Fancy Food and Nakedness in SFO- advice please!
April 26, 2013 8:11 PM   Subscribe

Where should a foodie, dining alone, eat dinner at in SFO weeknights? And lets talk about the bath houses...

I'll be in SFO from Sat-Wed for a conference where I am presenting and need frufru restaurant ideas for Mon and Tuesday evening. I love the city and have been many times, but haven't taken the time to really indulge in some high end restaurants. I am looking for cuisine along the lines of Per Se, French Laundry, Le Cirque, Le Cinq, Guy Savoy, etc. But also a place that I will comfortable dining alone on a weeknight. And of course a place that I actually stand a chance to get a reservation for (I can rely on AMEX Plat concierge to help do my bidding, but if it's really a sold out weeks in advance kind of place, even they might not be able to get me in).

I won't have a car so don't direct me to Napa Valley or anything. Bonus points for an eatery closer to Union Square than not (but this is only a bonus, not a requirement).

Tangential questions- (1) can anyone speak to Archimedes Banya in SFO? I fell in love with authentic turkish hamams in Istanbul- getting naked and being scrubbed down and then washed in a hot steamy room. So relaxing, especially when followed by a massage. Archimedes Banya claims to host such an experience. (2) how about the intersection between most affordable and longest/best Thai massage that's within public transportation or cab distance? Minimum 1.5 or 2 hours as would be in Thailand.
posted by TestamentToGrace to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Eat at Coi, it's fantastic. Your platinum concierge might need to get you the reservation though.
posted by Joh at 8:29 PM on April 26, 2013 [3 favorites]

My knee-jerk response would be Saison, which offers a bar tasting menu (now $88).
posted by wnissen at 8:34 PM on April 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Frances. So yum.
posted by roger ackroyd at 9:01 PM on April 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'm a fan of Suchada Thai Massage. Have been to both locations -- both are public transit accessible. I haven't been to Archimedes. The Kabuki Spa is another bathing/spa option, but not the Turkish/Eastern European model.

[And SFO is the airport, not the city. Thank you.]
posted by gingerbeer at 9:09 PM on April 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

Restaurants near Union Square: Farallon, Fleur de Lys

Less close (but a quick cab ride): AQ, Delfina, Nopa,
posted by gingerbeer at 9:16 PM on April 26, 2013

You can get something like that spa experience at the Kabuki Spa in Japantown. It's very nice and clean and upscale, if you're into that sort of thing. You can get a massage + full body scrub with salts, and you get unlimited access to the amaaaaazing bathhouse with any service so you could spend the whole day there if you like.
posted by annekate at 9:27 PM on April 26, 2013

One of my favorite restaurants in San Francisco (not exactly on par with the French Laundry, et al. but you'd never get in there at this point anyway...) is Canteen. It's close to Union Square, laid back, has a counter so eating as one is totally normal, and delicious.
posted by grapesaresour at 9:48 PM on April 26, 2013

It's pretty easy to get in at Frances & other great spots as a single if you eat at the bar, especially at off hours.
posted by judith at 12:02 AM on April 27, 2013

FYI SF is the city, SFO is the airport.
posted by crazy with stars at 9:51 AM on April 27, 2013 [2 favorites]

Check to find last-minute openings at some of the great restaurants in and around SF. Right now, there's an opening for French Laundry on Monday at 7; Frances on Sunday, and Coi Saturday at 8 (that won't last!). Not everything is on there, but a lot of good places are. I'd also recommend Boulevard. I haven't been to Quince, Saison, or Atelier Crenn, but they're all on my personal to-eat list. Also, Perbacco is close to Union Square and a great place for fancy Italian.
posted by pompelmo at 12:28 PM on April 27, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also, re:crazy with stars' comment: I've definitely heard people refer to the city as SFO (and SF).
posted by pompelmo at 12:29 PM on April 27, 2013

The city of San Francisco is abbreviated as SF. The name of the airport is SFO. I live in SF, and if someone asks me about good places to eat in SFO, I'm going to direct them to the International Terminal, not Nopa and Delfina. I understand that people outside the city sometimes refer to it as such (and don't understand why they're choosing to use the longer abbreviation, instead of SF), but it's not a very helpful terminology to use in AskMe questions, or when one is actually in our lovely city, for example, as it's less likely to get one the answers they're looking for.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:49 PM on April 27, 2013 [4 favorites]

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