San Francisco Journals

A Quick June Week in San Francisco

A June 2005 trip to San Francisco by riophoenix

Pinecrest Diner Photo, San Francisco, California More Photos
Quote: A week's fun, relaxation, tours, and fine dining in San Francisco in June 2005!

A Quick June Week in San Francisco

Overview

Quote:
The trip to Alcatraz, the food at Postrio, the fantastic Adagio Hotel--it was all a highlight, really.

Quick Tips:

Best Way To Get Around:

Get a Muni Pass from the overground ticket office at the junction of Powell and Market if you're not likely to use the BART much or at all.

Hotel Adagio

Hotel

Hotel Adagio Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
Apart from a shower without enough pressure, it was sublime. Beautifully appointed, contemporary, stylish rooms, highly professional staff, and an exciting yet sophisticated restaurant/bar (Cortez). We had free broadband in our room, a very comfortable bed, and neat little sweet treats in the entrance hall every day. A nicely sized hotel, and one which was abnormally welcoming of us as a gay couple, despite it not being a "gay" hotel. They struck a nice balance!

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 6, 2005

Hotel Adagio
550 GEARY ST
San Francisco, California 94102
415-775-5000

Pinecrest Diner

Restaurant

Pinecrest Diner Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
The way American breakfasts are supposed to be - a true 24/7 diner, with fast, pleasant service, unbelievably good food, and a great mix of locals and tourists. We went three times. For Brits, it's not cheap but so very, very worth it. And it's got a history too:

http://www.mistersf.com/notorious/index.html?notpinecrest.htm

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 6, 2005

Pinecrest Diner
401 Geary St
San Francisco, California 94102
+1 415 885 6407

Cortez

Restaurant

Cortez Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
Whilst we did not need reservations on either of our visits, it was sufficiently popular to assume you normally might. A mix of Mediterranean cuisine and tapas, the food was imaginative, sourced from the finest ingredients and delivered by the most professional service. The ambience was sophisticated yet relaxed and whilst ordering multiple plates set us back a pretty penny, it was worth it for the highly enjoyable culinary voyage into the unknown. I have never had pork that tender, beef that succulent, nor a chocolate "bomb" that divine. A uniquely San Francisco experience and one not to be missed.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 7, 2005

Cortez
550 Geary Street
San Francisco, California 94102
(415) 292-6360

Hog Island Oyster Co. Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
An unexpected gem in the restored Ferry Building, we've never had anything other than the best food, the best service, and the most enjoyable outdoor dining anywhere. Admittedly, we haven't tried it for dinner, but its lunches can't be beaten, with the Manila clams and especially the oysters casino (pictured) standing way out from the pack. It seems to draw an inordinately pleasant crowd, but with a view of the bay and bay bridge like that, it's not too surprising.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 7, 2005

Hog Island Oyster Co.
1 Ferry Plaza
San Francisco, California
415/391-7117

Morton's of Chicago

Restaurant | "Morton's, The Steakhouse"

Morton's of Chicago Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
The dark atmosphere might not be for all, but for steak lovers, this is a must. The meat is shown to you at the table, and it's impressive, the seating comfortable. Yet, while it tastes delicious, I should remark that the cooking is blunt and unimaginative. My scallop starter was wrapped three times in bacon, making it far too rich and overdoing the wrong flavours. Strong flavours everywhere, but no subtlety at all. Unbelievable-quality meat, but portions which went on forever, and the service was largely disinterested. An experience, just not the most impressive San Francisco has to offer.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 7, 2005

Morton's of Chicago
400 Post St
San Francisco, California 94102
+1 415 986 5830

Postrio at the Prescott Hotel

Restaurant | "Postrio"

Postrio at the Prescott Hotel Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
Extraordinary food and the most professional service imaginable. Relaxed yet plush surroundings, alongside truly imaginative cuisine, famously sourced by local ingredients. It shows. I've never tasted calamari that succulent and tender before. I've never had halibut quite like that either, and it was polished off with waiting staff who had us constantly in view, yet who let us enjoy ourselves in peace. It cost a fortune, but unless you're on a very tight budget, I'd recommend it strongly for the memories, which will last a lot longer than the food!

