This Tokyo-based chowhound just had a great 48 hours in San Francisco. Thanks to your suggestions and ideas. Had the Niman Ranch burger and fries at Absinthe. A nice tuna tartare and roasted chicken at Boulevard. A lovely time at the Ferry Terminal and fell upon a nice tea shop (Samovar?) in/near the Castro.
Did not make it around to having Banh Mi this time so will have to return.
Please let me know when you will be in Tokyo! And thanks again, from the bottom of my stomach.