One of thing things I enjoy about visiting San Francisco for JavaOne is the dining. I was in San Francisco last week for JavaOne 2012. As typical when visiting San Francisco for JavaOne, I ate breakfast multiple times at Honey Honey Cafe and Crepery. I also had breakfast at another JavaOne regular, Pinecrest Diner.
As much as I enjoy the San Francisco breakfasts, the dinners are even more memorable. The remainder of this blog posts highlights the restaurants I visited during JavaOne 2012 with a brief description of each.
Located at San Francisco's tourist-famous Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf, Mango's Taqueria & Cantina stays true to its name and includes mangoes in many of its dishes. I'm a big fan of mangoes mixed with other spices, herbs, and peppers associated with Mexican food, so I really enjoyed this. We ate outside and had a nice view of the bay as well.
The Crab House at Pier 39 is also located at Fisherman's Wharf's Pier 39. Their web site calls the food "addictive" and states, "We buy only Dungeness crab that weighs at least two plus pounds (for those meaty legs) and is harvested from the nearby Pacific Ocean. The whole crab is roasted and drizzled with our crab butter sauce." I agree with this; the buttery meaty crab legs were excellent. We also ordered the tasty mixed vegetables in addition to the "lotsa crab."Izakaya Ninja
Izakaya Ninja provided our least expensive dinner, but we were very happy with our dinner at this "modern Japanese cuisine" restaurant "located in the San Francisco neighborhood of Nob Hill."Tonga Room
We stated at the Fairmont San Francisco Hotel for JavaOne 2012, so it was very convenient to eat dinner at Tonga Room, which is housed within the Fairmont Hotel. Although this was our least favorite meal of the trip, it had its highlights (Szechwan Green Beans were fabulous as were all the fruits and vegetables we had) and the non-food advantages (atmosphere, "raining" in the central pool, and the surprisingly talented singer and bad) make it a unique San Francisco place to visit. We were probably most disappointed with the Chow Chow, which was mostly noodles with very little vegetables or "added" chicken. We were much happier with the Afi Chicken. The wait service was excellent.
Our favorite meal during this trip was dinner at Rue Lepic, which was located very close to the Fairmont San Francisco Hotel. We had seen this relatively small restaurant (described in many reviews as "cozy") restaurant fairly busy, but we had the good fortune of having the restaurant to ourselves when we arrived there at opening time (5:30 pm) on a Thursday evening. We sat in the corner where the glass walls met at the corner of Pine Street and Mason Street. The service was outstanding and the food matched the service.
We had the Chef's Menu option in which an entree could be chosen to go along with other pre-selected courses. We expected the "pasta" course to be a cheap pasta, but it was an excellent seafood-laden pasta. The soup of the day was a very tasty pea soup (and I'm not a big soup fan). The garden salad had a great dressing on it and the Les Fruits Desaison sur Unlit de Creme Anglaise ("Fresh seasoned fruits and berries with crème anglaise") and La Ganache au Chocolat Nappee d’une Creme Anglaise Parfumee aux Fraises et Kiwis ("Chocolate mousse with crème anglaise and served with a strawberry and kiwi sauce") were decadently delicious desserts. For the entrees, we chose and were very happy wit the filet mignon and salmon. The service was exceptional, the atmosphere was cozy, the people-watching on that corner was fascinating, and the several courses of food were all excellent.
Our favorite San Francisco dining surprise from last year (JavaOne 2011) was Colibri Mexican Bistro. We liked it so much, in fact, that we broke our "rule" of only trying new restaurants for dinner in San Francisco and returned this year. We were glad we did as the food and service were as excellent as we remembered. As with last year, it was busy, but we were able to get in without reservation due to our early arrival and willingness to sit (both times) in the same two-person table at the very back of the restaurant. We love their Tacos de Pescado as an appetizer and their Pechuga Rellena de Huitlacoche as an entree.Conclusion
San Francisco has much to offer and dining is certainly on that list. The variety of types of cuisines and flavors is broad and deep.