Family style dishes that require groups SFBA

What are some group-sized dishes worth seeking out? In SF, some things that come to mind are Zuni Cafe’s chicken, soufflés at Cafe Jacqueline, the salmon collar at Lihiliho, and the deep fried chicken stuffed with sticky rice at Hakka Restaurant. Many of the tables at Ping’s Bistro in Fremont got the great smelling “snowflake beef”, but I was eating by myself and didn’t get a chance to try it. Some varieties of Asian hot pot and dry pot fall under this question, as do whole fish preparations. What’s worth getting?

See the SF Chronicle for a story on the trend of family style dining.

Would you be willing to add SFBA to your title?


The pig’s head at Cockscomb. They also have that pinbone steak. Mmmm, meat.

The salt and pepper crab at R&G Lounge, though I guess you could eat the whole thing by yourself if you wanted to. The peking duck from Great China.

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Thanks, those sounds great!

I wonder if there any vegetarian multi-person dishes out there (duh, soufflés, see above)? Any others? I’ve been wanting to try the hand pulled noodles at Z&Y, and they only come when you order this one dish with a whole fish.

I think there are some multi person paella dishes at Coqueta (sf) and at B44 (Belden alley, SF). Also the winter melon soup at Hong Kong lounge 2 (sf). The cockscomb pigs head requires at least 2 people. Cotogna (sf) does some 2 person steak and porchetta specials. Iirc Benu does a whole roast duck for 2 or more, but haven’t tried it.

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Hyper , check this place out . I haven’ t been there in a while . Thought it was great . Serving family style dinners. I’m sure they would serve up a group if asked .

Your reply took my into an hour long rabbit hole reading about Basque food, including a thorough CH thread! The Basque Cultural Center looks like fun (I’ve only had that style of food once, at the Star Hotel in Elko, and had a blast). Can you show up solo, and if so, do they pair you with others (fine by me)?

Solo is fine . I also had lunch with a couple friends .

Not to start an acervus argument here, but how many people constitute a “group”? Most of the dishes you mention are for two.

If two people are a “group”, I’d suggest excluding Chinese, since most preps at Chinese restaurants would fit your criterion.

Good point. I’d like to keep Chinese in— consider group size relative to what’s typical of eating for a cuisine. For example, if most Myposian restaurants serve dishes sized for 2 people or more, a dish for 4+ people would be in scope, etc.

Btw, next week, I’m going to open a separate thread about eating at community centers, like the Basque one above, Thai and Lao temples, etc.


Here’s a piece I wrote some time ago about my favorite Basque restaurant from the old days, and San Francisco’s Basque restaurant past in general. There even was a “Basque Town” neighborhood, centered on Broadway and Stockton St.

Basque restaurant culture is said to be still alive around Reno. Perhaps poster catholiver can chime in.

It IS alive although it’s just too much food for us. The two that I know of are Santa Fe Hotel and Louis’s Basque Corner.

We go to the SFH (as we call it!) for their ‘tapas.’ I no longer remember what the choices are (cheeses, chorizo?, ???) cause we get the lamb riblets. The tapas are your choice of any three for $15. We get three orders of the lamb (4 ribs to a portion so 12). Crazy good. I’ll attach a photo that’s dark. We get their house red which is chilled. I guess that’s traditional.

Fancy Cantonese seafood like live Australian coral trout: I suppose most who order would do so as a group since the fish is so expensive.

i suppose traditional tagines are family style as well, but local versions aren’t even cooked in tagines.

Did the pinbone at cockscomb with 4. We got about 2/3 of the way through it, but at that place, you gotta have a “hot mess” and some bruchetta and some sliced ham. Plenty of the other dishes ( I remember a surf-and-turf special that was drunken dungeness + a huge slab of pork belly ) that was a fine “entree” for 4 after the apps. I think these dishes don’t require a “group” per se, just 4.

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I wish he would put his porchetta (from his former restaurants Incanto etc) on the menu