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Amy Tan's San Francisco

Sunday, January 21, 2007

GETTING THERE: Numerous airlines fly to San Francisco or to nearby Oakland from all three Washington area airports. Round-trip coach fares begin at about $320.

WHERE TO EAT: Hayes Street Grill (324 Hayes St., 415-863-5545) specializes in seafood. Dinner entrees are $17.50 to $24. On weekends, the restaurant sets up a stall at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market with oyster po' boys, crab cakes and other sandwiches. Ton Kiang (5821 Geary Blvd., 415-752-4440) has a wide menu of classic Chinese dishes, including Hakka specialties, and great dim sum. Most entrees are $10 to $16, with lobster and crab dishes around $25. Dim sum is a few dollars per dish, or nine dishes intended to be shared by two for $35.

Yank Sing (101 Spear St., 415-957-9300, and 49 Stevenson St., 415-541-4949) serves traditional dim sum and small, dim-sum-style portions of entrees such as Peking duck. A plate of dim sum starts at about $5, or buy some as single portions so you can try more things for about $1 each. Quince (1701 Octavia St., 415-775-8500) is an elegant French and Italian restaurant that uses organic, local and seasonal ingredients. Dinner entrees are $25 to $39. Zazie (941 Cole St., 415-564-5332) is a lively, casual dining place with exposed brick walls. Three-course prix-fixe dinners are $19.50; dinner entrees are $10 to $19. Plan to get there early or be prepared to wait for weekend brunch, when most entrees are less than $10. The Slanted Door (1 Ferry Building No. 3, 415-861-8032) offers fabulous views of the bay and upscale "new fusion" Vietnamese food. Most dinner entrees are $15.50 to $29.50, with vegetarian entrees closer to $10.

In Sausalito: Poggio (777 Bridgeway, 415-332-7771) for pizza and Italian dishes. Dinner entrees are mostly $13 to $20, with a few up to $30.

Caffe Trieste (1000 Bridgeway, 415-332-7660) on the waterfront serves pastries and great sandwiches indoors and outdoors for less than $10, and there's live music on weekends.

WHERE TO STAY: For a chic boutique hotel in a great location overlooking the bay, try Harbor Court Hotel (165 Steuart St., 866-792-6283, http://www.harborcourthotel.com/). Double rooms begin at about $179. Hotel Nikko (222 Mason St., 415-394-1111, http://www.hotelnikkosf.com/) is a luxury hotel in central downtown with bright, modern Japanese-inspired designs. A double room starts at $179, but occasional weekend rates dip as low as $149. If a hostel will do, a bed in a dorm at the Fisherman's Wharf Hostel (415-771-7277, http://www.hiusa.org/) is $29; a private room is $75.

INFORMATION: San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau, 415-974-6900, http://www.sfcvb.org/.

-- Cindy Loose

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