Restaurant Review

Grub

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

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(4)

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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(0)

Mission Chinese Food at Lung Shan

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

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(3)

Beast and the Hare

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

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(2)

Michael Mina

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

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(24)

Moya

Restaurant review: Bringing Ethiopian cooking to SoMa with a family atmosphere and robust seasoning

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(5)

Parada 22

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

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(0)

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 »

Passion Cafe

High above Sixth Street, diving into French-inflected dishes

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(0)

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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(0)

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 »