Paul Reidinger

Viva Goa

A plethora of vindaloos distinguishes this intriguing Indian spot on Lombard

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DINE In a nondescript space on Lombard Street — itself one of the more nondescript of the city's thoroughfares, a faded remnant of 1950s automotive delirium — a succession of south Asian restaurants has come and gone over the past decade or so. The latest arrival is Viva Goa, which opened late last summer and, as the name reveals, features the cooking of Goa, a region on India's west coast south of Mumbai where once there was a colony of Portuguese.Read more »

Mission Chinese Food at Lung Shan

The pop-up restaurant serves up tongue-numbing dishes in a kitsch-infused atmosphere

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Beast and the Hare

Striking a balance between flair and rusticity with a striking interior and comforting dishes

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Michael Mina

Restaurant review: The chef's new downtown digs have breathed new life into his formerly fussy dishes

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Parada 22

Bringing some Puerto Rican sunshine to a bleak stretch in Upper Haight

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paulr@sfbg.com

Out at the west end of Haight Street, what do we find? Not a pot of gold, sadly, though plenty of pot, whose haze hovers fragrantly above the pavement like hippie ground fog. Also: a McDonald's, complete with parking lot. This has always faintly depressed me. Across the street, an emerging Whole Foods (with parking lot), while a block to the east, the old I-Beam has been obliterated in favor of condos.Read more »

Campannina

Restaurant review: This Italian delight balances tony with taste in the Marina

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Passion Cafe

High above Sixth Street, diving into French-inflected dishes

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paulr@sfbg.com

DINE Although I deplored Julie & Julia — a dreadful bit of movie pap, except for the scene where Julie discovers that Julia hates her bloody blog; priceless! — I was mesmerized by the al fresco dinner cooked and served by the unsinkable Julie on a Brooklyn rooftop. There is a magic like no other in floating motionless above the nighttime city, with a soundtrack of soft conversation, gently clicking tableware, and the odd horn honking on the street below.Read more »

Miss SaiGon

A tiara-worthy wealth of Vietnamese dishes enlivens this Sixth Street spot

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paulr@sfbg.com

DINE There really is a Miss Saigon inside of Miss SaiGon, but she seems to be made of plastic, if — to quote Groucho Marx — I'm any judge of horseflesh. With her motionless good cheer, the big doll looks like salvage from some airline's marketing campaign, circa 1968. Next to her stands a kind of aqueous sculpture, with sheets of water rippling down a long glass panel.Read more »

Pica Pica Maize Kitchen

Corn is king at this Mission spot, serving Venezuelan-style dishes in a very casual atmosphere

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paulr@sfbg.com

DINE Corn is the theme at Pica Pica, a "maize kitchen," to drive the point home. Corn is perhaps the greatest of the Americas' food offerings to the rest of the world, with the potato, tomato, and cocoa bean not too far off the pace. And it's full of ancient subtlety, a point too easily obscured by the mountainous heaps of American monoculture that helped make the movie King Corn so visually arresting. Corn is to the Americas' more southerly peoples what wine grapes are to the French.Read more »

Ragazza

Herbal perfumes and chili heat grab attention at this Divisadero spot beneath the Metro Hotel, complementing delectable pizzas

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