LIVE, LAUGH, AND LEARN... welcome to the co.

Seconds, anyone?

It's no doubt that San Francisco is a mecca for gastronauts. Whatever your taste buds desire, this beautiful city has a culinary answer waiting for you right around the corner / across the street / and/or straight ahead. However, let's be real, we can't always afford to wine and dine in the city and often times have no idea how to sift through all the options.

Thankfully, the lovely folks at the SF Convention & Visitors Bureau, SF Chronicle, and are sponsoring Dine About Town 2008. For all you fellow foodies out there, I'm sure you're as excited as I am to find out that this event is now biannual (especially if you were saddened--as I was--by the fact that January's Dine About Town only lasted two weeks)! With over a 100 participating restaurants at your fingertips, it's a great way to take advantage of what this city has to offer. You can try some of San Francisco's finest cuisines at a reasonable--and better yet, set--price. However, what I personally love most about this time of year is the fact that all the research has been done for you. Sure, the prices may still be a bit much for some and others may not be fans of the limited menus, but if you're as indecisive as I can be when it comes to good eats this snippet of SF's culinary world is a great resource and starting point for discovering the city's hidden gems and world renowned spots alike. (It's also one helluva good reason to gather up the homies and try something new!)

I've been an avid Dine-About-Town-goer for about three years now. And although I've never gotten all the way through my lists, I've had my fair share of tasty creations. Just for kicks, I've come up with some suggestions based on June's participating (dinner) restaurants list:

  • Ana Mandara (Vietnamese Fusion): Definitely get on those Crispy Rolls with crab meat, shrimp & shiitake mushrooms and follow it up with the Seared Mekong Basa. (AMAZING!)

  • Andalu (tapas): Okay... I know it's tapas, but some of the portions are a bit small, especially if you're dining with MY friends. However, if you're like me and can appreciate the ambiance of a restaurant as much as their food, then check this spot out. With it's fresh modern decor and excellent selection of background beatz, Andalu is a perfect kick-it spot. Their fixe menu isn't listed, but I'd suggest trying the Coca-Cola Braised Short ribs, Grilled Eggplant stuffed with Ricotta, and definitely the Cambazola Cheese Fondue with Fuji Apples & Asian Pears (truthfully, when my friends chose this, I was hesitant about the whole fruit and cheese thing, but trust me... it's a good idea). For dessert, hook yourself up with the fresh donut holes and Castillian hot cocoa.

  • B44 (Latin/Spanish): Paella B-44 (paella is their specialty). Now, this isn't on the fixe menu, but you really should handle the Tiger Shrimp sautéed with garlic and adobo (say, word?!). If it's a nice day/evening I recommend enjoying a glass of wine on their outside bistro style seating.

  • 1550 Hyde: Although I know the food was good, I can't remember exactly what I ordered here. However, I recommend this place as they have a fine selection of wines. It's a bit pretentious, but hey... that's to be expected from a wine bar in Russian Hill, right?

  • Foreign Cinema: The food was okay from what I remember, but the place is definitely unique and if you catch it on a good movie-night, definitely worth a sit down. It's also attached to Laszlo in case you're on the late night tip and wanna grab a lil' drinkey drink afterwards.

  • Mangarosa (Brazilian/Italian Fusion): Tender soft beef short ribs with red bell pepper sauce served with mashed potatoes. Although... the home made gnocchi definitely caught my attention tonight.

  • RNM: (in mah 'hood!). It's a diamond-in-the-rough-kinda-spot with a cozy neighborhood feel. They also have a $28 prix fixe menu anytime of the year, Tuesday-Saturday. Go for the mac&cheese and/or white castle burgers.

  • Roy's (Hawaiian Fusion): The menu's changed, but it all sounds good. Definitely get the Sampler Trio... you won't regret the seared shrimp.

  • Tres Agaves (Mexican): A favorite among the coworkers. Honestly, I haven't tried much of what's on the fixe menu, but let me tell you... the guacamole is on point! Real talk, I'd go back just for that.
Bon Appetit!


    Michael said...

    I haven't lived in San Francisco since 2002 (my last address was actually in Oakland) but yeah SF has a lot of great food... my favorites were Brother's (Korean restaurant) on Geary, Steps of Rome in North Beach, and every greasy Mexican joint in the Mission.