It has the best salty, lemony mussels around, hands down. The industrial-chic decor is at odds with the impeccable and friendly service (read: no pretense, no attitude). Lulu's is perfect for a hefty lunch circa 3 p.m., after a midday spin at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art or the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
The kitchen at Perbacco (230 California; 955-0663, www.perbaccosf.com) will only do a bar menu between lunch and dinner, but it's worth a trip to the heart of the Financial District for some ultra-authentic Italian snacks and drinks. The house specialty is the charcuterie plate (the sassy little meat-chef slices everything on a vintage machine right behind the bar), but everything's good. Try their signature cocktail as a brightly acidic complement to the heavy, comforting meatiness offered on the rest of the menu.
OK, so you never want to hear the words "Asian fusion" again. I know: I don't either. But buck up and check out Ozumo (161 Steuart; 882-1333, www.ozumo.com) on the backside of Steuart. If you just can't bear to order anything with the word "fusion" in its name (your loss), you can still try the sushi. Ozumo is where the other servers in the area head for their post-lunch-shift drink in case you wonder who the raucous group in the front lounge are. If you sit up there too, you can even pick up a wireless signal from next door. Hey, it's like you really are in an office ... but with cocktails. Viva la SF-slacker lifestyle! (Ella Lawrence)