Category: The Latest

A Pie Shop to a Legendary SF Dessert Reborn: 5 Food Standouts of the Month

These newcomers or new menus cover the gamut, from a new pie shop to a seductive Venetian Italian destination. Alongside my full restaurant reviews this month, these five spots are also worth visiting, with last month’s standouts here (as always, I’ve personally vetted and visited each one):

—Seductive Venetian-SF Summer: Bar Sprezzatura
—Savory & Sweet Seasonal Pies: Edith’s Pie, Oakland
—Made from Scratch Thai: Funky Elephant
—Taiwan-Style Sticky Rice Rolls: Taiwanese Eats, Redwood City
—Zanze’s Cheesecake at Little Original Joe’s Read more →

Sunny, Chic New Oyster Bar with Low-ABV Cocktails & Irresistible Seafood Opening Today: Little Shucker

San Francisco is blessed with iconic oyster bars, from the one, the only Swan Oyster Depot for over a century, to the Castro’s great Anchor Oyster Bar since the 1970s. As the city that gave birth to the likes of cioppino and Crab Louie salad, these oyster houses are decidedly West Coast, often showcasing our glorious local oysters and dungeness crab. But we don’t have one like brand new Little Shucker, opening August 9, 2023, on bustling Fillmore Street. Read more →

Noodle in a Haystack: Ramen-inspired tasting menu from self-taught chefs

When international fellow dining judge friends are asking me about tiny Noodle In A Haystack in my city of San Francisco, I pay attention. I was already curious but skeptical about the pricey ($185 extended menu, $130 weeknight menu) cult ramen pop-up, opened by husband-wife duo Yoko and Clint Tan in spring 2022 as their first brick-and-mortar. It’s looks abandoned: an unmarked corner space with covered-up windows and a 10-seat counter in the Inner Richmond… Read more →

Packed from day one: the new Flour+Water Pizzeria hits North Beach

Truth be told, I’ve always been about chefs Thomas McNaughton and Ryan Pollnow’s Italy-worthy pastas at Flour + Water even more than the pizza at Flour + Water Pizzeria, which closed in the Mission last summer 2022. I still am most devoted to that original 2009 spot that started it all as a pasta-pizza combo restaurant, reborn early 2022, better-than-ever as a pasta haven deserving of a Michelin star. But Flour + Water Hospitality Group’s new Flour + Water Pizzeria just opened June 28, 2023, in North Beach in the former Rose Pistola space, an Italian favorite since I moved here in 2001, and of so many San Francisco longtimers. It’s heartwarming to see life in the 4,000 square foot space again after six years… Read more →

SF’s new Gambit Lounge: A wine bar with rare Central & Eastern European eats

Let’s establish two things first: there isn’t enough Central and Eastern European food around. And there is something to be said for industry vets who were part of establishing San Francisco’s dining scene back in the 1990s.

You’ll find both factors behind Gambit Lounge, a new Hayes Valley spot that quietly opened November 2022 to strong user reviews but under-the-radar buzz, in the former Noir Lounge wine bar. Gambit continues the wine bar vibes, backed by two industry vets… Read more →

Is the $100 pho worth it at Sunset’s new Gao Viet Kitchen?

Since 2018, Gao Viet Kitchen & Bar has been a San Mateo Vietnamese favorite with long waitlists, no reservations and a 90-minute table limit during peak times. It’s also home to arguably the most expensive bowl of pho: $100 Phozilla with the cheeky menu tagline of “Nobody should spend this much $$ on any bowl of pho.” Chef Viet Nguyen opened a San Francisco location in the Sunset District in December 2022, and I went in to see if their extensive menu was legit beyond the social media-worthy, $100 pho. Read more →

Mexican Brunch to Upscale Indian Food: 7 SF Restaurant Standouts

These newcomers or new menus cover the gamut, from upscale Indian to casual Mexican food. Alongside this month’s full restaurant reviews, these seven are also worth visiting, with last month’s standouts here:
—Better-Than-Nola Muffalettas at Sandy’s, Haight-Ashbury
—Non-Alcoholic Pairing with Fine Dining Creativity: Sons & Daughters
—Fab Mexican Food & Cocktails with a View: Barrio
—1940’s Supperclub Live Jazz Dream: Dawn Club
—Unexpected Modern Indian Tasting Menu: Blue Mermaid Restaurant
—Low-Gluten Pizza Alternative from Rome: Pinsa Rossa
—Hearty Mexican Food 7 Days a Week: Tacos del Barrio Read more →