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Haight, Castro, Noe Valley Restaurant Reviews

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Zuni Cafe
1658 Market St.
b/w Franklin & Gough St.

$$$$$

2.8

21

Not quite sure what all the fuss was about this place. The service was slow, the clams were oversalted, and the pasta was undercooked. But I might go back because it's open until m.. >

Incanto
1550 Church St.
at Duncan St.

$$$$$

1.6

15

For the long New Year's weekend, I went to my favorite city, San Francisco. Mostly I was there to see my bro-in-law's big New Year's Eve show at the Bill Graham Civic, but of cours.. >

Citizen Cake
399 Grove St.
at Gough St.

$$$$$

3.1

10

If a DJ ever asks you to help them move...JUST SAY NO! There's nothing worse than carrying crate loads after crate loads of records. So when my brother called me up asking him .. >

Thai House Express
599 Castro St.
at 19th St.

$$$$$

2.8

8

If you’ve read any of our other reviews, you know that we do not freely throw around high 4-star ratings. Upon seeing the rating right at the start of this review, you may be wonde.. >

Cuco's
488 Haight St.
at Fillmore St.

$$$$$

5

Because I haven't posted much lately, I give you a picture of the super carnitas I had from Cuco's the other day. Not bad. Check that cilantro...yum. .. >

Jardiniere
300 Grove St.
at Franklin St.

$$$$$

2.3

5

Our first dinner at Jardinere was a wonderful experience which we will happily repeat soon. Jardinere is one of the few restaurants with a cheese cave and the cheeses were on the m.. >

Katz Bagels
663 Haight St.
b/w Steiner & Pierce St.

$$$$$

5

After partying a bit too hard the previous night, we needed something a little more hardy than our standard bacon and egg to soak up the remaining alcohol still sloshing in our sto.. >

Rosamunde
545 Haight St.
b/w Steiner & Fillmore St.

$$$$$

3

5

At first I thought D was crazy when he kept saying, "Guys, we gotto go to Rosamunde, the sausages are awesome." I mean, it would of been cool eating at Rosamunde, but we just scarf.. >

The Alembic
1725 Haight St.
at Cole St.

$$$$$

2.7

5

Earlier this week, an old friend came to town, and we planned to meet for a drink at Alembic; she's a bartender and I knew I wanted to take her somewhere with creative drinks and a.. >

Chow
215 Church St.
b/w 15th & Market St.

$$$$$

2.7

4

When I lived in San Francisco, one of the restaurants that I could count on for consistent comfort food was Chow on Church Street on the way to the Castro. (Say Chow on Church near.. >

Lime
2247 Market St.
b/w 15th & 16th St.

$$$$$

4

A decent meal can sneak up on you when you least expect it. Or, rather, because you least expect it. That’s the way it went down Saturday at Lime... >

Paul K
199 Gough St.
at Oak St.

$$$$$

4

Proximity is everything. That certainly seems to be the case for Paul K. If you’re headed to the ballet or the symphony, Paul K is a no-brainer. Otherwise, personally, I’d take a p.. >

Absinthe
398 Hayes St.
at Gough St.

$$$$$

2.5

3

Jeff Hollinger is a co-author of The Art of the Bar–Cocktails Inspired by the Classics. Currently, he works as Manager of Restaurant Operations at Absinthe Brasserie & Bar, in San .. >

Barracuda
2251 Market St.
at Sanchez St.

$$$$$

3

3

When I recently ate at Barracuda on Market, I was confused by the variety of ways the restaurant described its cuisine. Is it “Japanese Brazilian”? Is it “Japa-zillian” like its bu.. >

Burger Joint
700 Haight St.
at Pierce St.

$$$$$

2.5

3

...me to the Burger Joint... >

CAV Wine Bar
1666 Market St.
b/w Franklin & Gough St.

$$$$$

4.4

3

A wine bar—traced back to the quick hearty bites and flowing wine of Italy—is the perfect place for a light meal, especially if you have no reservations and have other plans for th.. >

Deep Sushi
1740 Church St.
b/w 29th & Day St.

$$$$$

3

3

“I think we’re looking for 1740 Church, isn’t that the address?”.. >

El Balazo
1654 Haight St.
b/w Clayton & Cole St.

