Vietnamese, L/D, $$, AE/MC/V.
KL Restaurant is a Hong Kong-style seafood house that presents its wide array of creatures from the deep in an equally wide array of guises. Particularly good: the sampan-style dishes. If you're not in an oceanic mood, the land-based stuff is good too. (PR/ 11/06) 4401 Balboa, SF. 666-9928. Chinese/seafood, L/D, $$, MC/V.
Pisces California Cuisine brings a touch of SoMa sophistication to an Outer Sunset neighborhood in need of paint. (You can't miss the restaurant's black facade.) The kitchen turns out a variety of seafood preparations the clam chowder is terrific and offers an appealing prix fixe option at both lunch and dinner. (PR, 8/06) 3414-3416 Judah, SF. 564-2233. Seafood, L/D, $$, AE/DISC/MC/V.
So Restaurant brings the heat, in the form of huge soup and noodle and soupy noodle dishes, many of them liberally laced with hot peppers and chiles. The pot stickers are homemade and exceptional, the crowd young and noisy. Cheap. (PR, 10/06) 2240 Irving, SF. 731-3143. Chinese/noodles, L/D, ¢, MC/V.
*Aziza shimmers with Moroccan grace, from the pewter ewer and basin that circulate for the washing of hands to the profusion of preserved Meyer lemons in the splendid cooking. (Staff) 5800 Geary, SF. 752-2222. Moroccan, D, $$, AE/MC/V.
Be My Guest Thai Bistro offers tasty vegetarian-friendly food in a campy-hip setting reminiscent of an old Woody Allen movie. Tofu larb is surprisingly successful. (PR, 9/06) 951 Clement, SF. 386-1942. Thai, L/D, $, AE/MC/V.
*Chapeau! serves some of the best food in the city at shockingly reasonable prices. The French cooking reflects as much style and imagination as any California menu. (Staff) 1408 Clement, SF. 750-9787. French, D, $$, AE/DC/MC/V.
Spices! has an exclamation point for a reason: its Chinese food, mainly Szechuan and Taiwanese, with an oasis of Shanghai-style dishes, is fabulously hot. Big young crowds, pulsing house music, a shocking orange and yellow paint scheme. Go prepared, leave happy. (Staff) 294 Eighth Ave, SF. 752-8884. Szechuan/Chinese, L/D, $, MC/V.
Sutro's at Cliff House has a Miami-to-Malibu feel and offers a "California coastal" menu that appeals to tourists and locals alike. You can get everything from gumbo to seafood red curry to falafel while resting assured that the kitchen is honoring the local-seasonal-sustainable imperative. The setting a glass house perched at the foamy edge of the Pacific is timelessly spectacular. (PR, 7/06) 1090 Point Lobos, SF. 386-3330. Eclectic, L/D, $$$, AE/DISC/MC/V.
Cliff's Bar-B-Q and Seafood Some things Cliff's got going for him: excellent mustard greens, just drenched in flavorfulness, and barbecued you name it. Brisket. Rib tips. Hot links. Pork ribs. Beef ribs. Baby backs. And then there are fried chickens and, by way of health food, fried fishes. (Staff) 2177 Bayshore, SF. 330-0736. Barbecue, L/D, ¢, AE/DC/MC/V.
Old Clam House really is old it's been in the same location since the Civil War but the seafood preparations are fresh, in an old-fashioned way. Matchless cioppino. Sports types cluster at the bar, under the shadow of a halved, mounted Jaguar E-type. (Staff) 299 Bayshore, SF. 826-4880. Seafood, L/D, $$, MC/V.
Taqueria el Potrillo serves one of the best chicken burritos in town, if not the best. You can get your bird grilled or barbecued or have steak instead or tacos. Excellent salsas and aguas frescas, and warmer weather than practically anywhere else in town. (Staff) 300A Bayshore Blvd, SF. 642-1612.