One day's fish was tilapia, which I found a little uninspiring, but at least the kitchen gave the flesh a good spicing up before grilling it, then plated the pieces with quartered tomato slices and long slivers of green bell pepper (though no skewers).
Two dishes were novel to me. The first was chana chatpat ($5), a chickpea salad that differed from its better-known near relation, chana masala, in dispensing with a curry sauce in favor of a toss in a lemon vinaigrette, along with tomato slices and rings of sweet onion. The second, lamb chhoila ($7) featured several kebablike chunks of boneless lamb meat, seared and tossed with a sharp-edged ensemble of ginger, garlic, and chile pepper.
Given the high style of the savory cooking and the handsome redo of the now vividly red dining room modifications include an encircling belt of Swiss-cheese mirrors, black chairs in an updated taverna style, and clusters of fanciful light fixtures, like big parade balloons with their bottoms cut off the dessert menu is perfunctory. We did, one evening, treat ourselves to a carrot-cardamom pudding ($5), a molded disk of seasoned, lightly sweetened carrot shreds. I wouldn't put it on any best-dessert list, but it was unusual, not fattening, and better than the usual choices at such places.
The "metro" in Metro Kathmandu reminds us of the restaurant that once occupied the space, of course, but it also sends a subliminal signal of urbanity. Metro Kathmandu is in some sense an "ethnic" restaurant, and its cooking, while sophisticated and impeccable, is more conservative and traditional than was the case at, say, Tallula, which for a few brief but memorable years fused subcontinental and French themes in the Castro. At the same time, it is a date restaurant, full of style and atmosphere and suggestive energy. Now all you need is a date.
Brunch: Sat.Sun., 9:30 a.m.2:30 p.m. Dinner: Tues.Sun., 6 p.m.1 a.m.
311 Divisadero, SF
Beer and wine
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