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Mr. Pollo

By   /  January 31, 2011  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

Local chefs tend to run into each other at Annabelle Lenderink’s La Tercera vegetable stand at the Tuesday Ferry Plaza Farmers’ market during chicory and shelling bean season. One day she introduced me to Mr. Pollo, actually Manny Torres Gimenez, the chef/ partner at Mr. Pollo, a literal hole in the wall on Mission. About [...]

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Chotto

By   /  January 28, 2011  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

In a town with no shortage of izakayas–Japanese pubs–the new Chotto stands out for its esthetic. Taking the high road at every juncture, owners Tad and Zerlayna Horie and their chef, Armando Justo, have created a smart and serene little dining room and sake bar with a big  selection of small dishes, and a handful [...]

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Beast and the Hare

By   /  January 20, 2011  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

Beast and the Hare is San Francisco’s version of a London gastropub, a friendly, informal neighborhood place that specializes in rich, meat-centric dishes complemented with glasses of artisan beer and robust wine.  Its chef/owner, Ian Marks, who worked for two years at the Fatted Calf, has a deep understanding of charcuterie and the ameliorating effect [...]

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Plum

By   /  January 10, 2011  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

An army of cooks in black T-shirts work with concentration in the open kitchen of Plum, a new Daniel Patterson production in Oakland.  Patterson, who opened the high end Coi four years ago and then the wonderful Ferry Building counter restaurant, Il Cane Rosso, went for something in between at Plum, a moderately priced outpost [...]

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Tuba

By   /  January 6, 2011  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

In all of the Mediterranean–Italy, France, Spain, Greece, North Africa, the Middle East–no cooking is more lush, varied and anthropologically rooted than Turkish, a grand confluence of Central Asia (manti), Persia (kebabs) Arabia (halva) and the West (eggplants, tomatoes, peppers).  At the new Tuba, chef/owner, Ali Yaldiz, who comes from a long line of chefs [...]

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Craw Station

By   /  January 1, 2011  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

Cajuns and Cantonese may not seem like culinary kissing cousins, but both of these cultures know that crawfish, shrimp, crab and clams cooked and served in the shell have superior succulence and flavor. The fare at Craw Station, an Asian/Cajun house of boiled and fried seafood, proves it. The drippy, messy, finger burning ordeal of [...]

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Aziza

By   /  April 19, 2007  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

A plain bowl of Aziza’s couscous, hand rolled into tiny grains, steamed and fluffed no less than four times, garnished with almonds, is one of San Francisco’s great dishes. One cook devotes himself to making it every day from 7 a.m. through dinner. The lucky eater feels each miniscule grain against the teeth; the nutty [...]

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KL Restaurant

By   /  March 20, 2007  /  Restaurants  /  No Comments

Chinese restaurants in the Bay Area astound me with their range and depth. Even small places like KL Restaurant, hidden away on a residental corner in the Outer Richmond, can produce both refined banquet dishes and homey Cantonese soulfood on the turn of a dime. How do they do it? Cecilia Chiang, the legendary cook [...]

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