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Cabrales, I need you in SF this weekend!

Bill Palmer | Dec 29, 200302:36 AM

Cabrales, your recent post on Tru in Chicago was other-worldly. I am new to the board and I used to think I was discriminating in my food choices. Now I see I am a novice.

That said, I am flying with vegetarian daughter to SF this weekend to help her settle in at Stanford. We have already chosen to try STOA for dinner in PA Friday evening on arrival.

I've visited SF many times over many years - I used to think Scoma's was IT. Last visit, in Feb. '03, had mixed results. Probably my favorite experience was Zuni's where I walked in on weeknight and got a table for one and had very good oysters and merely okay Caesar.

Other highlights, and again this was pre-Chowhound, included: 1) Blowfish Sushi, excellent oysters and sushi but pricy; 2) Chez Panisse for lunch with daughter; and always 3)Cafe Riacce in Palo Alto for atmosphere and ease of use. A prior trip had discovered La Taqueris in the Mission, great salsas, but a recommendation this time for El Toro was a disappointment ( I don't eat burritos.)

Other frustrations were Swan's Oyster Bar (oysters not terribly fresh at 3-4 P.M. - may need another try), Kabuto sushi (recommended by kitchen at Zuni's - nothing noteworthy - ready to relocate across the street and none too soon), Lou's Pier 47 ( need to find where I got that rec. and delete as source.)

I'm rambling - Milllenium was interesting but I got a hair in my chocolate dessert. Boulevard was a fun lunch spot though I don't recall the food being noteworthy.

So here is my challenge: I don't drink and don't particularly crave French. I will have a drinking vegetarian in tow some of the time. It's hard to be searching the net while on vacation. I'd really like to invite a very knowledgeable Cabrales to lunch or dinner and get educated.
1.Where can one go for a great salad? I went to Tadich'es and it was quite pedestrian.
2.Am I crazy to spend $159 a night to stay at the Westin Palo Alto with its excellent spa and unsurpassed bathrooms? Are there pleasant SF locations for more reasonable rates?
3. Is Hog Island Oyster Bar a must? I believe so.
4. (Decaf) Coffee Freak - I've had real fresh roasted before - try XOX?
5. Take daughter to Juicy Lucy's in N. Beach for lunch? alternatives?
6. Being a seafood freak as well, sushi is a good way to take fresh seafood - any ideas? Pretty frustrated last time.

Thanks, folks! Sorry to trash any favorites. I've spent a good deal of time clicking through posts here. One gets dizzy - especially coordinating with /citysearch etc. Oh yes, is Andalu the place to try for Mission/dinner?

I could go on...

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