Best of the Bay 2011: BEST SOUTHERN SLICE OF GLASS PIE

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Aficionados of Southern cooking will agree that a slice of pecan pie is a nice way to end a meal. But even if you don't like pecan pie — or you're forswearing all desserts for some reason — you can still help yourself to a big slice of the glass pie at Criolla Kitchen, because the New Orleans-influenced restaurant is itself a big slice of glass pie. The wedge-shaped space is window-intensive, looks westward, and is splashed with sunlight in its many shades and tempers. It's like the second coming of Zuni Cafe. In such an enchanted setting, it could be easy for the food to slip, but not here; from the hushpuppies to the po'boys to (yes!) the pecan pie, the kitchen consistently delivers.

2295 Market, SF. (415) 552-5811, www.criollakitchen.com

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