Restaurant Review

Namu Gaji

Their new space may be smaller -- yet the adventurous Asian spirit of Namu's Lee Brothers remains

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE Although Asian outpost Namu Gaji is brand new, the presence of Namu restaurant itself and owners the Lee brothers — Dennis, David and Daniel — has been felt in San Francisco for years. Since 2006, the Lees have been weaving Korean, Japanese, and other Asian cuisines with California spirit in the original, now shuttered Richmond restaurant and eventually Namu's Ferry Building farmers market stand on Tuesdays and Saturdays. In early April, the brothers opened their Mission incarnation, Namu Gaji.Read more »

Seafaring

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APPETITE Fish makes me happy. Raw, grilled, seared, any which way. One new restaurant and one established favorite are glorifying the fish, and seafood in general, in many formats.

LOCAL'S CORNER

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New cocktails now

Flaming Spanish coffee, kumquat shrubs, 'infierno tincture' .... fresh delights at Comal, Copita, Grand Cafe, and Absinthe

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE Wet your whistle: Here are a handful of spots in Berkeley, Sausalito, Union Square, and Hayes Valley with new drinks to put on your warm weather radar — and accompanying bites to go with.

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Comforts of the flesh

Meat's a treat at Presidio Social Club, American Eatery, and O3

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE Oxtail three ways, a hammy biscuit, gourmet meatloaf... comfort comes in each of these forms at new spots (or in the case of Presidio Social Club, with a new chef) in meat dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

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Sushi east and west

Revamped Joshu-Ya Brasserie and new Saru Sushi Bar increase our sushi diversity

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE Despite the countless lauded sushi restaurants I've eaten at in NY and LA, I find San Francisco more than keeps up, whether due to the staggering range of fish (and lovably surly attitude) Roger delivers at Zushi Puzzle (www.zushipuzzle.com) (pencilfish or flying fish, anyone?), the sustainable efforts of Tataki (www.tatakisushibar.com) and Sebo (www.sebosf.com), or the pristine precision of Sausalito stalwart Sushi Ran (www.sushiran.com), which tops overrated Nobu (www.noburestaurants.com) restaurants, in my book.Read more »

Upper highs, Valley loves

Appetite: Jerk-spiced duck hearts, kambocha squash spaetzle, mango curry -- the best of Upper Haight and Cole Valley

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All together now

Communal dining spirit enlivens new spots: Mission Bowling Club, Mozzeria, Castagna, and Claudine

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virgnia@sfbg.com

APPETITE Incredible burgers in a bowling alley, SF's deaf community gathering over Neapolitan pizzas, brothers serving food from their hometown of Nice in a tiny restaurant, dining around a U-shaped counter off a FiDi alley... each of the restaurants below opened within the last 6 months, providing a unique communal experience (and, most important, fine food to go with) that makes one feel like actually engaging with, rather than ignoring, fellow diners.

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Gourmet fresh (and cheap)

Warm muffaletta, chicken meatball Reubens, fizzy Kvas ... Market and Rye, Anda Piroshki, and All Good Pizza hit the spot

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Restaurant 1833

Irresistible spot lights up Monterey with ghosts, Negronis, quality fare -- and tableside Absinthe service  

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Southern obsession

Comfort comes a-callin': down home delights (and some tasty battered chicken) at Hops and Hominy, Hog and Rocks, and Front Porch

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE Southern food has a profound hold on me. No, I'm not a Southerner — but few cuisines the world over elicit in me such yearning and comfort. Finding the real deal in the Bay Area is tricky, although a recent Southern trend has helped. Aside from my beloved Brenda's and delightful Boxing Room, the following spots fulfill cravings.

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