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Recommendations for visiting European colleagues

spigot | Mar 26, 200804:06 PM

I need some recommendations for three lunches (catered/delivered) and three dinners, for eight European work colleagues who are coming to town in a few weeks. These are all group events with a total of 10 people at each. Please help!

* This is everybody's first visit to California, so cuisines or settings unusual to the region would be nice. Obviously we would like good food :-)

* English is no-one's first language, so a quiet environment is important. A high level of background noise just makes our communication problems worse :-(

* Work is paying, but we're pretty cheap. To use sushi as a yardstick, Blowfish or Hotaru or Higuma is fine; Kitsho or Ino or even Sushi Groove is too high-end.

* We're in SOMA; ideally it would be walkable or an easy cab ride.

* I'd be really happy to hear unusual ideas - like, a particularly interesting seafood restaurant, or an unusual and good caterer.

* I have heard Towns' End, the Delancey Street Grill, Hayes Street Grill and Sam's Grill might be suitable, but I would love more opinions and ideas.

Upshot: the wharf is too tacky and touristy, Chez Panisse is too far away and expensive, and the taco trucks aren't conducive to good conversation. But if we triangulate all that - somewhere in the middle is what I'm looking for. Please help if you can :-)

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