Paul Reidinger

A Beirut festival

Mazzat's cloves, meat, and pricetag will Lebanese you smiling

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Loco for Locavore

It's a lovely world in which chef Jason Moniz' local cuisine can be not just sustainable, but solidly delicious

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paulr@sfbg.com

DINE In a better world than this one — a world of locavores — there would be no need for a restaurant like Locavore. President Kennedy would have gone to the Berlin Wall and declared, "Ich bein ein locavore!" — and been greeted with applause from the other side. In related news, the dictatorship of the proletariat would have peaceably dissolved itself.Read more »

25 Lusk

Serving artful plates in an environment that encourages diners to loosen the tie

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Charanga

Nuevo Latino cuisine in the Mission that hints at the city's rich past

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Frances

Melissa Perello's restaurant revels in smoky, earthy effects while raising simplicity to high art

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paulr@sfbg.com

DINE What is the difference between Frances, Melissa Perello's wonderful, 15-month-old restaurant in the Castro, and Palencia, whose place it took? The interior design? This seems to have changed little, if at all. Frances' food is different, of course, an expertly sown patchwork quilt of influences and ingredients, whereas Palencia had given a stylish bistro treatment to the underrepresented and, to me, underappreciated foods of the Philippines.Read more »

Limon

This Peruvian hot spot has gone through several changes -- but its dishes remain brightly seasoned and eminently shareable

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Absinthe

The 13-year-old Hayes Valley brasserie rides high on classic touches and contemporary quality, without the usual coldness

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paulr@sfbg.com

DINE When Absinthe opened in Hayes Valley in 1998, it was meant to evoke an aura of Provence. Meanwhile, the restaurant's name carried a whiff of naughty Parisian excitement. Absinthe was the grog Oscar Wilde drank himself to death with in the French capital after his release from Reading Gaol, and not too many years later it was banned in France (and here) on suspicion that, like masturbation, it caused blindness and insanity.Read more »

Shangri-La

This atmospheric Sunset spot's warm dining room hosts a meat-free menu that free-ranges from mu shu to "goose."

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paulr@sfbg.com

DINE For many of us, the word "kosher" immediately suggests something about meat. As one of the crazy women on Seinfeld once put it, "it's how they kill the pig." Well, not exactly, but maybe we can give partial credit, because while there is no such thing as kosher pork — pigs are strictly off-limits, kosher-wise — the method of slaughter is an important aspect of kosher dietary restrictions.Read more »

Grub

Valencia Street may be jumping the restaurant shark, but this upscale greasy spoon rides the wave deliciously

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Pizza Nostra

Stoked a la Cote: this Potrero spot plays Nice (as in France) with flavorful pies and loads of focaccia

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