Hi all. Just spent 4 days in SF. Got some tips from the Chowhound board before going, but also used some tips from our hotel's concierge. Some comments:
Our best meal requiring nice clothes: Jeanty at Jack's. Everything involving the servicepeople, from the friendliness of the hostess to the quiet competence of the busboy, was perfect. The layout of the resto leaves enough space between tables for some privacy, but creates separate little rooms where it's easy to check out what everyone else is eating if you're so inclined. The food was the real star of the place. Starters: delicious onion soup and beet/mache/mandarin orange/feta salad. Great combo of flavors in the salad and served in a large bowl for easy mixing. Plats: we both had tournedos de boeuf in a pepper/mushroom/light cream sauce with haricots verts. Just perfectly done with a crusty outside and a buttery-soft inside. Dessert: shared a perfect tarte tatin with creme fraiche. A perfect dinner on a cold rainy night.
Best meal on the way to the crackhouse: Naan and Curry in the Tenderloin. Totally schievy neighborhood but delicious, spicy chana masala, alou dobi, chicken tikka. And dirt cheap. Just watch your step on the way down the street.
Best meal after the crackhouse: Saigon Sandwich Shop. Also in the tenderloin, but really IN the tenderloin. Great barbecued pork banh mi. And if you like you can sit at the counter by the window and guess who'll ask you for money next.
Best meal that's held up after many visits: Dim Sum at Yank Sing. Had some trouble finding their new location
but the search was worth it. Any place that can serve dim sum without grease gets bonus points. And everything is hot. The variety is wonderful. The servers are friendly and can describe what everything is in English if necessary.