Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Reviews


The Beehive — Can you dig it, baby?

The Beehive opened only a few months ago in the old Range space, by the old Range people, seemingly with a nod to the younger demographics of our ever-changing neighborhood. Oddly enough, it’s actually a nod to an older time: the ’60s. Strictly speaking, this isn’t a restaurant, but a high concept, mid-century-modern cocktail bar. The Mad Men-esque space is...

Francisca’s: a chef re-emerges in SF’s Mission

Chef Manny Torres Gimenez has owned four restaurants in the Mission now, with different degrees of success (arguably, Mr. Pollo — his tiny, ridiculously affordable, wonderfully quirky, prix-fixe place — may have been his most popular.) Francisca’s, named after his grandmother, is his and wife (and FOH staffer) Katerina de Torres’ latest endeavor, billed as an Italian/Venezuelan restaurant. The food...
The Morris exterior

The Morris: Your Neighborhood Destination Place

The Morris has only been in existence for just over a year-and-a-half, but owing to its location in the old Slow Club space — which was an old-timer at 24 years — it has the feel of a longtime neighborhood spot. The Morris is named after founder/sommelier Paul Einbund’s father, which gives the restaurant an aura of days gone by...

The fried chicken sandwich showdown stops in at Son’s Addition

Walking into Son’s Addition is perhaps like stepping into the Twilight Zone or, you know, suburbia. Maybe it’s the culture shock of walking down 24th Street — with its colors, sounds & smells — and being lured into a Bed, Bath & Beyond or, more precisely, a brunchery in downtown Lafayette. The host, his iPad in hand, directed me to...

Prubechu – Guam in the House!

Prubechu opened four years ago to only a modicum of fanfare. While the cuisine itself caused a stir — there are no other restaurants serving food from Guam in San Francisco, and very few in the nation — the place itself is so low-key that, even on this well-trafficked corridor, it is easy to miss. Guam, a small U.S. territory,...
Senor Sisig

Filipino-fusion food truck wins appeal to return to Mission corner

A food truck serving the Filipino version of tacos, burritos and fries smothered in nacho-like toppings will return to the corner of 18th and Valencia. Señor Sisig is not, concluded Supervisor Hillary Ronen, “an existential threat to the adjacent restaurants.” In a unanimous vote on Tuesday, city supervisors reversed a ruling by the San Francisco Planning Commission to ban food...
West Pecos fried chicken sandwich

The fried chicken sandwich showdown stops in at West of Pecos

Mark: As one who has always roved solo along Valencia on Friday and Saturday nights, I always thought of West of Pecos as one of those places — a watering hole for the weekend Marina/North Bay/ Fidi/perennial Spring Break crowd. I mean, this place could exist anywhere (i.e. Chico or Walnut Creek) and do okay. Likely, it was only because,...
Rite Spot exterior

Rite Spot Café — The Bar that dreams are made of

Who knew the Rite Spot had been around for 60 years? Everyone but me, that’s who. I’m horribly ashamed that I’d never been inside this corner dive bar that I’d always wondered about, until now. I had no idea that in its murky depths there were also white table-clothed tables, an eclectic, ever-changing wine selection, local art on the walls,...

Vegan Gracias Madre survives well — thank you, Mother!

“Gracias Madre” means, essentially, “Thank you, Mother Earth.” The food here is strictly plant-based, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, organic and Mexican. Gracias Madre is highly touted by vegetarians and vegans alike, and always packed. I’d always steered clear of it because a) the BF is a confirmed carnivore; and b) my experience with eating at straight-vegan places has not always been...

The fried chicken sandwich showdown visits Bi-Rite

Julian, 20-something, and Mark, 70-something, will be hunting for the Mission’s best fried chicken sandwich. If you have suggestions, write a comment — or, if you prefer, send an e-mail to Julian at julian.mark@missionlocal.com. “Normally, both your asses would be dead as fucking fried chicken.” — Quentin Tarantino The only proper way to eat, and evaluate, a fried chicken sandwich...

Lotus SF — Classic North Indian Fare

Lotus SF has barely been open six weeks, but its look so intrigued me, I had to check it out. It sits like a pink palace from another land on Mission Street, smack-dab between Mission Ink and a federal credit union, replete with plaster elephants, dusty-rose walls and gold accents, clouds on the ceiling, and ornate and colorful prints and...

Picaro and Esperpento, two long-lived tapas restaurants, one family

Picaro and Esperpento have been in the Mission a very long time — 35 and 25 years, respectively. I used to go a lot in the mid-’90s, with different groups of friends and family (even before I moved here from L.A.), but at some point or other, I stopped. I think I may have had a time or two where...

Fried chicken sandwich showdown visits Buttermilk

Julian, 20-something, and Mark, 70-something, will be hunting for the Mission’s best fried chicken sandwich. If you have suggestions, write a comment — or, if you prefer, send an e-mail to Julian at julian.mark@missionlocal.com. “It’s hot tonight and half the neighborhood is drunk. the other half is dead. if I have any advice about writing poetry, it’s — don’t. I’m...

Las Palmeras — Come for the Sopa, Stay for the Pupusas

I’ve been walking by Las Palmeras for years — 13, to be exact. But they’ve been around for 30 — since 1988! It is an old school, Salvadoran-family-owned restaurant and, on any given day, you can walk by the big picture windows and see people slurping up bowls of their renowned sopa de res (beef soup). The décor is casual...

Hawker Fare — Isaan Thai Street Food on Valencia

Hawker Fare is Chef James Syhabout’s San Francisco outpost of his now-shuttered Oakland restaurant. I’d been to the Oakland place, as well as to his upscale, tweezer-food restaurant — Commis — in Piedmont. His restaurants could not be more different. While Commis presents refined, restrained, gorgeous (and outstandingly delicious) food, Hawker Fare’s dishes are like an exotic cousin, with sultry...