I desperately need your help! My boyfriend and I recently located to SF from Boston. We love our new city - nice people, great weather, kick-ass farmers markets. However, we're stumbling when it comes to eating out. I KNOW there is incredible food here, but we just can't seem to find it and have had one mediocre meal after another.
A few of the places we've tried are: Jitlada and Assab (2 brights spots), Paxti's (realized I don't love Chicago-style pizza), Absinthe (decent), On the Bridge and Shabusen (meh), Pizzaria Orgasmica ($30 for a pizza??!), and Borobudur (just okay).
We live in the Lower Pacific Heights/Japantown/Hayes Valley area and we're looking for:
1. A few go-to places for those nights when we don't want to cook (For those familiar with the Boston scene, our regular haunts were Taiwan Cafe, Rod Dee, James Gate, Reef Cafe, Cafe Belo, Vee Vee, Cafe D, etc) These are the places that are inexpensive and very, very rarely let you down. Ideally they are in the neighborhood, but they don't have to be.
2. The place(s) you take your parents (or your parents take you). These are a bit nicer than your regular spots and have well-prepared food that price-wise won't freak out the parents (in Boston, this was Lala Rokh, 10 Tables, Penang, Aquitaine, Helmand, etc).
3. Neighborhood joints that deliver for when we can't muster up the energy to leave the house.
4. A great neighborhood bar - comfortable space not filled with meat heads or scene-sters. Good beer and wine list.
Any advice will be most welcome and appreciated! Thank you!