$$$$$

3

Quiet in these parts lately. I went to El Balazo this evening for a quick takeout carne asada, consumed over a Black Butte Porter at Hobson's Choice. Ordinarily I wouldn't be c.. >

Eos
901 Cole St.
at Carl St.

$$$$$

3

3

If you live in Cole Valley, or you work at UCSF, there's only one real choice for a glass of wine after dinner. Tucked snugly into the foggy waistband of Cole Valley, EOS Restauran.. >

Espetus Churrascaria
1686 Market St.
at Gough St.

$$$$$

4

3

I know where Meat Lovers Anonymous should not hold their next meeting. Last night, Mr. Food Musings and I took matching cabs to Espetus Churrascaria (pronounced es-PET-us shoo-ra-S.. >

Firefly
4288 24th St.
b/w Diamond & Douglass St.

$$$$$

3.2

3

This is one of my favorite restaurants. I love the feel of the dining room. Its light colored walls and minimal artwork along with the fabric-covered ceilings gives it a softness a.. >

Hayes Street Grill
320 Hayes St.
b/w Franklin & Gough St.

$$$$$

3.3

3

Because we live in a city that is a veritable cornucopia of good restaraunts, sometimes Alexis and I play this game. We get on a random bus, and pick a person to follow off. We the.. >

La Corneta Taqueria
2834 Diamond St.
b/w Bosworth & Chenery St.

$$$$$

2.8

3

Jeez, blogging is hard. You turn around and a week has gone by since your last post. Anyway, after slapping me around a bit for not writing enough, Burritoeater put his money wher.. >

Magnolia
1398 Haight St.
b/w Masonic & Central Ave.

$$$$$

2

3

What do you do when a place that you already liked gets a fabulous new chef? In the case of the Magnolia, the answer is start with some beer... >

Memphis Minnie's BBQ
576 Haight St.
b/w Steiner & Fillmore St.

$$$$$

1

3

This was my fifth visit to Memphis Minnie’s, and as usual, I was as happy as could be. This is my comfort food in San Francisco, and by far the best BBQ I have had in the Bay Area... >

rnm
598 Haight St.
at Steiner St.

$$$$$

3

3

Not feeling the long format love today, so let’s kick it 5-7-5 for RNM. Perfectly good meal But didn’t knock my socks off (Grit on the mushrooms) Grilled Romaine, smoky Well-balanc.. >

Samovar Tea Lounge
498 Sanchez St.
at 18th St.

$$$$$

3.3

3

We'd been to this tea house a few times for tea and it was quite pleasant and served good tea. This time, Alexis went for lunch with an old friend. The food wasn't as good as the t.. >

Sauce
131 Gough St.
b/w Oak & Page St.

$$$$$

3

I understand now why some restaurant owners do not let their employees hang out at the bar of the restaurant when they get off work. Friday night, after seeing Tom Petty at the Gre.. >

Suppenkuche
525 Laguna St.
b/w Hayes & Linden St.

$$$$$

2

3

Suppenküche is located in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley district and easily accessible by car and public transit. The first thing I notice when entering is the large wooden door and.. >

Taqueria El Castillito
136 Church St.
b/w Duboce Ave. & 14th St.

$$$$$

3

3

With city bureaucrats, neighborhood streetfolk, and the fuzz all chowing down at this Civic Center stalwart at any given time, you can take this El Castillito shop’s unique dynamic.. >

Gialina
2842 Diamond St.
b/w Kern St. & Wilder St.

$$$$$

4

3

Sharon Ardiana, a chef with great cooking credentials (Lime, Boulevard and Slow Club), gave up high-profile positions to open a pizza parlor in Glen Park, less than a block from th.. >

Bambino's Ristorante
945 Cole St.
at Carl St.

$$$$$

2

The Mission are of San Francisco is still pretty gritty. I actually like it. Bar Bambino is there. A tiny Italian restaurant with no heat. We were seated at the front of the restau.. >

Canto Do Brasil
41 Franklin St.
b/w Oak & Lily St.

$$$$$

2

Canto do Brasil is one of my absolute favorite restaurants in the Bay Area. I get happy just thinking about it. I’ve always had a great meal and good service there, and more than a.. >

