Yippee! Recently booked my flight to San Francisco. Going there with my son to meet up with my husband who is deployed and on a two week leave from Iraq. It will be so wonderful to see him! We are meeting on the mainland to have a nice vacation together and see long-time friends from the years when I lived in San Francisco. Has it really been 5 years since I left? Besides my friends, who can only be described as the best of the best, what do I miss?
HMM, Golden Gate Bridge, Victorian & Edwardian Architecture, Exploring Antique Shops ... AND OF COURSE,THE RESTAURANTS!!!
I have already started making my list of where we will eat, and I'll provide actual reviews while I am there. This is a list of my Top 10, in no particular order. Not all necessarily gourmet cuisine - but tried and true favorites. I've included a little of this and a little of that, in various neighborhoods and at a few different price points. I hope they are all still as good as I remember, but I am probably safe because, in San Francisco, if you are not really good, you don't last long.
1. Restaurant LuLu - SOMA (Rustic Italian, great wine list) I worked up the street from here and used to pass it when I walked to and from work. Love the fact that you can get tasting size portions of a huge list of great wines. Food is consistent and comforting. Rotisserie oven. Family-style place, good for groups. Makes me want to venture out into the Tuscan Sun.
2. B44 - Belden Lane, Financial District (Spanish Food) Great, lively downtown location and delicious authentic food. I prefer the Tapas to the entrees, here. Ole!
3. Aqua - Financial District (High-end Seafood). I always liked to go there without a reservation and sit at the bar counter. Less stuffy that way. Mussel souffle, tuna tartare, warm goat cheese salad - mmmm.
4. Gary Danko - Fisherman's Wharf (High-end, high-end). Another counter sitting place, if no reservation. Amazing food, expensive - for the most special of occasions - like seeing my husband again, and celebrating a year of missed birthdays, anniversarys and Valentines - This place rocks!
5. Delfina - Mission District (Italian) Local favorite. Delicisoso! Crowded, but worth it.
6. Cha-Cha-Cha - Haight Ashbury & Mission (Carribean) Fun and friendly. An old favorite, I think I have been there 100 times. The Warm Spinach Salad is to die for!
7. Betelnut - Cow Hollow (Asian) Trendy and fun, in a great walking neighborhood full of shops, cafes & nightspots. YUM for the Chicken Lettuce Cups & Thai Bloody Mary's.
8. Puerto Allegre - Mission District (Mexican) Great for Breakfast, in particular. Inexpensive.
9. Limon - Mission District (Peruvian/Nuevo Latino Cuisine) I used to live in an artist's live/work loft literally around the corner from the original location of this place, when it first opened. Glad to see people noticed how great they are. Delicious fish dishes and ceviche.
10. Maya - SOMA (Upscale Mexican) - Great tacos to go at lunchtime. They make authentic red chile and homemade corn tortillas. Awesome Happy Hour for margaritas and complimentary Botanas.
NEW TO TRY:
Chapeau (used to be a great restuarant called Clementine) - Clement Street/Lake/Richmond (French) - Would have been on my list as the old place, but not sure about the new restaurant yet.
A-16 - Marina Dist. (Wood-fired Pizzas/Wine Bar, Southern Italian) - Sounds so good! Going to check with my friend, Priya (still a city dweller) for more ideas on the new ones. Hope we can fit them all in!