I spent good chunks of time on this board while planning for a 5 day visit to San Francisco. After much learning, I made open table reservations and ate at the following: Aziza, Bar Crudo, Piperade, and Zuni. Had Happy Hour at Hog Island. Also lunched at Swan and Tadich with breakfast/lunch at the Saturday Ferry and Sunday Marin County Market, the latter as a prelude to a long day in and about Muir Woods. Happened upon Marnee Thai while in the Golden Gate Park area. Came home with chocolate from the Marin market, chocolate bars from Fog City News, jerky from the Fatted Calf, 3 different types of cheese from Cowgirl Creamery, a case of artichokes, a lb of brussel sprouts, and dried beans from Iacopi Farms at the Tuesday Ferry market, and 6 very cheap kiwi.
Did not get to Burma Star, PPQ, lunch at Chez Panisse, Tartine, or Bi-Rite. Maybe next time.
Was looking for uniquely San Francisco restaurants, and enjoyed each and every dining experience. The drinks, spreads, lamb at Aziza were mighty fine, as were the gnocchi,roasted chicken, and desserts at Zuni, peppers, calamari, and sea bass at Piperade, sand dabs at Tadich, and chowder at Bar Crudo. Of course, the seafood everywhere was a great bonus--so much fresher and more plentiful than anything we have in the Midwest.
Was surprised at the sparse number of California wines available on all menus.
I appreciate the discussions and comments here. I'm sure that the locals get sick of answering the query of what restaurant should I go to, but the answers are very helpful to visitors trying to separate the wheat from the chaff. Thanks for the input and making our vacation a fantastic dining and visiting experience.