We are two travellers from London and Toronto, making our first real food visit to SF (we've been to the city once before but it was by no means a productive food trip.)
We've worked in our fair share of restaurants but don't have particularly refined or discerning palettes. We definitely are not as technically savvy in critique of food, as compared to some of the notes found within these boards. This being said, we like good food. We are pretty adventurous in trying new things, but the focus for our four days in SF will be making sure to not miss out on what is deemed to be done well.
We will be staying in Pacific Heights, with no car, and are not looking for fine dining experiences - no meals over $100. We are after honest, authentic food, made with passion and care.
So to our proposed itinerary!
We'll arrive in the city around noon and dim sum is a must in every new city we explore, so we have chosen Hong Kong Lounge. I know dim sum is a board divider but it will be difficult to get to Koi Palace, and I don't really want to spend more than $50 for two, as might be the case at Yang Sink.
For dinner we thought we'd try Mandalay for Burmese, which neither of us has ever had, and we have a shortlist of recommended items including the tea leaf salad and Burmese style noodle.
I've seen some great recommendations here for breakfast spots but most seem to be weekend destinations. So I found Mission Beach Cafe. I was hoping B. Patisserie might have some good items but there doesn't seem to be a menu online to check out. I know people rave about the kouign amann so we'll probably grab some for snacks but if anyone has been to B. for breakfast, please do let us know!
Dinner - PPQ Dungeness Island, as opposed to Thanh Long, because I hear it is quite pricey, but the quality is similar.
Breakfast at Mama's. I know it's a bit of tourist trap, but we are not above this in hopes of discovering what made this place so great and talked about, even if the hype may be disproportionate to flavours.
Dinner - need some help with this one. I have been craving good Japanese food ever since we lived there for a few months last year. I am more interested in izakayas than sushi orientated offerings. I see Ippuku in Berkeley hits the spot for quite a few people, though a bit expensive for what an izakaya 'should' be priced at. Will the bill top $100 for two after tax and tip, if we don't drink? And of course, we don't have a car, but are planning on exploring Berkeley this day anyway, will it be a huge schlep for not much reward? Should we go to Izakaya Roku instead? - we do like yakitori and I note that great things have not been said about the grilling here.
Breakfast at the Ferry Building Farmer's Market, hopefully/maybe Roli Roti?
We will be in Sausalito/Marin this day, and I see Sushi Ran gets some good reviews?
Notes: we will also have two days in LA, and it seems lots of people recommend the Japanese/sushi scene here. Is it worth forgetting Ippuku/Roku/Sushi Ran altogether for a 'better' experience in LA, and instead enjoying some of SF's other culinary delights?
Also, I haven't made specific plans for lunch any days, because we want to fill the middle of the day with doing/seeing stuff, rather than going out of our way to locate a good spot. That being said, any recommendations for general areas that have good cheap eats, e.g., Mission, would be well received.
Thanks in advance! (bit nervous about what might be made of my list, eeep!)