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Restaurants & Bars 55

Questions re New Yorker's first chow-conscious trip to SF

Skillet Licker | Jan 31, 200512:16 AM


My girlfriend and I will be in town for 5 days in February. Being from Manhattan, I'm not exactly chow-deprived. But I want to try uniquely delicious ethnic places as well as SF instiutions which are justly renowed for their food and old-time ambiance. I'm not interested at the moment in trendy fine dining. To that end, here are my questions:

1. What the heck is Wat Mongkolratanaram? Is it a church with a cafeteria or a regular restauarant? Most important, is it great?

2. What's the best time (i.e. least crowded) to hit Swan's Oyster Bar?

3. Close call between Tadich Grill and Sam's Grill, but I'm leaning toward Tadich - what do you think?

4. I'd like to visit one burrito joint. Problem is, I'm kind of skeptical about the burrito concept in general (too many pigs under the blanket). But I'm open to gastronomic enlightenment. I read on the board that El Castillito grills their tortillas, which appeals to me. Any suggestions?

5. I want to try California Cuisine at one of its sources and hence will visit Chez Panisse. I also heard that Universal Cafe is quite good. True?

6. Any fantastic cappucino in town? After visiting Italy recently (where ALL the coffee is great), I find it virtually impossible to get a decent, forget about great, cup of coffee in America.

7. Finally, I'm looking for great dim sum and it doesn't have to be completely authentic (i.e. I'm ok with creative western-style tweaks, provided its great). I'm considering Yank Sing and Harbor Village. Thoughts?

Other places I'm interested in trying are:

Burma Superstar
Saigon Sandwich
Rosamunde Sausage Grill
Mitchel's or Bombay Ice Cream
Truly Mediterranean
Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market

Thanks for your help!

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