It's hard enough, wouldn't you agree, for a restaurant to make dinner in a fully equipped kitchen, never mind one that's been stripped of its range and hood due to pesky city zoning ordinances.
Despite such a hitch, 20 Spot in the Mission, owned by Bodhi Freedom (whose name suggests a natural keep-cool disposition nicely suited to handle such kitchen-related hurdles) has managed to become a successful neighborhood joint where locals pack the house to enjoy a full dinner menu, thanks to the wonders of the sous-vide slow cooking method. "Light cooking allows us to have a menu of balanced dishes that, in addition to being flavorful, also highlight our wine," says Freedom. While the roasted king trumpet mushrooms with sunchokes and béarnaise sauce and the chicken and chickpea stew are popular dishes that satisfy the expectation diners have of actual cooked meals, it's the uncooked vittles that really shine: the steak tartare with fresh tomatoes is succulent and the cheese plate is thoughtfully executed and a veritable cornucopia of dairy, nuts, and fruits. Pair anything with their housemade rosé sangria and you've got the makings of a memorable meal, quite possibly worthy of a weekly tradition.
Try other delectable repasts from these other stripped-down kitchens:
Prubechu (Guamanian gastronomy): 2847 Mission St., 415-952-3654
Local's Corner: 2500 Bryant St., 415-800-7945
Noeteca Cafe:1551 Dolores St., 415-824-5524