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Bambino Watch: T-minus (about) 21 days

 
Bambino's Bar: Under construction

Bar Bambino, soon to be the perfect Mission District hang-out, is hidden behind a burgundy plywood façade. Its white marble bar is covered with a protective layer of packing blankets and it looks—well, it looks like a restaurant under construction. Friday afternoon I took a walk-through with owner Christopher Losa, who dished on the soon-to-open spot. After giving me the tour, talking up the amazing chandeliers and telling me all about the long road towards restaurant-hood, we finally got to the good stuff: “Want to see a sample menu?” Christopher, I thought you’d never ask.

If we were in Italy, Bar Bambino would be the kind of place you’d find on every corner. The all-day menu (they plan to be open Tuesday-Thursday from 11am-11pm, Friday and Saturday from 11am-midnight and “sometime” Sunday) has a large assortment of panini, which Christopher describes as “the best food between two slices of bread,” including one with mortadella and red onion jam and an Italian-style BLT. There are also a handful of pastas, simple rustic creations like spaghetti with garlic and olive oil. You can wash it down with a glass or bottle of wine from the all-Italian list, or make like a Roman and shoot back an ounce of espresso. And if that’s not enough, they are also putting in a cheese and salami bar. A CHEESE AND SALAMI BAR, people! I’ve seen the future and it is beautiful.

2931 16th St. (between Mission and South Van Ness), 415-701-VINO, www.barbambino.com