Ask any chef in town—a meatball is an easy sell. At Pizzeria Delfina, the Italian polpette are second only to the restaurant's namesake pizza. Further North at Chotto, a server says the juicy Japanese tsukune are a "must-try." On that note, almost every culture has a meatball, and San Francisco has representatives from more than several camps. Here, a bit of a cultural lesson by way of hand-rolled meat: from fiery Mexican albondigas to pomegranate-speckled Iranian kufteh tabrizi.
If you haven't revisited the fancier side of Polk Street (between Pacific and Greenwich) in the past few months, things are changing fast. Of course, the neighborhood's tried and tested favorites are still there—like Leopold's heavenly schnitzel and draft beers that are bigger than a newborn baby, or the lemon vanilla rice pudding at Loving Cup. But there are some freshly minted food spots on the block that are worth dropping in on. Here's a picture of what to expect.