Trip itinerary, SFBA from grayelf, Vancouver HO

So since you’ve been mighty helpful on some other topics with my questions, I thought I’d lay out our plan here in case anyone spots any serious frogs, or has alternatives.

dinners: Royal Feast (early dinner after landing at SFO) – going with friends who are also foodies; La Folie (celebratory dinner); La Ciccia (dinner with BIL); Nyum Bai/Vientian (Oakland day), Hawkers Fare – have reservations everywhere except the Oakland ones

coffee options nearish hotel for mornings: Blue Bottle California, Coffee Cultures, Chapel Hill, Reveille, La Capra, Contraband

lunch options: Creator, Sentinel (love his corned beef, Fridays only now), Burmese Kitchen or Mandalay, Lers Ros or Esan Classic for that crispy catfish salad, Tai Chi Jianbing, Naked Lunch (share a burger, Saturdays only), Aina (malasadas Fri-Sun only), Taqueria El Buen Sabor, Oakland Sunday progressive lunch at some of La Casita, 4 Caminos, El Huarache Azteca, Reynoso, Taquria El Paisa@ and Taco Panzon (may be closed Sundays)

*Is there anything really noteworthy nearish the Legion of Honour for lunch these days? Would it be silly to try to work in a lunch visit to Mandalay with LOH?

happy hour options: Wes Burger, Mission Bowling Club (because I am obsessed with burgers in the US where you don’t have to cook them into pucks), Uma Casa, Fifth Arrow, The Saratoga Club and a bunch of spots in the East Bay: Fieldwork, Rare Barrel, Hog’s Apothecary, Chop Bar, Luka, and maybe Ghost Town or Novel

We pick lunches and happy hours somewhat based on where we find ourselves, hence the multiple choices, but I still wouldn’t mind more options for HH as those are a bit thin on the ground outside of our Oakland day.

Thanks for reading and providing any thoughts you may have!


If you’re for some reason still hungry after Nyum Bai, Reem’s California is also in the same cluster of shops and restaurants in front of Fruitvale station.

Thanks, but we are planning on having the amok at Nyum Bai and then our faves at Vientian after so I think we will be full!

Ah ok, only so much one can eat. The kuy teav Phnom Penh at Nyum Bai is also excellent if you have the space.

That does sound delicious! I am obsessed with amok, which is hard to find at home, hence the special stop.

Pagan (creditable Burmese) is closer to the Legion of Honor (33rd and Clement) than Mandalay.

Not exactly Happy Hour, but recent experience suggests that if you get to Mister Jiu’s when the bar opens ar 5:00 you have a good chance these days of getting seats at the bar. There are half a dozen or so “small bites” on the menu in the $5-$10 range on the regular menu that are suitable for bar food.

Nice line up.

Pearl is very good and pretty close. I’ve only been for dinner but I see they serve their chicory caesar salad at lunch as well which is excellent.

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Pagan (@souperman’s Burmese recommendation) not open for lunch on Tue, Wed, and Thu.

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Oops, forgot about that. Also Monday (closed all day).

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Get reservations, if possible, at Aina

If you like baklava, grab some at Reems on the way home :slight_smile:

It may not be really noteworthy, but the Shanghainese food at Jiangnan Cuisine was certainly enjoyable:

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Didn’t think of that one. Haven’t been there, but the chef is the same one that was at Taste of Jiangnan, which I visited several times. Jiangnan Cuisine certainly should be noteworthy, according to no less an authority than my wife, who also cooks Wuxi-style Shanghainese. The chef hails from the same village outside Wuxi as her father, and is the only person she admits cooks the same dishes she does better than she does. :slight_smile:


Thanks, Gary. As it happens, Pagan was the site of my very first chowdown years ago, organized in my honour by the inimitable Melanie Wong.

I had friends just back from SF who were very disappointed with the food at Mister Jiu’s. I was surprised.

Just found out we’re not doing La Folie on Friday night after all so scrambling to get a reso at Aina as a backup plan, though I’m not loving their reservation system. Any other ideas for a Friday night for two, fairly late notice, gratefully received!

Also thinking this might be where we fit in some more sit-downy Mexican, which we are starved for here. We’ve loved Poc Chuc in the past (I’m kind of obsessed with their salpicon) but also heard good things about San Jalisco, though the comments about massive dishes are giving me pause. Also considering Gallardo’s but am a little scared by the amount of cheese they seem to use. Would love to do something regional (Oaxaca, Puebla, ??) so may go back to La Torta Gorda which we enjoyed years ago.

Besharam seems to get some love but wow, the prices! Is it worth a visit?

This could be our chance for a visit to the reanimated Burmese Kitchen (it was still in the Tenderloin when we last went.

Sounds like you are feeling Burmese- If all else fails, and if you are very courageous, you can give this hole in the wall Burmese in Pacifica a try. I don’t think any of us has tried it yet.

Cool! I love places like that, where you really have to know what to order. There’s a Burmese place here at home, where if you order anything but the Burmese dishes, eek! I think that Pacifica might be a little far for us on transit. We did absolutely love Little Yangon and were hoping to go back but I see it’s closed. Mandalay has always done really well for us but again the menu is fraught with non-Burmese dishes that are pretty meh. Burmese Kitchen was always our go-to, partly because of Denis, but also because they were great at anything deep fried, and their laphet thoke was the best I’ve had since Bo Laksa King closed in Vancouver.

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Just going over my 33 page list of SFBA restaurants and came across Starbelly as a potential happy hour target. Burger, fries and HH cocktail $20. Bauer recommended this place for the fries way back in 2010. Wonder if it’s still worthy?

Little Yangon has been replaced with another Burmese restaurant, Mahar Yangon. I haven’t been, but FWIW it has a 4.5 star rating on Yelp (76 reviews).

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Don’t go to La Capra for coffee, at least not the one at 3rd/Harrison. Equator or the Sightglass in the SFMOMA lobby are better options. Even the CafeX coffee robot in the Metreon is better. (If you’re talking about the one at 1st/Mission, I don’t get by there often so it’s possible they’re better, but I’d still go to Equator or Red Door, which has okay coffee but is in a nice gallery space, albeit packed with annoying tech people on weekdays). Coffee Bar should also be near you and probably is fine based on their other location.

Creator is a fine burger for the price but not exactly something I’d go out of my way for, unless you really want to see the wacky machine.

I like Uma Casa. They’ve also got a piri piri chicken place in the Mission that I’m not impressed with. The Saratoga had much better food than I expected, and some pretty good drinks.

If you have an interest in pão de queijo, Saltroot is right down the hill from Legion of Honor. They’re somewhat larger, saltier, and maybe more floury than the ones at Mercado do Brasil in the Mission.

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