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Five New Restaurants to Check Out This Month

Souvla sandwich with tzatziki, cherry tomato half moons, pickled red onions, pea shoots and skinny cukes, via Tumblr.   

Looking for somewhere new to eat? We’ve got you covered. Here’s your monthly cheat sheet of five brand-new places that recently opened around town, and most are budget-friendly. Yeah, it’s tax time.

Il Casaro

North Beach has a new pizza place in the former Steps of Rome by the same owners of the nearby Vicoletto. Look for authentic Neapolitan pies coming out of the wood-fired Stefano Ferrara oven ($12–$18), plus “cibo da strada,” the late-night street food you find in Italy, like arancini, and panuozzo (pizza dough sandwiches) stuffed with ground pork, pepe rosso, fennel seed, and french fries. Cheese lovers will find housemade fior di latte mozzarella and raspa dura, a cow’s milk cheese shaved off its wheel and served in a cone. It’s a casual spot, with Italian wines and a molto Italiano staff. Open until 12:00 a.m. 348 Columbus Ave. at Grant. 

Sammy’s Aloha

Anyone homesick for Hawaiian grindz will want to hula on over to the take-out window at Butterfly on the Embarcadero, because Sammy Kong Kee is there to help you get your loco moco on. But first, he’ll greet you with a heartfelt “Aloha.” You can get housemade milk buns stuffed with kalua-style pork, or BBQ chicken with Kewpie mayo, pickled carrots and daikon, cucumber, and fried onions—and there’s a burger with teriyaki glaze. Don’t miss the ahi poke with black rice, and the custardy poached egg is an excellent add-on for any of the rice bowls. The Spammy Tots are a must: fried sushi rice topped with salmon roe and shaved spam. Do it. The takeout window is open Tuesday –Sunday 11:00 a.m. –3:00 p.m. Pier 33, The Embarcadero at Bay.

Souvla

Our city finally has a Souvlaki place that doesn’t use mystery meat! In fact, this new and airy Hayes Valley shop is quite the looker (it’s in the former Sebo location), with a fun NorCal spin on the menu. Look for local meats (lamb, chicken, pork) coming off the rotisserie and layered into a pillowy pita, along with sauces like harissa-spiked yogurt, Greek cheeses, and different vegetable fillings (vegetarians also have their own version here). Don’t miss the fries, and there’s frozen Greek yogurt for dessert with different toppings served in a cute Greek coffee cup. Greek wines and beer, check. Open all day and evening: Tuesday – Sunday, 11:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. 517 Hayes Street.

Terra Cotta Warrior

Noodle and dumpling lovers are making a jaunt to the Outer Sunset to sample the Xi’an (Northern) style of Chinese food at this newcomer. Anyone who loves the liang pi “cold skin” noodles at Xi'an Famous Foods in New York will perk up when they see the Shaanxi mian-pi with sesame sauce on the menu here. Look for hand-pulled noodles (get the noodles with sizzling oil and the amazing Qishan minced pork noodles) and take your pick of the roujiamo (a type of Chinese burger—spice lovers will want to order the pork and hot pepper version). Closed Mondays. 2555 Judah Street. 

Trou Normand

SoMa has quite the chic new looker in the neighborhood, with some top-shelf cocktails to welcome you in. Thad Vogler (Bar Agricole) is behind the sophisticated project, which will eventually morph into an all-day establishment (for now, you can get lunch and dinner Monday –Friday, and drinks until midnight). After admiring the soaring ceilings, reclaimed marble bar, tufted banquettes, and alluring artwork, you can start figuring out what you’re going to eat (the charcuterie plate, polenta, artichoke hearts, and the grilled pork chop should be contenders). Getting full? Drink more Calvados. Opening soon will be a huge outdoor patio—summer alfresco cocktails are imminent. And yes, there will be heaters—this is SF after all. 140 New Montgomery Street. 

 

Marcia Gagliardi is the founder of the weekly tablehopper e-column; subscribe and get more food news and gossip at tablehopper.com. Follow her on Twitter and prepare to get hungry: @tablehopper.