This probably doesn't need to be said once more on Chowhound, but if anybody is procrastinating about going to La Ciccia, just beat a path to their door. It's truly flavorful food, prepared with a lot of love and panache, and it was a pleasure to dine there. My friends were equally wowed and happy. For the record, we ate olives, flatbread, octupus, a kind of ceasar salad with anchovies, fregola with sea urchin, a spaghetti with squid ink, wild prawns, sea bass and a trio of sorbetti. We split everything 3 ways, family style, no problem. We drank a lightweight red Sonazzos (Cannonau), a suggestion from the waiter, that was great fun. I was least taken with the salad and the sea bass (which was watery), but I could eat those pastas forever. Marvelous.
Range is a very solid restaurant with a very appealing, fairly priced wine list. Their trout entree actually bested La Ciccia. I liked the modestly sized food portions. Everything is very wll balanced.
Only disappointments of the trip was an early lunch at Bocadillo. Nothing on the lunch menu truly appealed to me (I don't eat breakfast) and I probably should have just left. As it was, I was bewildered by lackluster chorizo between way too much dry bread, smeared with an equally dry walnut paste that lacked any reason for being there. Also puzzling was the salad piled onto the same plate, dressed in run-of-the-mill Asian flavored stuff. Patatas bravas were more like Shake'n'Bake, and the dipping with them, advertised as Romesco, had zero when it came to the signature flavors of a true Romesco (ground almonds, smoked pimento) and instead came perilously close to Russian dressing mayo. Everything struck me as closer to coffee shop food than a bridge to Spain.
Impromptu meals on the go, eaten out of necessity, kept landing me in places where portions were supersized and grease/sugar factor was hight. I assume SF Chowhounders know how to avoid these places. I'd sooner just forget those meals!
Thanks for previous posts and recommendations on SF eating....