I had to attend a seminar in Hilton on Ellis at Mason for 3 days, so tried 3 places nearby.
Day 1: Chutney in T.L - Completely forgetting that I could expense the meal, I chose Chutney for a cheap Indian food. My Bengan Bhartha (plus Naan for $6 with tax) had a nice, smokey flavor and was as good as the versions at nearby Pakwan and Shalimer and better than the one from Naan 'N Curry.
Day 2: Hanazen on Cyril Magnin - I've been curious about this place for a long time. Seeing a sign outside as Yakitori place, I was disappointed that the restaurant does not serve yakitori for lunch. I ordered 3-item Bento box for $12.50 consisting California roll, beef teriyaki and tempura. Nothing good or bad, just average food. None of the restaurant staff spoke Japanese, not that it's a bad thing.
Day 3: Puccini and Pinetti - A guy in my seminar ate there the day before and recommended me this place and my co-workers wanted Italian. I didn't feel like pasta or ordering a big entree, so I ended up ordering frank steak wrap with arugula, tomato and caramelized onions. The steak was cooked just right (medium rare), accented by nice ripe tomatoes, but the wrap was rather bland and could have used some kind of sauce. With tax and tip, the cost of the wrap and ice tea was $16.
I have to admit that I enjoyed my lunch at Chutney the best even though 2 block-walk through Tendorloin was not so pleasant even at noon. I will be attending another seminar in November, so I will have to research more on which restaurant to go next time I'm in S.F.