Restaurant Review

Skool

A pizza oven in a seafood house? Skool gives a lesson in intriguing, if sometimes overwhelming, synergy

|
()

paulr@sfbg.com

DINE When, in the course of human events, you come across a wood-fired pizza oven in a seafood house — in a seafood house tending in the direction of a sushi bar, no less — you probably blink twice, wondering if you've somehow mixed up your meds. But no: step into Skool and there it is, flickering on your left. There is a small catch (!) to stepping into Skool, and that's finding it in the first place. The restaurant, which opened early in July, lies in a nameless border country surrounded by Mission Bay, Potrero Hill, and the gallery district.Read more »

Paradise Pizza & Pasta

Amid a blizzard of trendy pizzerias, this longtime family favorite in West Portal holds its own

|
()

paulr@sfbg.com

DINE The current pizza vogue reminds us that pizza is always in vogue. Pizza is timeless; have you ever met anyone, or even heard of anyone, who doesn't like it? Yet the welter of new and ballyhooed pizzerias, in all their worthiness, can sometimes make us overlook the older, time-tested spots like Cathy and Sal Alioto's Paradise Pizza and Pasta at the edge of West Portal.Read more »

Another Monkey

Bringing an intensity and flair to traditional Thai dishes as well as to innovative ones

|
()

paulr@sfbg.com

DINE The restaurant formerly known as Conduit was so strikingly designed inside that when, earlier this year, it morphed into a Thai spot, another of those with "monkey" in the name — Another Monkey — I winced, and only in part because the word "monkey" makes me think of ol' Dubya, now in exile in the Dallas suburb of Elba. The indecorous neon beer sign glowing in the front window seemed to be a particularly glum portent. It said: come in and slam a few! And eat pad Thai with your fingers while you watch ESPN.Read more »

Citizen's Band

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

|
()

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

|
()

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

|
()

Capp's Corner

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

|
()

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

|
()

Izakaya Sozei

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

|
()

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

|
()