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Dining Out – My Favorite Restaurants in SF (meme)

My feet have been in agony and pain (I’ll spare you the picture) as I didn’t apply enough sunblock in Bolinas on Monday. I have to apply some multi antibiotic first aid cream all over and walk around with flip flops. School is out as the semester winds down so I’m left with more free time doing mundane things like baking cookies, waxing the floor, walking the dog way too many times a day. I’ll be back on teaching when summer session begins in June.

Anyway, Iliana from Bookgirl’s Nightstand tagged me on this meme and I’ll post my response here.

The Restaurant Meme:
1. Add a direct link to your post below the name of the person who tagged you.
Include the city/state and country you’re in.
Nicole (Sydney, Australia)
velverse (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) [Wow…I’m heading to Malaysia this November for two weeks–Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor, Melaka, Palau Langkawi]
LB (San Giovanni in Marignano, Italy)
Selba (Jakarta, Indonesia)
Olivia (London, England)
ML (Utah, USA)
Lotus (Toronto, Canada)
tanabata (Saitama, Japan)
Andi (Dallas [ish], Texas, United States)
Iliana (Dallas (ish), Texas, United States)
Matt (San Francisco, California, USA)

2. List out your top 5 favorite places to eat at your location.

Slow Club 2501 Mariposa Street. Always fresh, always a pleasant surprise. This hip Californian fusion restaurant is one of the hidden jewels in the city. Tugged away in a hiddern corner of the Portreo Hill, the Slow Club features a daily changing menu (so cute on a clipboard) made from local farm-fresh organic ingredients. It’s a cozy dining room with good ambience. I love the apple-walnut beet salad, the lamb pasta, the grilled ahai tuna, and the burger is a killer–with aioli spread, Neiman Ranch beef patty, and curly fries.

Kitaro 5723 Geary Blvd. Sans traditional Japanese decor. Sans kimono-clad ladies scuttling to pour you tea from teapot. But Kitaro is a big winner in the city’s sushi scene. The seating’s tight and the lights are bright, but the decor’s simple and tidy, with colored paper lanterns for festivity. I indulge in the ultra-inexpensive rolls: alaska rolls, spider rolls, dragon rolls, and hamachi nigiri. A feast is going on here at every table–gigantic platters of tempura, teriyaki, and steamy udons.

Neecha Thai Cuisine 2100 Sutter Street. With Thai restaurants galore in the city, Neecha is the real deal. The hostess, originally from Chiangmai, is friendly and ready to make good recommendation. Signature appetizers are the corn cake and mook klob–light fried calamari in a sweet Thai harbal sauce topped with crispy basil leaves. The paneang nur–red curry with beef is creamy and rich. Baked sea bass would be a good dish if you like fish. Try the sauteed eggplant with basil if you prefer a vegetarian dish. The gai krupow–basil chicken is delicious!

Absinthe Brasserie and Bar 398 Hayes Street. In between concerts and shows? Come to Absinthe and have a cocktail at the bar. This luxuriously appointed restaurant is decorated to evoke the golden age of absinthe, with deep-red walls, lush velvet chairs and dark, sexy lighting. Ken and I always stop here before going to the symphony down the street. It is an amazing French cuisine that serves caviar, oysters, steaks, soups, salads, fries, duck and more. I go for the crab cake, coq au vin, or duck confit. They also serve brunch on weekends. Of course you can always get a splurge.

Burma Superstar 309 Clement Street. I have blogged about this amazing, up-and-coming, extremely packed resturant in the Richmond here. Like many of the hot spots, this place doesn’t take reservation so you chave to be there promptly at 5 when it opens the door for dinner. Seats fill up quickly (like in 5 minutes) and you’ll have to wait up to an hour. Both tea leaves salad and rainbow salad (my favorite) are excellent, with mix and match of herbs, spices, noodles, and vegetables. Burmese style curry is served with a choice of beef or lamb. Ken always gets the okra and egg curry–very exotic with tangy flavor. Coconut rice is tasty.

If you couldn’t figure out from the list, I like herbal and spicy food, with strong flavor. I don’t include any Chinese restaurant simply because I’m too picky and fastidious with Chinese dishes. Many of the restaurants here become very bland and remote from home-made Chinese dishes that I used to have.

Now I tag Greg (because he would blog about food and drinks once in a while), Cip (because he just talked about TV dinners), and Matty (because he also lives in the city and I’m curious what his picks might be.

Bon appetite!

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9 Responses

  1. Wooo a restaurant called Absinthe?? haha do they sell the absinthe alcohol too??? now all I can think of is downing absinthe with oyster and caviar..

    ps thanks for doing the tag..hope you had fun! and do feel free to drop me a message if you know of anyone doing the tag!

  2. I’ve been to Kitaro several times. They’re quite generous with their portions! Have you tried La Vie, across the street? It’s pretty good, too.

  3. Burma Superstar is always busy! The tea leaf salad was a great way to start the meal but I felt many of the main dishes were merely average to above average. Maybe it’s just too busy that they lose the handle on things.

    Being in SF we’re blessed with lots of good Asian eats. I agree with you on Kitaro – fabulous sushi, generous portion, huge appetizers. The price is unbelievably inexpensive.

    I have to try out Neecha.

  4. Woohoo.. you really have a nice list eh.

    Seriously.. you make me wanna walk in each and every one of them.

    Firstly, I love ever changing menus in a restaurant. What is even better when they serve lamb paste. 🙂

    I still can’t find a traditional Jap restaurant here with girls wearing traditional kimono to pour tea 🙂 Hehhee.. so Kitaro sounds like a place I must experience 🙂

    Absinthe Brasserie and Bar…. woohoo… drinks at places with nice ambience. I can only spell H.E.A.V.E.N right now 🙂

    And from the site, Burma Superstar is a must not miss out. I guess by hook or by crook I shall check this place out if I do drop by 🙂

    Thanks a million for the recommendations 🙂 I really love the list. If you have any other great stuff to share about… notify me 😀

  5. Seriously, one of these days I have got to get myself over to your neck of the woods. I want to try all of these! Hope your footsies are better soon 🙂

  6. La Vie is not bad, especially the bbq pork dish. I also like Sunflower on 16th and Valenica, kinda like a hole-in-the-wall type of place, but the imperial roll is delicious. Lunch special with a soup, a salad, choice of bbq chicken, beef or pork, and imperial roll and rice for $7.95!

  7. I have yet to try La Vie, but I’ve heard good reviews from my friends. Sunflower is a hidden jewel most definitely. I always get #18 on the menu: BBQ Pork (best in town, really–tender, marinated, juicy, perfect balance of lean and fat meat) with imperial roll over dry vermicilli.

  8. […] we had our usual eat-like-there-is-no-tomorrow lunch ritual at Kitaro, as featured in my previous Dining Out post. Being regulars as we are, it took no time for plates full of gourmets filled our table: […]

  9. Roberts,you need to read the founders letters and then tell me they werent religeous!

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