Cava22 - Page 2

Tequila sunset: Cava22 is the Mission's answer to Tres Agaves
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Photo by Rory McNamara

Typical of the meat possibilities is the Argentine milanesa ($11): thin slices of beefsteak that are breaded, fried, and served with beans and rice. The name refers to Milan, of course, Argentina having substantial Italian ancestry. In a small irony, the Italians themselves call breaded, fried filets (usually of fish or veal) "all'inglese" — "in the English fashion." So, fingers pointing in every direction here. Cava22's milanesa steaks are profoundly breaded and fried indeed; by the time they reach the table, they're nearly geological in their earthy crispness and twisted shapes.

Camarones à la diabla ($12), also known as prawns in spicy sauce, is one of those preparations you see on menus all over the place. Here the shrimp are peeled, which is certainly a blessing for the person eating them, and the tomatoey-looking "devil" sauce packs a real wallop. I can't recall having a more boldly chilefied sauce in any restaurant, and I liked it. Seafood dishes include a choice of sides — beans, rice, roasted potatoes, a few others — and these are on the good side of ordinary.

Service is knowledgeable and efficient, although the dining room is so big that sitting at one of the window tables is like being near the end of a bus line: it takes some chugging to move things from kitchen to table and back again, and you can see your server coming from quite a distance. Luckily the table linens are well-starched and the street spectacle is unending: a human parade dressed every which way and heading in every direction, with many posses making stops at Papa Toby's Revolution Café across the street, possibly to make inquiry as to the whereabouts of an interesting new tequila bar and restaurant they'd heard about.

CAVA22

Dinner: Sun.–Thurs., 5–10 p.m.; Fri.–Sat., 5–11 p.m.

3239 22nd St., SF

(415) 642-7224

www.cava22sf.com

Full bar

AE/MC/V

Noisy

Wheelchair accessible

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