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 7, 2005

Postrio at the Prescott Hotel
545 Post Street
San Francisco, California 94102
(415) 776-7825

Trader Vic's

Restaurant

Trader Vic's Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
Highly enjoyable, if not exactly novel anymore. Still, the famous (and worthwhile) cocktail menu, still the remarkable cosmo, tidbits to start, but mind you, don't over-order, because they'll fill you up. Anything cooked in the Chinese oven is something you'll remember for some time, and I went with the halibut, which I think was a special - a welcome change from steak, and it was of course cooked to perfection. Great, friendly service, and although it was pricey, it was a lot of fun. Don't think of walking there, by the way - taxis are recommended in that neighbourhood.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 7, 2005

Trader Vic's
555 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, California 94102
(415) 321-6495

Fuzio Universal Pasta

Restaurant | "Fuzio"

Quote:
We only popped in for a quick bite and were delighted by great, friendly service by the entire staff, unlimited free iced tea refills (it was a very hot day), and a nicely appointed ambience. There weren't huge frills, but they weren't needed - the food was enough. My calamari linguine was an unexpected (and hot) delight, and I think Tom had meatballs, which he enjoyed too. Nothing fancy, just straightforward, good stuff!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 7, 2005

Fuzio Universal Pasta
469 Castro St
San Francisco, California 94114
+1 415 863 1400

Alioto's Restaurant

Restaurant | "Alioto's #8 at Fisherman's Wharf"

Alioto's Restaurant Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
Unbelievably chaotic, but given its location for lunch, on Sunday, this wasn't a surprise. Friendly and competent, if distracted service (given the sheer numbers of people) and small portions, although what you get is worth it! The website suggests a more involved dinner menu, and I'd love to go back to see what else they're capable of. The view was unmatchable, and the outdoor crab franchise was intriguing!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 7, 2005

Alioto's Restaurant
#8 Fisherman's Wharf at Taylor Street
San Francisco, California 94133
(415) 673-0183

Sushi Boat

Restaurant

Sushi Boat Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
They claim to have the best sushi outside of Japan. Whilst I can't back that up, I can say it was the best sushi I'd had outside of the UK! The boat gimmick was one we haven't adopted yet, but the gimmick was backed up by imaginative sushi concoctions and far fresher ingredients than we're used to. It was so good, we returned for a second visit, when the service was weak in comparison with the excellence of the first visit. But you're not going there for fine dining--probably just a quick meal for a reasonable amount of money, both healthy and great-tasting!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 7, 2005

Sushi Boat
389 Geary Street
San Francisco, California 94102
(415) 781-5111

Quote:
The barbecue area came very highly recommended, but our experience was nothing short of shambolic. Incompetent, disorganised, indifferent - all of these things and more. After being messed around with a wrongly taken order and wrong instructions (given to many others as well) as to how to obtain it, we demanded a refund and walked out.

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on July 7, 2005

Sonoma Cheese Factory
2 West Spain
San Francisco, California 95476
(707) 996-1931

Plaza Bistro

Restaurant

Quote:
Whilst we didn't need reservations, I'm sure in peak tourist season they're necessary, if only because the restaurant was so good. We had very little time free for lunch after the calamity at the Sonoma Cheese Factory and were treated to a truly great hamburger with superb service, terrific ambience, and (unsurprisingly) even more terrific wine. If you're staying in Sonoma or just passing through, they're more than worthwhile for a quick bite or a more leisurely stay.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 7, 2005

Plaza Bistro
420 First St East
San Francisco, California 95476
(707) 996-4466

Scoma's Restaurant

Restaurant | "Scoma's"

Scoma's Restaurant Photo, San Francisco, California
Quote:
If only we'd had more time, we could have enjoyed it much more. Coming back from a tour to Muir Woods, we only had an hour in Sausalito and only 40 or so minutes for a full lunch here. Amazingly, they pulled it off (and I gave them a tip to reflect my appreciation), and the fish and chips they delivered were huge, fresh, and enjoyable. Whilst Sausalito didn't really interest me much, I'd love to take the ferry back over from San Francisco sometime just to take in the gorgeous view from the restaurant and not get indigestion this time!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 7, 2005

Scoma's Restaurant
Pier 47 on Al Scoma Way
San Francisco, California 94133
(415) 771-4383

Metreon

Attraction | "Loews Theatres Metreon"

Quote:
Brilliant film at a mediocre cinema. Really friendly staff who moved the line through at breakneck pace in comparison with the UK, and we had high expectations both of the film and the IMAX theater in which it was showing. But the reel was dirty, more food was allowed in in comparison to the UK, and it was a lousy screening. Thank goodness the film was so good! I'd review it here, but I already have done on my Livejournal (and Empireonline.com has a particularly good review).

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 7, 2005

Metreon
101 Fourth St
San Francisco, California 94108
+1 800 638 7366

Tower Tours

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
Malcolm, our driver for the Wine Country tour, was a true gem. A fellow Brit, he added some wry humour to the journey, as well as a good knowledge of wine, which made the whole thing much more enjoyable. It was actually in large measure a marketing excuse to get people to join the wineries' wine clubs. Fair enough, but the actual tours of the wineries were threadbare, although enjoyable. Malcolm actually taught us more than we found out at each winery, and we had enjoyable quips about Graham Norton to boot! Having said that some of the wine was good, although some of it was like water, but I suppose it's down to individual taste. The countryside was quite gorgeous, and I admit if I'd been living...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 7, 2005

Tower Tours
865 Beach Street
San Francisco, California 94109
(415) 345-8687