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Five New Restaurants to Try This Month

The horseshoe bar at Hard Water. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

The horseshoe bar at Hard Water. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Looking for someplace new to try? Here’s your monthly reminder of five new spots that recently opened around town.

 Curry Up Now

Have you ever had a deconstructed samosa, or tikka masala burrito, or aloo parantha quesadillix? Unless you've waited in the ever-present line at a Curry Up Now food truck, these dishes that appear to be the love child of Indian and Mexican parents may sound pretty strange (come on in, the water’s fine). Swing by for lunch or dinner at this casual spot on Valencia Street that’s nicer than a taqueria, and offering creative dishes that pack a spicy punch.

Hard Water

While this latest addition to Charles Phan’s empire—right at Pier 3—may seem to be more of a bar than restaurant, it actually has a rather extensive menu (by Melissa Perfit) of New Orleans-influenced dishes that aren’t just bar bites, ranging from fried chicken to gumbo, plus a selection from the raw bar. But first, plunk yourself down at the marble horseshoe bar and take a look at the list of cocktails. And get this: There are 150 American whiskeys you can choose from. (Pace yourself.) Opening for lunch and dinner Thursday March 14th.

Hutong

The former (and long-standing) Betelnut in Cow Hollow has had more than a facelift—we’re talking a total makeover. Meet Hutong, sporting an edgier look, one an alley cat in Beijing would approve of. Chef Alex Ong has done away with the green beans and fried calamari, now offering small plates from around Asia like Jalan Alor–style chicken wings and hand-cut egg noodles with wild boar, garlic chives, Sichuan pepper, and more. At these prices (dishes range from $7–$15), you’ll be able to make your way through the menu and find new favorites. Check out the updated cocktail list too.

Padrecito

Freshly open in Cole Valley in the former EOS is this stylish sister restaurant to the Marina’s ever-popular Mamacita. Chef Luis Contreras’ menu is a bit smaller than the one at Mamacita, and everything is housemade from scratch, including the tortillas. Feast on tacos, enchiladas, and chilaquiles, and an array of appetizers and sides, which will change with the seasonal availability of ingredients. The agave-focused bar program was developed by David Ruiz and features lots of tequila- and mezcal-based drinks, making this multi-level spot an extra-welcome addition to the neighborhood.

Shorty Goldstein’s

Downtown workers now have a place to get their pastrami on. Michael Siegel—who just opened this tiny sandwich spot across from the Crocker Galleria—is not only making his own pastrami (very delicious pastrami, I'd like to add), but some homey dishes too, like rustic knishes, chopped liver, and the prakas: Beef-stuffed cabbage with a sweet and sour-tomato sauce and broccolini (get the mashed potatoes). Breakfast is also served (hello, corned beef Benedict and gravlax).

Marcia Gagliardi is the editor of the weekly tablehopper e-column; subscribe and read more at tablehopper.com. Follow her on Twitter: @tablehopper.