My husband and I are taking a four-day trip to San Francisco in a couple of weeks and I would love your thoughts on our food choices. A little bit of background: We are former New Yorkers currently living in Ohio, so we both (1) have experience with a top-notch food scene and (2) desperately miss that food scene. We are staying on points, so the first night we are at the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero and the rest of the time we are at the Westin Market Street (which I know is on Third Street). We won't have a car but are very comfortable with public transportation and can take cabs to fill in the gaps (so bonus points for places reachable by public transportation).
The goal for the trip is to eat well but not overly expensively, probably one higher-end, California cuisine, tasting menu dinner and entrees under $25 for the rest. Italian is our go-to, but we like everything. We'd particularly like to eat things that SF does better than (or at least as well as) NY, and things that we can't get where we currently live (which includes most ethnic foods). Good service and hospitality are more important than a "scene" to us, but food trumps all. For reference, in NYC our favorites were Gramercy Tavern (mine) and Babbo (his), we were not blown away by Per Se (way more expensive and overall less enjoyable than our favorites), and we never got excited enough about seafood to make it to Le Bernardin.
My husband likes to dine out as much as I do but has zero interest in planning where we're going to eat (or talking about my plans), so I'm trying to build in a lot of flexibility by having multiple options for lunches and going wherever we happen to feel like on a particular day. We're not really breakfast people, so I think we'll just grab whatever is convenient for that.
With that said, here are my current thoughts. Advice and comments greatly appreciated.
We arrive in the evening and are coming from eastern time, so we might want to stick close to home base. Currently thinking small plates at Sens (same building as our hotel) or Barbacco if we feel up to it. Other ideas?
-Tuesday dinner with local friends:
Mau (their suggestion, so this one is pretty firm)
-Wednesday tasting menu dinner:
Sons & Daughters-- I read a lot of the threads on tasting menus and looked at a lot of menus, trying to find the best cost/value ratio. We will definitely have the wine pairings, so that factors into it. And we're not celebrating a milestone event, so I nixed some of the places at the highest end of the range. I picked S&D over Atelier Crenn (too experimental to count on loving), La Folie (too straight-up French), AQ (not as "special" feeling as S&D(??)), Saison (too expensive) and Quince (more expensive than S&D). Since we wanted California cuisine I didn't even get into the Cal-Ital places. Did I make the right call on S&D?
Barbacco, unless we end up there Monday. Maybe one of the lunch places as a back-up plan, though a Middle Eastern, Turkish, or Greek place would also be good.
- Dim sum (on my list of must-dos): Yank Sing
- Mexican: La Taqueria
- Burmese: Burmese Kitchen (closer than Mandalay or Burma SS)
- Thai: Lers Ros Thai
- Yucatan: Poc Chuc
Thanks for the help!