Straw - Page 2

The carnival-themed restaurant in Hayes Valley wins our teddy bear with playful plates

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Cotton candy's got nothing on this fried chicken and waffle Monte Cristo sandwich.
GUARDIAN PHOTO BY RORY MCNAMARA

I was a little less impressed with the picadilly ($14.75), if only because I wonder if a fish as marvelous as ahi tuna needs to be turned into fish sticks. Ahi, like beef, can stand on its own and is generally best when standing on its own. It doesn't take all that kindly to elaborate treatments and back-room, hardball techniques like breading and frying. Doing that to a nice piece of ahi is a little like getting out your best lead crystal to serve some Diet Coke. The accompanying mayonnaise was astounding, however.

No carnival would be complete without a root beer float, and Straw offers a nice one ($5.50), made with root beer gelato and served with a straw (!)— not exactly radical ideas but sound ones. The more radical idea was laying little sticks of candied bacon atop an almost impossibly creamy peanut butter pie ($6) in a chocolate crust. Peanut butter and chocolate are one of sweetdom's divine combinations (also totally New World), and I'd never heard the pair were looking for a third, certainly not pork. The truth is that the pie would have been fine without it. But the meat brought a bit of salty-sweet chewiness for contrast, and the result was better than fair.

STRAW

Dinner: Mon.-Sat., 5-10 p.m.; Sun., 5-9 p.m.

Brunch: Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

203 Octavia, SF

(415) 431-3663

www.strawsf.com

Full bar

MC/V

Noisy

Wheelchair accessible

 

Comments

I love everything about Straw: the engaging decor, the wonderfully friendly staff (who seem to genuinely enjoy their work), and most of all the food. This review didn't mention several aspects that make me a regular diner there. (It helps that I live two blocks away---it's great to suddenly be so close to such a delicious restaurant!)

First, the food is cheap. I rarely order the entrees, most of which are about $15, because you can put together a feast based on the appetizers ($4-8 or so), the huge and varied salad (available in two sizes, usually for $6-9), and the sandwiches (the pulled pork hoagie-ish thing is amazing). It's also a great place for sharing food with friends, which helps mitigate any guilt you might feel for eating fried items.

Second, many dishes combine flavors that at first glance seem like they might not work, like a berry sauce (served on the side) with on the pork sandwich. Every combination I've tried has worked impressively.

They also have a great selection of unusual beers, will come get you in the coffee shop next door if it's crowded (which it often is) and there's a wait, and do fast, great takeout. One woman who works there (Naiomi) sometimes hugs me when I come in because she's seen ms so often and is just plain sweet.

I realize this review practically sounds like I'm an investor in the place or friends with the owners, but I'm honestly just thrilled to have such a great place so nearby. They also give nostalgic candy with the bill. I have never had a bad meal here, and I've probably been there a dozen times since I discovered it in Msy...

Thanks Straw!

Posted by Paul R on Aug. 12, 2011 @ 12:49 am

Paul,

Thank you so much for coming in (on the regular!:) You're comments really mean a lot, and we're psyched to contribute to Hayes Valley.

See you around!

Posted by Greg on Aug. 12, 2011 @ 9:16 am

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