With two weeks to travel from San Francisco to Healdsburg, down to Monterey, San Simeon and back to San Francisco, I decided to check out Chowhound to find the best places to eat. Here’s a report card on some of the restaurants reviewed on your boards and a few others for consideration. As we were staying at the Parc 55 Hotel, we had to find some place for breakfast and ended up at Café Mason, 320 Mason Street. It’s an easy walk from the hotel and the food was consistently good. In fact, it was excellent. I wish I could say the same for Sears Fine Food at 439 Powell Street. Both the food and the service are much better at Café Mason. I found that someone recommended Tian Sing at 138 Cyril Magnin Street, right across from the hotel for dim sum. I would not recommend it, as the prices were high and what dim sum was offered was very limited. Their regular dishes were overpriced and underweight. The service was non-existent! On the other hand, you can’t go wrong at Great Eastern Restaurant at 649 Jackson Street in Chinatown. They have an extensive and interesting menu. As we were taking the “red-eye” back to Boston later that evening, we were careful what I ordered. The mu shu pork, beef in ginger and the fried noodle with crabmeat were excellent, as well as the service.
If you want halibut, have it at Sam’s Grille and Restaurant at 374 Bush Street. I was served a whole halibut steak, with the bone in the middle and it was overlapping both sides of the plate. It was cooked to perfection. As for Italian, Restorante Ideale, 1309 Grant Ave. is highly recommended. Although not on their online menu, I had the scallops in a light wine and tomato sauce with homemade pasta and my wife had ‘Tortelloni all a Paesana.” Both were excellent, but they don’t have a clue for a Caesar salad. As we live in and Italian neighborhood outside of Boston, We enjoy the best Italian food from either East Boston or the North End. My wife’s niece and her husband took us to Lingba Restaurant & Lounge, 1469 18th Street for some Southeast Asian food. We enjoyed both their grilled creekstone farms flatiron steak and the Panang lamb. It was a shot in the dark, but well worth the ride from our hotel. I realize that I’m biased, living less than a block away from the Atlantic Ocean, right outside Boston. We still have the best seafood, but California offers a different approach and presentation. For that very reason, it was difficult to find a bad meal. I wish we had more time to spend in San Francisco, as it was where we began and ended our trip to California. The only real criticism I have is that food is more expensive there, as breakfast or lunch is going to cost you $10.00 a head, no matter where you go as a tourist. I can do much better back here in Boston for far less money.