as Sun Wah, IMO, but very similar). My only disappointment was with the utter lack of Chinese veggies on the pm of my visit. I assume they were just "out," though I don't see how such a place smack in the middle of Chinatown could really be "out." No ong choy, bok choy, watercress, pea shoots, etc. Regular spinach with oyster sauce was good.

    Anyway, Yuet Lee, while no secret (plenty of clippings on the wall) is a GNR type place in SF. I'm relieved and happy the cops came through.
  • Post #23 - August 26th, 2008, 1:02 pm
    Post #23 - August 26th, 2008, 1:02 pm Post #23 - August 26th, 2008, 1:02 pm
    Our meal at Ton Kiang was about $25! For mealy har gow, over-battered salt and pepper shrimp and overly sweet char-siu bao (I was starving and these 3 showed up first!).

    Heading down to the Shanghai restaurant and had whole fried fishes (lit translation: small yellow fish), XLB, and Sticky Rice Shu Mai... The damage? $25 as well...

    Yuet Lee is definitely a hole in the wall. Some of my coworkers will not go there, because they think it smells... But I don't smell anything! Last night, they were showing a fish to a table of 4 and the fish jumped out of the net and tried to break out of the restaurant. That was one fiesty fish! I agree about the veggies. Sometimes all they have left is kai lan or spinach. But last night we scored watercress stired fried with garlic. Most of the time we go there, we don't order. One of the owners decides and sends food over to us.
  • Post #24 - September 3rd, 2008, 3:09 pm
    Post #24 - September 3rd, 2008, 3:09 pm Post #24 - September 3rd, 2008, 3:09 pm
    I want to thank you for the recommendation to Yuet Lee. That was one of the best meals in SF I had. I loved how the food came from the wok to the plate and then to the table.
  • Post #25 - September 3rd, 2008, 6:24 pm
    Post #25 - September 3rd, 2008, 6:24 pm Post #25 - September 3rd, 2008, 6:24 pm
    I had a great meal at Yuet Lee a couple of years back, which included the salt & pepper squid pictured above and a few other items I can't recall, all of which was great. My primary reason for picking them was that they were open late and easy to find, so some luck there. But the miracle of the evening was that I dragged my boss there, and despite his misgivings about the "hole in the wall" look of the place, he left a convert (and a believer in the strength of my foodar). Glad to hear it wasn't a fluke.
    JiLS
  • Post #26 - October 19th, 2008, 10:55 am
    Post #26 - October 19th, 2008, 10:55 am Post #26 - October 19th, 2008, 10:55 am
    RAB and I are taking an early November trip to San Francisco and wine country. Neither one of us has been in a decade, so we'd appreciate advice.

    If anyone has current recommendations - - any cuisine, any location, any price, restaurants or markets - - we'd appreciate it. While we'll be visiting wineries and there's plenty of info available, we're interested in recs for non-wine tours - - breweries, dairies, etc.

    Also, if anyone could recommend food websites with a San Francisco or wine country focus, that'd be great. Is there a San Francisco equivalent of LTH?

    Thanks!
  • Post #27 - October 19th, 2008, 11:17 am
    Post #27 - October 19th, 2008, 11:17 am Post #27 - October 19th, 2008, 11:17 am
    If you are up for a Japanese kaiseki-style meal, try Kiss Seafood, near Japan-town. I went for the first time 2 weeks ago, and by the time the third course came, I made resies for the following week for my team. I am after all the food director for our project team!

    Expensive? Well, the chef's special omakase was $68 pre-tax and tip. The uni (which is excellent) is $15 for a pair... yeah... I am lucky I am on an expense account!

    Amuse: Marinated shirataki noodles, bamboo shoots and hijiki
    Image

    Course 1: Appetizer Trio (l-r): Slow simmered tako, House-marinated ikura, Cold braised mackerel
    Image

    Course 2: Sashimi
    Image

    Course 3: Simmered Dungeness Crab with Daikon Radish
    Image

    Course 4: Chawan Mushi
    Image

    Course 5: Sushi
    Image

    Course 6: Dessert - Slice of Melon

    Add-on 1: Ankimo (Monkfish Liver)
    Image

    Add-on 2: Uni
    Image

    If you don't go for the omakase, you have to at least try the house-marinated ikura. Not the salty stuff you get at sushi restaurants. This rendition is marinated in dashi and a little soy. I know you want a close-up look... :)

    Image

    And yeah, that is fresh wasabi...

    Kiss Seafood
    1700 Laguna St
    (between Bush St & Sutter St)
    San Francisco, CA 94115
    (415) 474-2866
  • Post #28 - October 19th, 2008, 11:28 am
    Post #28 - October 19th, 2008, 11:28 am Post #28 - October 19th, 2008, 11:28 am
    Thanks, CrazyC! The food looks great. I'll definitely put Kiss Seafood (despite the strange name) on our shortlist.
  • Post #29 - October 20th, 2008, 9:49 am
    Post #29 - October 20th, 2008, 9:49 am Post #29 - October 20th, 2008, 9:49 am
    Swan is my first stop every time I'm in San Francisco. There's really nothing like it. I also wouldn't miss an opportunity to have dimsum at Great Eastern, where I think I learned for the first time how good custard filled buns could be. I think I ate 5 of them in one sitting (along with a dozen other delicious items). Great Eastern is pretty upscale and oft-written-about in guide books; however, the crowd still seemed to be made up overwhelmingly of Chinese families and business lunchers.

    Great Eastern
    649 Jackson St
    San Francisco, CA 94133
    (415) 986-2500
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #30 - October 22nd, 2008, 10:31 am
    Post #30 - October 22nd, 2008, 10:31 am Post #30 - October 22nd, 2008, 10:31 am
    Thanks, Kenny. It appears to be awfully tough to pick just one place for Chinese as there are so many options.

    I've already become sad that we only have four days in San Francisco when there are so many great things to enjoy. We'll have more time in wine country, but it appears that there just aren't as many good restaurants, so it shouldn't be quite as difficult to choose.

    For San Francisco, I'm trying to focus on cuisines that the city does well - Chinese, Vietnamese, seafood, Burmese, organic. (While I wouldn't be opposed to Mexican or Italian, I'm pretty darn satisfied with the Chicago options.) I can see us making multiple trips to the Ferry Building. And, I think we'd like to do one upscale meal in San Francisco.

    We're not leaving until 11/1 (and sad to be missing the GNR dinner), but hope to start making reservations soon. So, if anyone has anything to add, I'd appreciate it. And, if there's a great food writer/blogger you trust, that'd be useful, too.

    Thanks again,
    Ronna

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