Cha Cha Cha
1801 Haight St.
at Shrader St.

$$$$$

2

If I wasn’t a discriminating person I’d tell you what you can get out of some people with a couple of pitchers of Cha Cha Cha’s Sangria. The Mission Street [...].. >

Eric's
1500 Church St.
at 27th St.

$$$$$

2

I started going to Eric’s about ten years ago and I have loved it ever since. We will drive from Livermore to San Francisco just to have Eric’s, it’s that good. Anytime we are in S.. >

Flipper's
482 Hayes St.
at Octavia St.

$$$$$

4

2

With a name like Flipper’s, I expected a politically incorrect tuna fish sandwich restaurant, instead, it was gussied up burgers... >

Joe's Cable Car
4320 Mission St.
at Silver Ave.

$$$$$

3

2

It's not called a burger here it's called, "fresh ground beef steak" cause they grind their rib eye and chuck steaks on site daily and cook them medium rare (unless you tell them t.. >

Le Zinc
4063 24th St.
b/w Castro & Noe St.

$$$$$

2

Most people who know me know that I have a thing for bistrots, and for small-plate dining in general. While my favorite bistro in the city, no contest, is Café Claude, there is one.. >

Loco Taco
292 Divisadero St.
b/w Haight & Page St.

$$$$$

2

Loco Taco Taq. took over this space from the notably mediocre L-Rico’s in 2004, and we all ought to offer a word of thanks for that. Sharp new management gave the place a major phy.. >

Malacca
4039 18th St.
b/w Hartford & Noe St.

$$$$$

2.5

2

You have to believe me when I tell you this: I don’t want to write another cranky review. My hand to God, I’ve been feeling bad about how much negativity I’ve been pouring on to th.. >

Mecca
2029 Market St.
b/w 14th & Dolores St.

$$$$$

2

Casual sophistication is how I would describe Mecca. It is a favorite because when I go out I like to be treated like a star. If I want to be just another guy off the street, I can.. >

Modern Tea
602 Hayes St.
at Laguna St.

$$$$$

2

While my heart beats faster for coffee than tea (maybe I need to lay off all the ristretto shots), I appreciate how soothing a cup of tea can be in this kooky, busy world. Tea drin.. >

Pescheria
1708 Church St.
at 29th St.

$$$$$

1.5

2

Some big news out on Church Street—I've been hearing rumblings that Joseph Manzare's and Eddie Maiello's ~PESCHERIA~ was closing, and it looks like it's actually happening this wee.. >

Pork Store Cafe
1451 Haight St.
b/w Masonic Ave. & Ashbury St.

$$$$$

5

2

Since I have so many SF eats, today I'll put them in superioreaterority order... >

Tangerine
3499 16th St.
at Sanchez St.

$$$$$

2.7

2

Wow, I heard so many good things about this place. I was sadden to say I won't visit this place again unless I hear otherwise... >

Thep Phanom
400 Waller St.
at Fillmore St.

$$$$$

2.8

2

Thep Phanom used to be one of our favorites when we lived in the lower Haight. Even once we moved to another part of town, we kept coming back because the food was head and shoulde.. >

Woodhouse Fish Company
2073 Market St.
at 14th St.

$$$$$

2

CRAB Lunch and dinner daily Tried: June 2007 Perhaps because of my less than stellar recent dining experiments, I was rather skeptical about venturing into the Woodhouse Fish Com.. >

Taqueria La Tambora
2275 San Jose Ave

$$$$$

2

La Tambora is an only-in-San-Francisco hybrid of a donut shop, greasy breakfast joint, and taqueria. The place is smack across from the Balboa Park BART/MUNI station, meaning it ma.. >

Eiji
317 Sanchez St.
b/w 16th St. & 17th St.

$$$$$

2

We decided to try Eiji, a whole in the wall sushi place in the Castro that's been on our list for a while. It was a great little atmosphere, with about 5 tables and a very friendly.. >

Casa Mexicana
180 Church cross St.
at 14th St.

$$$$$

2

The main dining area of this centrally located burrito retailer practically doubles as a permanent Diego Rivera / Frida Kahlo exhibition. It’s also the only taqueria in town locate.. >

