Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Reviews

Mau Viet Kitchen – Modern Vietnamese

Mau’s website says it was conceived by a couple of families, one a San Francisco local with Vietnamese roots, and another who just wanted to open a restaurant with really good Vietnamese food in the Mission. It also defines “Mau” as slang for “to eat” – as in, “Let’s Mau Down!” (Not to be confused with vicious dictator Mao, who...

The New Oven of the Mission District

A parking lot in Cesar Chavez street is home to a white truck flying Firepie banners. From afar it looks like any other food-truck but this particular truck is an oven. Within it is a traditional Naples oak-burning oven that can reach up to 900 degrees to cook artisan pizzas in 90 seconds. The Firepie truck, says its owner, is filling...

Review: Garçon – Petite Paris dans Le Mission

Get ready to gain some weight with me… I can’t help but overindulge when I go to Garçon. I’ve been coming here regularly for the past seven years, but it’s been on that corner for almost 11 now. I’d gone a few times before, but found it hit or miss until Chef Arthur Wall came along, in about 2010. Chef...

Mi Lindo Peru – old school Peruano!

People sometimes complain when I review new places, and I get it. The reason I started this gig was to highlight all the places in our neighborhood that don’t always attract attention the new places do, to make sure they don’t get lost in the Gentrification Shuffle. But for me, every restaurant in the Mission makes us who we are....

Bayou Creole Kitchen – casual New Orleans in the Mission

Bayou opened a little over two months ago, and I was drawn to it because I already knew Chef Arthur Wall’s food. Wall has been the executive chef at Garçon, the French bistro on Valencia and 22nd , for the last six years. When Wall started cooking at Garçon, I started going back to eat there, because the food just...

Evergreen Garden – Vietnamese old faithful

I’ve driven by Evergreen for many years and never stopped in. The outside almost looks like someone’s low-slung house, maybe a house that hasn’t been looked after all that well. The neighborhood has picked up a lot in recent years, with the addition of businesses like Mission Cliffs and Heath Ceramics, techy firms, as well as old theater crowds from...

San Jalisco – an oldie and a goodie!

San Jalisco started out as the New Central Café, in the 50s, located on 14th Street, one of two restaurants Anita and Vicente Padilla opened once they established themselves here from Mexico. Owned by the Padilla-Reyes family, they’ve been at their current location on South Van Ness since 1988, with current chef/owner Josie Padilla-Reyes having taken over cooking duties from...

Farmhouse Kitchen Thai – Thai classics and street food

Farmhouse Kitchen Thai is Chef Kasem “Pop” Saengsawang’s third restaurant, which he co-owns with his wife, and his first venture into the Mission. The family also co-owns Kitchen Story (Castro) and Blackwood (Marina), both of which include Asian influences in their dishes, but Farmhouse is their only fully Thai restaurant. It is touted as an authentic yet modern take on...

REVIEW: El Buen Comer – Instant Old School

El Buen Comer (“The Good Eating”) is a fairly new endeavor as a brick-and-mortar restaurant.  Isabel Caudillo, chef and owner, opened it only last July, after having cooked and sold her wares at the Noe Valley Farmers’ Market with the help of La Cocina, the Mission District food organization that helps establish low income women as food entrepreneurs.  Before that,...

REVIEW: Lolinda – Argentina in the Mission

I must confess, I’ve been to Lolinda quite possibly more times than I’ve been to any other restaurant in this City. It hasn’t been around for decades (they only opened in 2012), it isn’t old school, nor is it a mom-and-pop/family owned business. It is always packed, so it doesn’t need any more business. And it’s not cheap. (It’s not...

Barzotto – Pasta, si! But Mamma Mia, that Porchetta!

Barzotto opened in August of 2016, taking over the St. Vincent space. This is owner Marko Sotto’s first restaurant, although he comes from the restaurant group that runs Beretta, and he wanted to bring to the Mission an affordable but quality, pasta-based restaurant. The chef, Michelle Minori, is formerly of Flour + Water, and so presumably knows her pasta (though...

Paprika – A Little Eastern Europe in the Mission

Paprika took over the old El Trebol space – a sweet Nicaraguan restaurant that had lived there since 1979 – almost four years ago, and I finally got over my miff and went. And it turns out my miff was partially unfounded, because owner Gabrielle Seckar is the niece of former long-time Trebol owner, Ivania Palacios! Sra. Palacios decided to...

Mission Beach Café – Go for the Burger!

Mission Beach Café has been around ten years or so, and it’s mostly known as a brunch place. I mean, It’s really known as a brunch place: there are lines down the block on the weekends. Dinner is usually not as busy. Like a lot of places, they pride themselves on being local and seasonal, which they are. The space...

Review: Heung Yuen – Old School Chinese Fare

Heung Yuen has been in the Mission for 34 years. I think I remember once, maybe 10 years ago, going in for some take-out wonton soup on a rainy day. I don’t remember if I loved it or not, but it must not have left an impression on me. I figured it was time to go back and give it...