I'm very excited to be coming back to SF after a hiatus of a couple of years. I think it may be the best restaurant town in North America, edging Manhattan's sheer volume with more obsessive, dedicated diners-out per capita, which translates into better overall diversity, and more great mid-range places. It also seems to have the best Asian food overall, and most of the few instances of successful fusion cuisine in this country.
I've got eight days, mostly working, and am seeking recs in a few categories:
1. Reliable, high- to mid-tier standbys. No longer the shizzle du jour, but still delivering. Emphasis on amazing food, something below the very top tier in price level, not too casual.
2. Hardcore 'hound hangs. That tough-to-reach intersection of amazing food and value, the kind of places that dedicated locals uncover and patronize, and that visitors without Chowhound connections rarely find.
3. "It places", scenes, hotspots. Good cocktails, creative food (no luxury steakhouses, please), style-conscious patrons. Value is not so important, as these won't be on my own dime.