After coming from Toronto and spending three relaxing days in Lake Tahoe my partner and I just enjoyed three more great days and nights in San Francisco with wonderfully co-operative weather. We mostly chose all our meals by researching the Bay Area Chowhound files (for which we are truly grateful) as each meal ended up being a memorable one! The criteria we followed was that each place could be visited in very casual attire as we were travelling with only carry-on. This left out the dining emporiums where tasting menus are the norm or where one engages in banter with a sommelier.
On our first evening, The North Beach Lobster Shack (532 Green St) was where we had superb steamed clams and delectable boiled Maine lobsters (you get two 1 & 1/4lb lobster dinners for $50.00). The place is very new having only been open three weeks and is still going through birth pangs. It had no beer and wine licence so I went to the corner store to pick up a six-pack of cold Anchor Steam which was a perfect accompaniment.(In fact we feel that Anchor Steam really does go with everything and we had it as our preferred drink with every meal, already having sampled some great wines in Tahoe).The owner, who looks like Penny Marshall's brother Gary, was very welcoming and the place is very casual and folksy. We had a lot of fun, though they still need to work some kinks out.
We are not breakfast people so we tend to just eat well at lunch and dinner.
For lunch we chose the Swan Oyster Depot on Polk and California where we lined up for a few minutes to get a seat at the always full eating counter before gorging ourselves on delicious clam chowder, combination cocktails of crab, shrimp,clam and oysters and superb cracked crab. Everything tasted wonderfully fresh and was sooo good. As we were going to see Jersey Boys that evening we chose a restaurant close to the Curran theatre and lowered out expectations. Happily, however, we can recommend The Indonesia on Post St. The food was delicious and inexpensive.We ordered beef and chicken dishes that were tasty and mildly spiced, a very good bean sprout,green onions and tofu dish and the dessert of deep fried bananas with mango ice cream which was out of this world.The service was kind and very attentive and the bill was very easy on the pocket.($55.00 for two).
We decided to have a late lunch the next day as we were going to see Beach Blanket Babylon and knew we had to line up early (6.45pm) to get decent seats to see the show as it is a first come,first seated policy.
We chose The Zuni Cafe on Market St as a "special last day in SF" treat and had good (if not great) oysters and the Chicken for Two which was "Oh My God" delicious.We were sat at a table by a window that was open and as the day was gloriously sunny and warm, it made the whole experience fantastic. Nathan our waiter, could not have been more attentive and pleasant. We thoroughly enjoyed the restaurant's ambiance and the people watching on the street as we enjoyed our drinks (Anchor Steam..again!) while whiling the hour away that it takes for the orgasmic chicken to be prepared in. We began our lunch at 2pm and left at 4pm very full and very,very happy.
After laughing ourselves silly at Beach Blanket,we walked down Columbus to Brandy Ho's which was sparsely crowded. It was nearly 10pm by then and we looked over the menu, realising that we were still a little full from our Zuni lunch. However we still managed to share an excellent Dumpling Soup and ordered each a Brandy's Dinner which is a stir-fry of beef,scallop,shrimps and which we watched them cook in big woks. Simple fare yet everything was fresh and very tasty and reasonably priced.
We loved out time and San Francisco and cannot wait to return and next time we will bring dressier duds so that we can try more upscale menus.