Mission Beach Cafe - Page 2

Beach boys
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It's a good way to use some of high summer's fresh corn, and if you run out of fava beans, use edamame instead! The result will be just as good. And if there's any grumbling, the seasoned fries ($4.50) should snuff it out. They're not curly like Jack in the Box's, but they're just as tasty.

The one dish I found a little wanting was tilapia ($13.50) crusted with flax seeds. These looked like blue-gray lentils and gave the filet the impression of having recovered its scaly skin, but the flavor charge tended toward the imperceptible. Tilapia has its attractions — it's inexpensive, predictable, low profile — but as a rule it needs more help from the kitchen than a witty crusting and a heap of steamed spinach on the side.

Fortunately we had already semi-gorged on the day's flatbread ($10), a squarish mat with the puffiness of fresh pita bread and topped with garlic, pine nuts, shredded chicken, fennel, and plenty of grated parmesan cheese. The look was slightly anemic — some green or red would have been nice — but the flavors were clear and powerful. And despite the flatbread's satisfyingness, we still had enough space available, as we approached the finish line, to accommodate a last small masterpiece of baking: brownie points ($4.50), a pair of moist brownie triangles trimmed with caramel sauce and whipped cream.

To me these sorts of foods are homey in a San Francisco, early 21st-century way, but evidently they're also hip too, to judge by the profusion of hipsters, in shiny pants and Technicolor Adidas, among the clientele. If we are to have such ironies in the Mission, what better place than at the Mission's only beachfront café?<\!s>*

MISSION BEACH CAFE

Pastry and coffee bar: Mon.–<\d>Fri., from 7 a.m.; Sat.–<\d>Sun., from 8 a.m. Lunch: daily, 11 a.m.–<\d>3 p.m. Dinner: Tues.–<\d>Thurs. and Sun., 5:30–<\d>10 p.m.; Fri.–<\d>Sat., 5:30–<\d>11 p.m.

198 Guerrero, SF

(415) 861-0198

www.missionbeachcafesf.com

MC/V

Beer and wine

Pleasant noise level

Wheelchair accessible

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