Restaurant Review

Citizen's Band

Where the roadside diner gets the Left Coast-Gay Bay treatment

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paulr@sfbg.comRead more »

Uptown Joe's

Where you can converse and hear at the same time amidst old world graciousness and hearty comfort foods

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paulr@sfbg.com

DINE Use of the word "downtown" in the American vernacular has always faintly troubled me. It's a term that should be used only with respect to Manhattan, which really does have a downtown, along with a midtown and an uptown. The better phrase for the rest of us is "city center," which is what you tend to see in European cities — signs reading "centrum" or (in German-speaking lands) "zentrum," with a big arrow pointing you in the right direction.Read more »

Bar Agricole

Named for a beloved rum and matching melodious cooking with delectable cocktails

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Capp's Corner

Tip your fedora to this North Beach mainstay, whose family-style options include classic Italian dishes done right

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paulr@sfbg.com

My first experience of Capp's Corner was long ago, in college, a melancholy dinner on a damp winter night with my first love. By "long ago," I mean so long ago that I decline to say how long. By "first love" I mean unrequited love; is there any other kind of first love? I suppose the possibility exists. But for the moony-eyed young, the most real sort of love is the hopeless, thwarted kind, the impossible dream. In that sense, I had won the love lottery at age 20. Lucky me.Read more »

Spire

Just steps away from AT&T Park, Spire's inspired menu rises above standard sports bar fare

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Izakaya Sozei

A Japanese (and more) hotspot that brings a burst of youthful energy and adventurous culinary experiments to Irving Street

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paulr@sfbg.com

DINE A specter is haunting America — the specter of deflation, according to the worthies at the Fed, who, having played no small role in conjuring said specter, are now kind enough to warn us of it. Let the excellent adventure begin, but first, a stop at Sozai (full name: Izakaya Sozai), a twice-reinvented Japanese restaurant in the mid-Sunset, where the crush of youth is so massive that even the most slithery of specters would have a tough time worming their way in.Read more »

Hunan Chef

Don't let the cold exterior scare you off: Hunan Chef's inviting dishes will warm you up inside

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Pera

A "Mediterranean affair" that leans toward Turkey and incorporates some exotic ingredients

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paulr@sfbg.com

DINE If books and movies can have subtitles, then why not restaurants? A subtitle is like a bit of extra seasoning, a way of emphasizing certain meanings, and this is particularly important at a time when restaurant names can seem increasingly whimsical or obscure.Read more »

Osteria Stellina

Consider the oyster pizza: This Point Reyes Station spot entices with intriguing combinations in a nautical atmosphere

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Heirloom Cafe

A Mission addition whose cooking is as elegant and understated as its interior design

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paulr@sfbg.com

DINE The Gospel According to Matthew offers no restaurant commentary I'm aware of, but it does remind us that "you will know them by their fruits" — the King James Version of the holy book gives us the fruitier "ye shall know them by their fruits" — especially (to make a slight inference) heirloom fruits. Or restaurants. If you want to know what a neighborhood is like and how it might be changing, you look at the restaurants.Read more »