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Locavore

By   /  August 16, 2011  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

When I discovered that Jonathan Merritt had taken over the kitchen at Locavore, a six month old place at one end of the Mission just below Bernal Heights, I rushed over for dinner. Merritt previously cooked at Pok Pok, a Thai and Southeast Asian joint in Portland, Oregon that happens to be one of my [...]

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Boxing Room

By   /  August 10, 2011  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

The ebullient Boxing Room gives San Francisco a New Orleans-style restaurant it can love. Though no chef can replicate the real New Orleans deal here– we simply don’t have the wealth of seafood– Boxing Room’s Justin Simoneaux nimbly incorporates the cooking cultures of both his native southern Louisiana and adopted San Francisco.  At the Moss [...]

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Sichuan Home

By   /  August 4, 2011  /  Restaurants  /  1 Comment

One month old Sichuan Home is the best Chinese restaurant to open in San Francisco since Hakka Restaurant appeared on the outer edge of the Richmond.  This shiny new place, just west of Park Presidio Boulevard, has a wood paneled dining room and only a handful of tables which are always full.  Word has spread [...]

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Locanda

By   /  July 22, 2011  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

Every region of Italy claims culinary sovereignty.  Even villages five miles apart argue that their local dish is the only true version, and completely different from its neighbor’s.  Of course all roads lead to Rome, which has its own distinctive style. For me, Roman cooking is kind of a mash up of rich and refined [...]

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Cha-ya

By   /  July 15, 2011  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

I should have known that my friend Alma Hecht, blithe spirit, artist, sustainable landscape designer and certified arborist, would drag me to Cha-ya, a vegetarian Japanese restaurant in the Mission. Previously she had turned me on to Gracias Madre, an organic vegetarian Mexican restaurant that I actually ended up adoring. Still, just contemplating a dinner [...]

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Piccino

By   /  July 8, 2011  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

Piccino, a hip little cafe and pizzeria that opened in Dogpatch five years ago, has a new home in a bright yellow renovated Victorian it shares with MAC, a designer clothing boutique, and Dig Wine Store. As part of an enclave of smart shops in a neighborhood that still harbors the Hell’s Angels headquarters, dive [...]

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Bun Mee

By   /  July 1, 2011  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

Thinking goes that if all the components in a sandwich are great, the finished product will sing. Wrong. I’ve built many a soulless sandwich using the most pristine, painstakingly sourced ingredients. No, a brilliant sandwich has a magical something that makes it more than the sum of its parts. Some could argue that the Vietnamese [...]

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Rose Pistola

By   /  May 28, 2011  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

When Rose Pistola opened in North Beach fifteen years ago, its wood burning pizza oven and Ligurian focus broke new culinary ground. Last February, the restaurant closed for a two week spruce up. Mark Gordon, the estimable chef from Cow Hollow’s Terzo, a sister restaurant, has been expediting in front of the Rose Pistola cooking [...]

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Broken Record

By   /  May 25, 2011  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

A developmental chart of food service might start with street hawkers and progress to carts, trucks, booths in markets and then food windows in grungy bars. The Broken Record, a food operation in the back room of just such a bar, may not be high on the evolutionary scale of restaurants, but it turns out [...]

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Betelnut

By   /  May 22, 2011  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

Malaysia, the fecund equatorial state on the bulging tip of the Thai peninsula, looms large in the consciousness of every self respecting food lunatic in America.  Fans of The Fatty Crab in New York, Betelnut  in San Francisco, Banana Island in Daly City, and Asian hawker food in general, (the antecedents of our cart-food culture) [...]

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