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San Francisco: LA Dishes Back Part 3

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At last, the final installment of LA Dishes Back. I promise there will be no "Son of LA Bites Back" or "LA Bites Back: Jason's Returns". A few readers have asked, "How did you pick these restaurants?" People felt like there has been no rhyme nor reason to my choices, or that these places are not representative of the finest the city has to offer. I plead guilty on both counts.

My selections were often a matter of practicality, as I was with an ever-revolving group of people, and I had a conference to attend for six out of the eight days. I spent most of my time around Union Square and the Financial District, not of my own voilition.

However, within these parameters, I did have some decisions to make. And some of them were made as a result of Bauer's The Dish on LA. I felt like Bauer was kind of a Zagat victim. Nothing against Zagat - I faithfully take their surveys and even get giddy when I recognize my quotes. But because of Zagat and that whole school of thought, he reviewed the biggest, flashiest names. He definitely did not use Counter Intelligence as his guide. Bauer's review was criticized for ignoring some of our excellent local and "ethnic" food. I hate the term "ethnic" food. All food is ethnic food to someone, but I'll save that rant for another time. I was determined not to be seduced by the hippest and most happening hotspots. So I left the Zagat Guide at home this trip.

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So first, I chose the oldest restaurants I could find, the grand dames - Sears, John's Grill, and The Tadich Grill. Classics. Then I went looking off the beaten foodie path - Tommy's Restaurant, Tommy's Joynt, Blondie's. I tried to balance things out with some newer and brighter spots - Millenium, Out the Door, and the Slanted Door. Some places were sheer happenstance or serendipity. I was hungry. I turned around, and there it was. Sometimes this worked in my favor, like B Restaurant, and sometimes not so much, like with the Jazz Bistro. You win some, you lose some.

Now here we are, two days left in the city, and I am going to make the most of it...