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Seeking: Hotel and Restaurant Recs

Fidelixi | Sep 24, 200203:11 AM

My wife and I (recently married) are headed from our home in Santa Monica to San Francisco for two short nights next month. We are looking for a comfortable and stylish and modestly priced hotel (under $200) that, if possible, is intimate and personal. My wife booked Hotel Rex but I know nothing about it. Any ideas?

Also, I'm looking for tips for restaurants, especially for dinner. I am, like any self-respecting Chowhound (and perhaps even more than most) obsessed with food and could easily ruin what would be an otherwise wonderful weekend by (1) overeating and by (2) chasing down far too many culinary experiences. For this reason (and as a concession to marital harmony) I will exercise my will, difficult though it will be to restrain myself, to selecting our dinner plans, thus leaving us to mosey around during the day and let chance -- and my better half -- choose where we dine during the day.

I have been to Chez Panisse (not SF, strictly speaking I know) for lunch and loved it and am eager to return for dinner unless otherwise dissuaded. I don't love formal dining rooms but will put up even with that for inspired, seasonal and inventive food. Mostly seeking a great, warm atmosphere and mind-blowing food. All things being equal, I prefer to be able to have a conversation without shouting (unfortunately, this is an issue in many good/hot restaurants).

Thanks for any and all advice!

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