Top Tastes

Top Tastes, rather than a list of all-time favorites (another thing altogether), are among the best eats since my last newsletter, often from new openings. Many don’t make the cut, being a revisit previously written about or simply not as stand-out as dishes mentioned.


DELI BOARD, SoMa – You’ll do a double take when arriving at the address for Deli Board. The window is lined with butcher paper, giving the place an under-construction look. Per building owner’s (not Deli Board’s) rules, you can’t even step inside the entrance but must wait on the sidewalk to get your sandwich, soup, or salad.

Deli Board's meaty rainbow: the Boca

Once you do, Deli Board‘s friendly staff ensures that you get a sandwich hot off the grill, made within minutes. Try their unreal meat dream, the Boca sandwich ($9). It’s a triple beef threat loaded with brisket, corned beef and pastrami, delicately sliced in a sweet French roll with Muenster cheese, pickles and brown mustard. Though I could use a bit more of their “board sauce”, the beef is perfection, melting warm in my mouth: it is feathery light yet dense, radiantly multi-colored in pink and brown.


Sunny Citizens Band

CITZEN’S BAND, SoMa – Citizen’s Band melds perfectly into SoMa. Sitting on the corner of Folsom and 8th with Pinkie’s Bakery linked as its neighboring dessert go-to, it’s a funky, eclectic diner for the young urbanite, replete with postcards lining the walls, thrift store furniture, and vintage CB radios.
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My first impression was that it might be trying too hard to be casually hip, but after multiple visits on weekdays for lunch, I find it’s one of those locales you dream of having in your neighborhood: relaxed, with unassuming comfort food made with quality ingredients. In other words, quintessential SF.

Arugula Salad

They rock the heartwarming stuff like Buttermilk Fried Chicken ($19 dinner, $12 lunch) or Mac n’ Cheese ($6.50-$8) with Sonoma dry jack, fontina, crispy onion rings piled on top, dripping with shaved Pecorino. If you need it lighter, they serve salads like Arugula Salad ($8) enhanced by diced peaches, huckleberry vinaigrette, and the can’t-lose combo of Pt. Reyes Blue Cheese and almond brittle for crunch.

Rich Mac 'n Cheese w/ the added bonus of salty Smithfield ham

Their Burger ($10 at lunch, $13 at dinner) is made with Snake River Farms Kobe beef, on a melting-soft challah bun from Pinkie’s Bakery. Heirloom tomato, house pickles, garlic aioli and house-cut fries round out the straight-up comfort of the dish. Yes, it’s going to cost $2 each for cheese or bacon added.

I’m addressed with a friendly “hon” as my coffee mug is filled while I attack a plate of Fish & Chips… this is the ease of Citizen’s Band.