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Tiny New Tapas Bar Invigorates Nob Hill
By Gloria Tai (May 1, 2009)
Spanish tapas restaurants abound in the city, like Ramblas and Cha Cha Cha in the Mission, Gitane and B44 downtown, or Zarzuela in Nob Hill. But what has been missing is the true tapas bar that reflects what you’d experience in Madrid or Valencia: quaint enough for a few glasses of wine and a few bites before you head elsewhere for the next round. That is, until now, with the opening of Lalola. More
Hotel Resto Remodel Yields Mixed Results
By Nirmala Nataraj (Apr 23, 2009)
In June 2008, the JW Marriott Hotel's "is it a bar or is it a lobby?" Pacific Restaurant, which sat pretty above Union Square, underwent a much-needed makeover. Jazzed up by an airy new design and revamped interior (complete with atrium, vaulted skylight, marble floor, and a sprawling assortment of lounge, lobby, living, and restaurant spaces), the newly christened Level III appears to be part of a larger sea change among chains like the Marriott: forego the default mode of generic, muzak-infused hotel restaurants, and opt for chill-out environments meant to attract all types -- from brunching girlfriends to the pre-theatre Friday night crowd More
A Spot of Tea with Frivolity, Not Formality
By Michelle Chan (Apr 17, 2009)
The tradition of high tea is often perceived as prim, expensive, and even a bit humorless. But aficionados know that having tea is really just a great way to linger with friends over a tasty parade of snacks. More
Castro Spot Exudes Italian Charm
By Gloria Tai (Apr 10, 2009)
Some restaurants feel like home. Poesia gives just that feel as you walk up into the second story restaurant, which could pass for a San Francisco residence or inn. Set in a relatively quiet pocket of the Castro neighborhood, the mostly Southern Italian restaurant is nestled between residential homes, neighborhood bars and interesting shops (chaps, anyone?) on 18th Street. More
Bella Chicas Everywhere
By genevieve robertson (Apr 3, 2009)
Even though the bar at this new-ish Destino offshoot was empty just before 6pm on a recent Tuesday for cocktails and tapas, within a half hour Pisco Latin Lounge was in full swing with its weekly lesbian social “Lez Ladies Night". With a couple of weeklies (there’s a Brazilian night on Wednesdays), a nightly social hour offering drink specials from 5-7 pm, tapas service until midnight or later every day but Sunday, and extended hours and tapas specials on Tuesday and Wednesday, who can blame the crowds? More
The Best Sandwich You’re Likely to Have
By Nirmala Nataraj (Mar 27, 2009)
Most of the best sandwiches I’ve had in my short life have come from unseemly holes-in-the-wall—you know, the kind you might think twice about due to dodgy health code reputations, surly counter people, or lack of clear signage and visible, glowing reviews from newspaper “Best Ofs.” The Sentinel, however, is pedigreed and neat as a pin—and its excellent, $8-$9 sandwiches are garnering top marks all around. More
Cocktails with a Splash of History
By Michelle Chan (Mar 19, 2009)
Often the key to dining satisfaction is knowing where a particular institution resides in the complex ecology of the San Francisco dining scene. In other words, it's good to know what detail, dish, or drink makes a spot worth the trip. More
The Myth Doesn't Quite Fit
By Albert Pearson (Mar 13, 2009)
After the decline and fall of the much-loved Myth, there had been a lot of guessing about what Myth chef Sean O’Brien’s next move would be. After much anticipation, O’Brien opened the doors at Zinnia in October 2008, just blocks away in the former location of Scott Howard (and the Cypress Club before it). While Myth’s menu was heavily influenced by O’Brien’s years at Gary Danko and the Ritz, Zinnia shies away from adventurous cuisine in favor of the simple -- and unfortunately -- the pedestrian. More
Let the Reign Begin!
By Chrissy Loader (Mar 6, 2009)
Coffee Bar is an establishment between Potrero Hill and the Mission where one might find better-than-average café fare, what’s being hailed as the best macchiato in town, free Wi-Fi and a sea of laptops. Oh, and for your typical café, the space is being used in atypical ways -- and to great success! More
Good Food that Sticks
By Amy Sherman (Feb 27, 2009)
Long a San Francisco landmark, Fly Trap restaurant in SOMA was bought and reconcepted in 2008 by local restaurateur Hoss Zaré, a chef better known for his Cal-Med cuisine than for any particular penchant toward "Celery Victor" or "Oysters Rockefeller" (both mainstays of the former establishment). Still a reasonable spot for a three-martini lunch, the restaurant is now worthy of foodie attention beyond the nostalgic. Zare's Persian roots shine bright, nudging this restaurant beyond the ho-hum and into the SF fine dining pantheon. More
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