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San Francisco - best restaurant or two?


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The Cliff House bar is awesome for a cocktail with a sunset view if the weather's right, but DO NOT EAT THERE!

I thought they got a new chef and drastically improved . . . ?

Oh! I hadn't heard that. Like I said, I don't get around much anymore. That would be a first if it's true -- they've changed restaurant management/staff a zillion times over the years and have never been able to get it right before. Hope it's true!

 

ETA: Because it really is such a fabulous location -- especially for out-of-town guests!

 

Even that was several months ago; George Marrone came in and revolutionized the place (he is Palladin-inspired), giving it great accolades last spring. But he left in September. Considering the press it got when they upgraded so much, it would surprise me if sunk back that low again.

Well, now I'm just super-curious. Why do I not get daily updates about this stuff?

 

Do you read SFEater or SFGate Inside Scoop? That's where I get it...

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so I've booked Boulevard for my friend's bday dinner. And I've got Swan's down for our oyster fix. Since we will absolutely go to the ferry plaza I'm thinking Slanted Door for lunch? I know it's not the best but neither of them get Vietnamese food (in Paris & Geneva) and they will love the view. Also the bar has good cocktails. what do you think? is it horrible or just over hyped? it's been years since I've been there.

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so I've booked Boulevard for my friend's bday dinner. And I've got Swan's down for our oyster fix. Since we will absolutely go to the ferry plaza I'm thinking Slanted Door for lunch? I know it's not the best but neither of them get Vietnamese food (in Paris & Geneva) and they will love the view. Also the bar has good cocktails. what do you think? is it horrible or just over hyped? it's been years since I've been there.

I doubt it's horrible, but the consensus among those I know is indeed that it is over-hyped, as well as over-priced, and that was my impression too -- but it's been years since I've been, as well. It's hard to beat the view, I'll admit.

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I think the Slanted Door is perfect for tourists; probably because it is just a cut above, they are impressed with the decent food and are not shocked by the prices and not bothered by the noise (same goes for Gary Danko).

 

That said, for the me the food was only memorable by it being a bit too sweet and I do think it is over-hyped but I remember how impressed I was the *first* time I went (about a decade ago) -- it was multiple visits that the veneer wore thin. That is why I think it is good for tourists who may only go there once and have it be a memorable experience. Better to go for lunch and save dinner for the better establishments (I still recommend Aziza, despite their price increase).

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I just realized that I didn't report back!!

 

Bars we visited were Bourbon and Branch, Alembic, Smugglers Cove, and The Clock Bar. The last was ok and I'd go when in the area but wouldn't make a special point of getting there.

 

I've been to B&B and Alembic before and will continue but the real gem here is Smugglers Cove. awesome! no food so we grabbed pizzas at Beretta which was great!

 

Dinner at Boulevard was very very good. I wasn't expecting too much but honestly it was some of the best service I've had in years! The food was great and it was a perfect location to take my European friends as they loved the view of the bridge and the ferry plaza and we took the streetcar home. And the price was really good too!

 

We also had dinner at Aziza. The food was really good but the service was a total dud. There were 6 of us and we all were surprised that they have a star considering how bad our service was! It kindof took away from how great the meal was!

 

Slanted Door was also a big hit with the tourists. The food was good but I found it to be really expensive considering the other meals we had.

 

Thanks again for all the recommendations!

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It is sad for me to realize Aziza is suffering and changing. Some of it is in direct relation to Mourad working on a PBS series with cookbook tie-in, some "personnel issues," and the change from a homestyle restaurant to haute cuisine.

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Whoah, that's too bad, because when I was there the service was outstanding! Also, the waiters were so totally hot, I briefly considered asking moving back to the Bay Area. I mean, damn. Daaaamn.

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The service at Boulevard has been consistently stellar for several years now, thanks in no small part to the efforts of Lindsay Tusk, who formerly managed the room, and is now of course doing outstanding FOH work with her chef-husband/partner Michael Tusk at Quince.

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