Folks, I hope this isn't too general. I get to SF for a week or so every once in a while, but haven't been there in about 2.5 years. Looks like this October or November I'll be there again.
I'm staying and working in the city, probably lodging in the Union Sq area with my work around Market/Montgomery. I will not have a car and my work schedule may be long and unpredictable, so East Bay or Richmond or whatever is out. I've taken the bus up Geary to the Japantown mall and will probably do so again, but generally prefer to walk, with my comfort radius being the Ferry Building, North Beach, Chinatown, the Mission area maybe as far as 8th or 10th or the Vietnamese area on Larkin (no, I have no issues walking O'Farrell up to Larkin or Polk.)
I'll go full $ one night out of my stay (sometimes I've rented a car to go to Manresa, for instance); this time it'll be Coi, but otherwise want to keep it under $35 for a dinner entree (but can also be happy with a $5 banh mi.) As I said, probably one night in Japantown, probably at least one meal at Henry's Hunan (I can't help it, I really like that smoky bacon). Otherwise I've eaten at Slanted Door, Hog Island, Salt House, LuLu, any number of places in Chinatown and Little Saigon. I'm looking for something new and eclectic (I hate to call it modern American, but you know what I mean), for western Chinese (e.g Xinjiang), maybe hand-pulled noodles, I'd really like to find northern Vietnamese (most every place I found was southern, which is understandable). I'd also like to find a good German/Austrian bakery for breakfast - there used to be a place on Market but I couldn't find it last time, and don't recall the name.
If I have a day off, I'l rent a car and drive up to Napa or Sonoma for the day, so if there's anything I really shouldn't miss, let me know (no, I don't mean the $500 chef's counter at Meadowood.) But I'll have to drive myself back.
Thanks in advance.