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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bar Bambino is heating up the patio.
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.