Restaurant Review

Janitzi

"The cuisine of the Americas" served with style on Valencia Street
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paulr@sfbg.com

It's hard to imagine a restaurant actually failing on Valencia Street, but from time to time one does notice a casualty. The west side of the block between 22nd and 23rd streets, in particular, has turned out to be something of a killing field lately. The long-running Saigon Saigon folded two years ago, leaving a memorial — I hope not permanent — of boarded-up windows. Next door is a sliver of a space, once home to the amazing Gravity Spot, that has had multiple occupants since the mid-1990s. Read more »

Domo

The bar's the thing at this Hayes Valley sushi hotspot
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paulr@sfbg.com

For lovers of sushi bars (like me!), a sushi restaurant with a dining room consisting entirely of counter space would indeed be a glimpse of heaven. Sushi could be the ultimate counter food: you sit, you order a few things and watch them be made by chefs whose skills can seem quite magical, and once you've eaten them, you order some more. Read more »

Porcoteca

Uva Enoteca in Lower Haight offers pig-heavy eats with a dazzling array of wines
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paulr@sfbg.com

Uva styles itself an enoteca — a wine bar — but when you step through the door, the first thing you see is a large chalkboard with a butcher's sketch of a pig, with the major cuts labeled in Italian. Read more »

The Spanish table

Patio Español is perhaps the most authentic Spanish restaurant in a city that doesn't have enough of them
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paulr@sfbg.com

The waxing and waning of tapas fever reminds us, first, that it is in the nature of fevers to wax and wane. Today we love tapas — Spanish bar bites, basically — and tomorrow we will love American tapas, Cuban tapas, Peruvian and global tapas, tapas of every description, and soon enough we will be tired of all tapas. Read more »

Elite Cafe

A delicious New Orleans-inspired secret on Fillmore
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paulr@sfbg.com

How too perfect that we find the Elite Café smack in the heart of Pacific Heights. Since Pacific Heights is full of ... well, you know. Read more »

MarketBar

A Mediterranean-inflected menu chockablock with temptation
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paulr@sfbg.com

We have the other white meat and the other woman, and in the Ferry Building we have had, for the past five years, the other restaurant, the Not-Slanted Door. Read more »

Epic Roasthouse

The price of paradise on the Embarcadero
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paulr@sfbg.com

For bay views, it's hard to beat Epic Roasthouse, the Pat Kuleto and Jan Birnbaum collaboration that opened in January along the Embarcadero at the foot of Folsom Street. Read more »

Cava22

Tequila sunset: Cava22 is the Mission's answer to Tres Agaves
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paulr@sfbg.com

If, like me, you occasionally succumb to the temptation to judge a restaurant by its name, you might suppose that Cava22 is some kind of champagne bar ... all right, a cava bar, cava being the word the Spanish came up with to describe their méthode champenoise–style sparkling wines. Read more »

B Star

Burma Superstar opens an upscale cousin up the street
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paulr@sfbg.com

If you run a successful restaurant on Clement Street, apparently you face a terrible temptation to open another restaurant on Clement Street — across the road, perhaps, or on the next block. And the new place should appeal to a different socioeconomic stratum. Read more »

Orson

Pulsing energy and DIY bites at Orson in SoMa
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paulr@sfbg.com

If there was ever a doubt that Elizabeth Falkner had a thing for Orson Welles, her new restaurant — named Orson — should lay to rest any lingering uncertainties. Falkner's first venture, a bakery called Citizen Cake, first appeared in the late 1990s in a northeast Mission District space (near Rainbow Grocery) now occupied by Chez Spencer. Read more »