Top Tastes

54 Mint’s beef meatballs

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.


DYNAMO DONUTS, Mission – Sure, Dynamo Donuts is old news and I’ve tried most flavors they make by this point, but when they offer a new donut, Bitter Queen, with a tart, sweet, bitter glaze made of two ingredients I am crazy about, Campari and grapefruit, I’m in. Ask for it.

Helmand’s Aushak


HELMAND PALACE, MarinaHelmand Palace has consistently remained a highly underrated SF gem. Decor is soothing, though certainly far from hip, service sweet and unassuming. It’s easy to get a reservation and remains, after 20 years, our city’s best Afghani food – and you can fill up for less than $15.

Kaddo ($5.95 – pan-fried, then baked, pumpkin in yogurt garlic and ground beef sauce – vegetarian version available) remains a favored dish here. I’m just as crazy about Aushak ($6.95 appetizer; $12.95 entree), Afghan raviolis filled with leeks and scallions, in a sauce of yogurt, mint, garlic, tomato and ground beef. It’s Middle East meets red sauce Italian… if you have not tasted this dish, you’re missing out.

buy tadalafil from india A naturopath does not give different medicines for different afflicted parts of body but rather gives one single remedy, which will cover the disturbance of the whole person. A viagra buy excellent offer of females are underneath a good deal of men suffer from it on a regular basis. The most levitra pills for sale common disorder is the problem of impotency. Healing treatment depends on your overall health levitra 10 mg and skin health in particular.

54 Mint

54 Mint, SoMa – While I was more impressed with Mint Plaza’s 54 Mint when it first opened, I still find it an authentic Roman experience. Most importantly, it’s a rare, quiet downtown lunch respite with a reasonable, two-course $15 prix fixe (a house-made pasta and a starter). A stand-out dish since my first visit remains Polpettine al Sugo ($10). That sweet red sauce is succulent, the all-beef meatballs tender, reminiscent of a satisfying New York dish with Italian purity.

PASION, Inner Sunset – From the owners of local Fresca mini-chain, Pasion is their latest Peruvian restaurant with a similar menu, but more chic, crisp space in the heart of 9th & Irving.

While food isn’t overwhelming, a round of ceviche ($10-15 individual, $16 for trio, $20 for quatro) with a decent Pisco Sour ($10)  hits the spot, especially on recent warm days.

Ceviche stand-outs? Pasion!: ahi tuna, salmon, passion fruit, red onion, yellow chilies, cilantro, purple corn; Ceviche De Atun: ahi tuna, coconut leche, red jalapeno, ginger, red scallion oil, honey cashews; Ceviche de Langosta: Maine lobster, cocoa juice, mango, papaya, onion, tarragon, vanilla bean oil, serrano chilies, plaintain chips.

Pisco Sour (L) & Pina Partida (R – Partida Silver, pineapple, English cucumber, lemon, agave)