Review: Sens

Sens! There are a lot of really nice (and not cheap) restaurants downtown for all the fancy business peoples, and Sens is one of my faves. I’ve been many times over the years, and while I recall a dip in the quality of food and service for some time (or maybe it was just an off day? I’m not sure), my last visit for lunch was really, really good.

Slow Roasted Organic Chicken Breast ($17)

Slow Roasted Organic Chicken Breast ($17)

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Review: The Square Bar & Kitchen

I would like to hereby welcome one of North Beach’s most recent additions to the restaurant scene: The Square Bar & Kitchen. Just across the street from Washington Square Park (see what they did there?), and taking the place of the former Bottle Cap (and even more former Washington Square Bar & Grill), The Square opened in March of this year serving upscale, creative takes on classic American dishes.

Delicious homemade bread starter at The Square

Delicious homemade bread starter at The Square

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Artistic butter.

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Review: Pier 23

Let me tell you why I love Pier 23. The food is decent, the cocktails are mediocre, and the service can be sporadic. Ok, those are not reasons I love Pier 23, but I keep going because it’s such a cool place despite all these things.

The front of Pier 23, as shown on their website

The front of Pier 23, as shown on their website

Pier 23 is one of those places in a big city that feels like is has history. It’s got an old-fashioned, super casual vibe to it, but it’s popping with patrons young and old, so it still feels alive and fun. It’s small and oddly-placed along the vast waterfront full of cavernous, mysterious pier buildings — a welcoming oasis along this often inaccessible-seeming stretch…. 

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Short Review: Padrecito

I had dinner at Padrecito last weekend — a newer, stylish Mexican restaurant in Cole Valley. My experience was so-so. While the decor, atmosphere, and menu are well done, I simply wasn’t terribly impressed with what I ordered, nor with the service. As this was my first time in the restaurant, I’ll give the latter the benefit of the doubt, but my lack of enthusiasm probably won’t have me returning terribly soon.

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Services: Avital Tours — Haight Ashbury Food Tour

Avital Tours is a name I had heard before — but not until she contacted me about a media tour of The Haight had I considered actually joining a tour. But, since I know surprisingly little about the food scene in The Haight, and I wanted to experience one of these famed food tours, I happily accepted.

The tour took place on a bright, sunny day with eight or so other bloggers. Avital herself was there, but another local foodie and food writer, Virginia Miller, was the guide. The tour was three hours long and took us walking in a relatively small area while providing information about a variety of non-food-related historical facts as we made our way to five food and drink establishments.

Avital Tours Haight Ashbury Culinary Map

Avital Tours Haight Ashbury Culinary Map

A fun little map of the Haight provided by Avital is shown above (click to enlarge); the five stops we experienced are described below.

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Review: Comstock Saloon

Comstock Saloon is a nice bar and restaurant on Columbus that’s kinda got a classy, old-timey feel to it. As in, it’s gussied up like an old fashioned saloon but with new, nice, and artistic fixtures. Dark wood bar, tables, and booths; dim chandeliers and lamps; bartenders who wear vests… you get the idea. Fine, I guess it’s kinda a hipster thing, but it’s cool and classy and fun and I like it. (Per their website, the historic space was a saloon dating back to 1907 — points for authenticity!)

pot pie

Mushroom Pot Pie from Comstock — $17

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Review: Wine Kitchen

This is going to be a weird post.

Basically, these food photos turned out relatively amazing. So this place looks amazing. And the food was really good, but the decor and general ambiance of Wine Kitchen irked me in a weird way. And since I was with my architect friend, she easily told me Eight Things that Wine Kitchen Could Do to Improve Their Vibe. And, while I would not have noticed them myself, she was right.

But first, food:

Behold: Fried gnocchi

Behold: Fried gnocchi

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Review: Capo’s

Extra, Extra, ReadAllAboutIt! Capo’s Now Open in North Beach!

Say that in, like, one of those Dick Tracy Chicago gangster accents to get the full gist of what’s happening in that sentence, y’shee. Capo’s is the newest gig from world champion pizza tosser Tony Gemignani of Tony’s Pizza Napolitana, one of the famous SF pizza joints (also the owner of Pyzano’s in Castro Valley). This time he’s gone old school with Capo’s — red patent leather booths, brick walls, and mood lighting chandeliers. And a specialization in Chicago-style deep dish pizza. I can dig it.

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Review: Chaya

Behold: Chaya.

The awesome thing about having a food blog in SF is that it’s no longer necessary to write bad reviews of restaurants. There’s just too much good stuff here to waste time on sub-par food. Chaya is one of the best places I’ve been in a while.

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It’s mom’s birthday. More than a pony, she wants a nice meal at an upscale restaurant — preferably with a view of the water — and a fun night with her daughters. Choosing a restaurant is always difficult, but we settled on Chaya, though none of us had been there before.

Chaya is on Embarcadero across the street and a bit south from the Ferry Building. It has large windows that look directly out onto the Bay Bridge. The atmosphere is fancy but not pretentious. The menu is amazing.

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Review: The Corner Store

This adorable little gem opened up not long ago at the corner (ah, hence The Corner Store) of Masonic and Geary in the Inner Richmond, SF. It’s classic San Francisco with a quirky little menu, fun cocktails, and a cute space. I’ve been twice. This time, I was really happy, see?

Yeay, food!

Yeay, food!

There aren’t actually a lot of veg options on the menu, unfortunately, but I found something out the second time I went: they’ll make non-veg things veg if you ask. Because they’re chefs and that shiz doesn’t phase them. I love this city.

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