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restaurants

The Rise of Miss Saigon

Make no mistake—Miss Saigon isn’t going to revolutionize the dodgy block on which it sits (at the corner of Sixth and Mission streets). It is, however, a good place to get lunch if you’re tired of the options at the Westfield SF Centre. The utilitarian, but spic-and-span, dining room is run by an efficient workforce that bustles about, delivering Vietnamese coffee and fussing (in a good way) over the guests. Menuwise, it’s the usual suspects: We have no complaints about fried squid with scallions and garlic (#14) or the delicate threads of green papaya in the classic salad named after it (get #9, shown here, the version with shrimp and pork). Linger too long and you’ll be subjected to a viewing of violinist André Rieu’s DVD of love songs, shown on three televisions.

The Slanted Peruvian Docks: Pisco Sours all around!


Pisco Sour: The  new margarita? Photo courtesy of David Fukuda

Between Piqueo’s and Limòn, I thought SF had had its Peruvian moment, but apparently, it’s just begun. La Mar Cebicheria Peruana is set to open today; and Pisco, a bar and lounge by Destino chef-owner James Shenk, opens the first week of October. (Oh, yeah, and there’s Limon’s new rotisserie.)

Museum Artifacts: The Moss Room and the Academy Cafe

Yes, I’ll be headed to the amazing, new California Academy of Sciences to marvel at the albino alligator and the suspended blue whale skeleton and the high-tech hand-driers in the bathrooms (a true force of nature).

But I’m to be honest, I think I’ll just let my kids look at the fish while I eat.


Charles Phan stands by the living wall that runs between
his restaurant and Loretta Keller's.

Dosa on Fillmore: Opening Soon


Anjan and Emily Mitra in their first days at Dosa
in the Mission.


Anjan Mitra, co-owner (with his wife Emily) of Dosa, is gearing up to launch Dosa on Fillmore. Located on the corner of Post Street, in the old Goodwill space right across from the Sundance Kabuki theater, it promises to add a good bit of spice to that part of town. The new Dosa will be open until midnight and serve lunch and a weekend brunch too. We’re looking forward following up our next Fillmore concert, movie-night-out or post-Kabuki Springs soak with a little South Indian fix. Anjan gave us the latest.

Labor Day: Eating In

Although we're not blogging today, we are working. Look for us at the Slow Food Nation "Eat-In" at Dolores Park (which is unfortunately sold out). Life is (not) so hard.

Can Local and Organic Be Cliché?


A bowl of figs at the SFN dinner are worth a million words.

Sunday night I attended a fundraiser kick-off dinner for Slow Food Nation, hosted by Alice Waters, Thomas Keller and Peter Coyote. Held at City Hall in the rotunda (with hors d’oeuvres passed in the impressively thriving Victory Garden which is cranking out 100 pounds of produce a week, which then makes its way to the Food Bank), and catered by Paula LeDuc, it was quite an evening.

Oyaji: Where Hideki-san Knows Your Name



The other night I was taken to Oyaji, a sushi spot on Clement Street, so far out in the avenues you might as well get on a plane to Tokyo. I’ve heard a lot about it from my friends that frequent it. They talk about the sushi, sure, but what they really talk about is Hideki-san, the theatrical, ham-of-a-chef and owner who knows his fish and drinks like one too.

Sentinel's Lunch Menu Now Online

Dennis Leary's Sentinel, our favorite downtown lunch spot as of late, now has its daily menu online.  Today's special?  Roasted Pork Loin with Figs and Caramelized  Onions.  Wow. Hurry and go grab it!

It's October and It's 75! Go Eat Outside in the Mission


Bar Bambino is heating up the patio.

Where to Take the Kids

The other night, I found myself, as I often do, headed home from work, having just picked up my boys from summer camp and preschool—paralyzed at the thought of cooking dinner (and more so, cleaning up after), and grateful that so many great places to dine with kids are located so close to my house in Bernal Heights.

The downsides of being a parent in the city include things like lack of big yards to send your boys that are beating each other with plastic baseball bats out to play in (telling them to “Get lost!” in a 750 square foot apartment is easier said than done). The upsides include the fact that kid-friendly, but cool, restaurants abound. You never have to even think about caving into fast food, or the equivalent of an Applebee’s.
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