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The simple, streamlined decor and high ceilings give Andalu a distinctly downtown San Francisco look, but the menu and service are more friendly Pacific Northwest than cosmopolitan. Three blocks from the 16th Street BART and a block from the social nexus of 16th and Valencia, it's an appealing location to meet for drinks if you're not in the mood for one of the area dives (not to knock the dives -- love them, adore them).
Andalu's price point is such that a ten-spot (plus tip) will buy a glass of fresh sangria ($4) and a plate of curly polenta fries with spicy tomato vinaigrette ($5) -- or a Red Stripe ($4) and a decidedly creamy, steaming crock of aioli-topped salt cod brandade ($7), one of the city's best.
- Excerpt from Welcome to the Neighborhood, Andalu Makes Good in the Mission District by Tracie Broom