La Taqueria Castro
4001 18th St.
at Noe St.

$$$$$

3.1

2

Once upon a time, Short Exact attempted to keep track of Bay Area taquerias just by personal experimentation, and while that led to the consumption of some great tacos and burritos.. >

Let's Be Frank
2370 Market St.

$$$$$

2

This was Saturday's lunch, a $5 hot dog at a truck parked in the Helms Bakery complex. I normally don't eat hot dogs... certainly not those juice-dripping franks wrapped in crispy.. >

Abacus
2078 Hayes St.
at Cole St.

$$$$$

3

1

I don't mean Dolls, and my title is also not a nod to that meta show on The O.C. (I've been Netflixing a lot of that these days. Don't look at me like that -- I love Adam Brody!), .. >

Amberjack Sushi
1497 Church St.
at 27th St.

$$$$$

3

1

Friendly earnestness. I found myself close to the heart of Mill Valley at lunchtime, and thought that it was time to revisit Amberjack Sushi. Amberjack is small, and attentive to.. >

Anchor Oyster Bar
579 Castro St.
b/w 18th & 19th St.

$$$$$

1

I grew up in the Northeast, in Schenectady, NY, which I often say is a nice place to be from. You'll notice I don't live there anymore. But it has many desirable characteristics --.. >

Arlequin To Go
384 Hayes St.
b/w Franklin & Gough St.

$$$$$

3

1

I secretly want to be Dagwood Bumpstead. Seriously -- he sleeps on the couch, he's got those crazy-ass bangs that stand up seemingly without product or any other help, and he makes.. >

Bacco
737 Diamond St.
at Elizabeth St.

$$$$$

2

1

I had the great good fortune of growing up with Italian grandparents. Whenever I visited, there was always something warm and inviting cooking in the kitchen. It didn’t matter what.. >

Bia's
1640 Haight St.
b/w Cole & Clayton St.

$$$$$

1

Worried about the demise of civilization? Or the Death of Philosophy? No need to worry, there are a few folks I hang out with that's keeping the torch burning... >

Bistro 1689
1689 Church St.
b/w Valley & 29th St.

$$$$$

2.7

1

I'm always excited by the opening of a new restaurant in our neighborhood. Although Noe Valley has a not insubstantial number of restaurants, comparatively few are really worth wri.. >

Blue
2337 Market St.
b/w 16th & 17th St.

$$$$$

1

If you've got an hour for lunch, but you spend 40 minutes at the new Marina Apple store, this nearby place will hook you up... >

Cafe Grillades
501 Hayes St.
at Octavia St.

$$$$$

1

I finally went to the recently opened Cafe Grillades in Hayes Valley. I thought the menu selection for the food was very appealing and it's kid friendly place. We were prompted sea.. >

Daimaru Sushi
290 Sanchez St.
at 16th St.

$$$$$

3.7

1

caterpillar roll,.. >

Escape From New York Pizza
1737 Haight St.
b/w Cole & Shrader St.

$$$$$

3.3

1

Escape from New York Pizza is one of my favorite pizza joints in San Francisco. Right off of Haight and 1 block up from Amoeba sits this tiny pizzaria seating around 25 people. Ser.. >

Firewood Cafe
4248 18th St.
at Diamond St.

$$$$$

3

1

When Ed Levine interviewed me for his book "Pizza: A Slice of Heaven," I listed as one of my favorites the arugula and prosciutto pizza from Firewood Cafe. This decade-old restau.. >

Harvey's
500 Castro St.
at 18th St.

$$$$$

1

It sounds counterintuitive to have a big, greasy, carb-laden breakfast right before you visit the doctor for a yearly check-up, but that's exactly what I did when I stopped by Harv.. >

Hotel Biron
45 Rose St.
b/w Gough & Market St.

$$$$$

1

No, it's not a hotel, it's a teeny, tiny wine cave-like place to get some good vino before you hit Zuni, Sauce or Paul K. Not a destination place but an OK stop-by. They have some.. >

La Ciccia
291 30th St.
at Church St.

$$$$$

4.8

1

Yesterday I was visiting a few friends in Cole Valley and they wanted to go out to dinner that night:.. >

La Fajita Grill
2312 Market St.
at 16th St.

