Goat Hill Pizza 300 Connecticut/18th St., Potrero Hill. Pizza here is prepared with a housemade sauce, then baked in a brick oven until the sourdough crust is crisp. Choose from many varieties or design your own. The dinner salad is big enough for two, and spaghetti, ravioli, and lasagna are also options. Tables are covered with red-and-white checked tablecloths, and pictures of goats adorn the walls. This place is popular with families and especially enjoyable when the piano man plays in the front room.
House of Prime Rib 1906 Van Ness Ave./Washington St. The specialty of the house in this posh, clubby spot has been the same since 1949--the finest aged prime rib served right from the cart and carved to order tableside. (In fact, the only other entree on the menu is grilled fresh fish.) Choose a City Cut (for small appetites), an English Cut (several thin slices), or a King Henry VIII Cut (for those with king-size appetites). The complete dinner includes a chilled green salad prepared at the table and presented with chilled forks, bread and butter, either mashed potatoes with gravy or a baked potato, fresh horseradish sauce, creamed fresh spinach, and Yorkshire pudding. Come here hungry.
Ironside 680 Second St./Townsend St., SOMA/South Beach. Operating within a former ship repair shop, this spot features an industrial look with concrete floors, brick walls, iron beams, and weathered-wood walls yet manages to feel cozy. The main dining area downstairs has big windows to the street, while an overflow loft area upstairs hugs the wall and sports high ceilings. Lunch is counter service. Starters include long, gently curling plantain chips and also unusual fried avocado slices with smoky jalapeno aioli. Barbecue dinner plates offers the usual suspects—meaty pork ribs, beef brisket, chicken, pulled pork—as well as shrimp and Portobello mushroom. Sides include tangy pickled pepper slaw, good-for-you collard greens, and cowboy beans with house-smoked bacon but also cheddar grits and mac & cheese. A tasty pressed Cubano sandwich (veggie version available) is on the menu along with several burgers and a shrimp po’boy. Dishes are prepared using meat from naturally raised animals with no added hormones or antibiotics. The weekend brunch has nothing to do with ‘que and everything to do with eggs. Six California micro brews are on tap, and housemade sangria is available along with bottled beer and wines by the glass. The Chronicle Books shop next door is a good browse.
Katia’s: A Russian Tea Room 600 5th Ave./Balboa St., Sunset District. Located in the heart of San Francisco’s Russian neighborhood, among side streets lined with noteworthy vintage houses, this intimate restaurant offers traditional thick beet-and-cabbage borscht, breaded ground-chicken cutlets Pozharski, and golubtsi--cabbage leaves stuffed with ground beef. For dessert, try boiled cheese dumplings topped with exquisite fresh sour cream. Live guitar music is scheduled on Saturday evenings.
Across the street, teeny, tiny Globus specializes in Slavic books.
Khan Toke Thai House 5937 Geary Blvd./24th Ave., Outer Richmond District. Diners remove their shoes before entering a maze of lushly decorated small dining rooms. The richly embellished tables are low to the ground. Some have floor pillows for reclining, while others have wells in the floor beneath into which legs can dangle. Many of the unusual Thai herbs used in preparing dishes for the extensive, well-executed menu are grown in a courtyard behind the restaurant. The extensive menu is heavy with delicious choices, and a large selection of vegetarian items is available.
Le P’tit Laurent 699 Chenery St./Diamond St., in Glen Park (Monterey exit off Hwy. 280).
Louis’ 902 Point Lobos Ave., above the Cliff House, Outer Richmond. No cards. Founded in 1937 as a hot dog stand, this enterprise has been around since the heyday of the Sutro Baths. Now a coffee shop restaurant, it has been run by four generations of the same family. The menu is simple: eggs, omelettes, and pancakes for breakfast; hamburgers, fried prawns, and sandwiches for lunch and dinner. But people don’t come here for the food, they come here for the killer view at a reasonable price.
Marnee Thai 2225 Irving St./23rd Ave., Sunset District, (415) 665-9500; L-D W-M; $. Reservations advised. Exceptional and authentic Thai cuisine is served in a tiny room completely covered with attractive, sound-absorbing woven fibers. Especially good are the mild yellow curry dishes prepared with potatoes in a complex mixture of spices softened with coconut milk, and the stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts (tossed on after the dish is cooked, allowing them to retain their crunchiness). A side order of delicious peanut sauce and a palate-refreshing cucumber salad are recommended. Allow time before or after for shopping the produce markets and mostly Asian businesses scattered along this bustling street.
A branch is nearby at 1243 9th Ave.