Restaurant Review

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 »

Golden Era

The Buddha smiles: miracle flavorings lead to vegan wonders at this classic SF spot
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paulr@sfbg.com

DINE When you step into Golden Era, you pass through a narrow door and descend a few steps, as if into a subterranean world of disrepute. But you land on a landing, instead of at a bar crowded with sooty Mafia dons, as you might have expected, and from the landing you descend another brief staircase to the dining room, which opens out expansively around you. The experience is a little like the one long offered at Postrio, Wolfgang Puck's (now closed) restaurant near Union Square. Read more »

Chile Lindo

Drop that Hot Pocket: this little empanada emporium will satisfy your sweet-savory needs

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paulr@sfbg.com

DINE "Errata" is one of those delightful words with an undelightful meaning. It means, basically, "oops" — assuming we are in polite company. In less polite company, you would probably hear a number of variations on a plain Anglo-Saxon word beginning with f.Read more »

Garcon!

Bienvenu, valenciennes! Hearty specialities of the French countryside served in a choice location

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paulr@sfbg.com

DINE When Garçon! succeeded Alma about four years ago, I thought: well, there goes the neighborhood. Alma had been a rather special place, a temple of nuevo Latino cooking, and it had a witty name that meant "soul" in Spanish while slyly referring to the owner-chef, Johnny Alamilla. "Garçon," by contrast, is a word of near-abuse that gets shouted at servers in French restaurants in dumb movies — or, occasionally, in real life, at real servers by dumb people.Read more »

Southend Grill 'N' Bar

Putting hearty treats like Asian hangar steak and chicken milanese on the front burner

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paulr@sfbg.com

DINE If "i" comes before "e" except after "c," then "bar" comes before "grill" ... well, I would have said always, but recently I came across an exception to this rule. This would be Southend Grill 'n' Bar, which opened toward the end of March in a Valencia Street space long occupied by Café Arguello.Read more »

Little Chihuahua

No quiero Taco Bell! This Divisadero hot spot offers a breezy vibe with truly tasty takes on Mexican staples

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La Trappe

Anything but monkish, the North Beach hotspot bulges with Belgian food and beers — and young fans in the basement

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RN74

Rev up that Renault, gourmands: Michael Mina's new venture takes a highly accessible road through French-influenced cuisine

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paulr@sfbg.com

DINE As we wait for someone to open a restaurant called Highway 29 — the ultimate Napa Valley wine-country spot — we are comforted in the knowledge that we already have RN74. You are absolved for not knowing that RN74, the road, is the Highway 29 of Burgundy. It runs south from the provincial capital of Dijon to Beaune, in the heart of the Burgundian wine country.Read more »