I'm in a bitchy mood, so look out:
Sunday Brunch at Lime: The 5th circle of hell. Full of a cross between Gagamonsters and Jersey Shore, pounding bass to eliminate all conversation, permanent 50 deep line for the bathrooms, and guaranteed splashes of vomit on the sidewalk out front from Asian girls in leather miniskirts and 5 pounds of makeup that went over their 1 drink limit. Watch your step!
Harvey's : A menu so simplistic (burgers and fries anyone?) that it's an accomplishment to screw up, which they do regularly. One look at the sloppy drunk clientele shows that food is not the draw here, but the brightly colored drinks that makes all the boys shriek in ear-splitting falsetto. Your cute waiter will be very apologetic when he tells you after 45 minutes that he forgot to put your ticket in, and so could you tell him what you ordered again?
Cafe Flore: A see and be seen place. Food is adequate. Lines for drinks (separate from food) are long, and be prepared to bare your nails to fight for a table with the fierce drag queens at the ready with cutting insults.
Mama's: Famously great. But bring your chairs and tents to wait in line for hours. First come first served, so don't loose your place.
There's a couple good, quiet, overlooked places for brunch, but the battle here is so intense, I make it a policy never to reveal these locations.
My advice, if you have the cash, make reservations for brunch at the Ritz Carlton, or at Campton Place restaurant. Your pockets will be cleared out, but the food, atmosphere, and service will be something you'll remember for years.
OK, I'll relent, just a tiny bit... Foreign Cinema does a great brunch. But you probably can't get in last minute.
PS Jeff, I'm just an SF noob (only 8 years), but Mama Inga's sounds like it would have been great.
Now where's my fucking Midol?