$$$$$

1

Pet food shops offered more tempting dining options than Cactus Fresh, the dicey taqueria that used to occupy this space. Today, La Fajita sports the same look, menu, and sky-high .. >

Las Estrellas
330 Gough St.
at Linden St.

$$$$$

1

Hayes Valley may not be much of a taqueria hotbed, but at least it’s centrally located between well-slabbed areas such as Duboce Triangle, the Lower Haight, and the Mission. Thank .. >

Le Metro
311 Divisadero St.
at Page St.

$$$$$

1

As I made my way past the kitchen to Le Metro's patio garden, which is open for brunch only, I spied these little jewel-like cubes of beet and goat cheese being prepared in the kit.. >

Lovejoy's Tea Room
1351 Church St.
at Clipper St.

$$$$$

3

1

I've been a tea drinker for a long time. I drank it from a little china tea set as I listened to my "A Bargain for Frances" record. I drank it when I lived in England. I drink it n.. >

Marcello's Pizza
420 Castro St.
at 17th & Market St.

$$$$$

3

1

We grabbed a quick, crappy meal prior to seeing Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odessy..... >

Massawa
1538 Haight St.
b/w Ashbury & Clayton St.

$$$$$

1

Yet, another Ethiopian place to cure a fix that I need before I leave on vacation... >

Metro City Bar & Tapeo Restaurant
3600 16th St.
at Market St.

$$$$$

1

Change-up in the Castro: due to their lease not getting renewed, the ~METRO BAR~ chaps, Mario Enriquez and Richard Pearson, have taken over the divey Expansion Bar down Market Stre.. >

Miyabi
253 Church St.
b/w 14th & 15th St.

$$$$$

3.6

1

Tonight we had ourselves a little sushi goodness from Miyabi. Miyabi is on Church St. near Market and it is super yummy. In addition to the great sushi they've got other Japanese d.. >

Mythic Pizza
551 Haight St.
b/w Fillmore & Steiner St.

$$$$$

3

1

On the other end of Haight streets sits a pizzeria called Mythic Pizza. Tucked away from the tourists and panhandlers of Haight Ashbury area. Finding parking could be a pain, take .. >

Naan N' Chutney
525 Haight St.
at Fillmore St.

$$$$$

3.5

1

Saag Paneer, a couple kinds of chicken curry, and paneer in a cream sauce all with delicious naan. Not quite as good as Mehfil, which is also very close to Alexis' new work, but st.. >

Noe Valley Bakery and Bread Company
4073 24th St.
at Castro St.

$$$$$

4

1

Though we love to complain about living in Mayberry Noe Valley, I have to admit that there are a few culinary highlights. Chief among them is the organic fig bread at Noe Valley Ba.. >

Noe Valley Pizza
3898 24th St.
at Sanchez St.

$$$$$

1

Last night we joined some friends at Bambuddha Lounge for a cocktail to celebrate a friend's birthday (Jim, of the top-secret chocolate chip cookies). The entourage was continuing .. >

Ovation at the Opera
333 Fulton St.
at the Inn at the Opera, b/w Franklin & Gough St.

$$$$$

3

1

For an appetizer, I had the roasted beet salad with orange horseradish vinaigrette and beet syrup. It was fresh sophisticated earthiness that was beautifully presented. I also had .. >

Patxi's Pizza
511 Hayes St.
at Octavia St.

$$$$$

2.5

1

Patxi's Chicago Pizza has fans in two locales: In Palo Alto, where it started in 2004, and in Hayes Valley in San Francisco, where the second location opened a year later. When you.. >

Regent Thai
1700 Church St.
at 29th St.

$$$$$

2.5

1

I think this was the only thing that was at this restaurant. Sad but true!.. >

Sparky's
242 Church St.
at Market St.

$$$$$

1

After watching football with some friends, we needed some grub. We hadn't had diner food in a while, let alone for dinner, so it was some welcome comfort food... >

Sushi Delight
1946 Market St.
at Buchanan St.

$$$$$

5

1

The other night, Short Exact and a friend were on the escalator leaving Church Street station on the hunt for dinner, when our friend revealed that we would be eating at her new fa.. >

Thai Place II
312 Divisadero St.
b/w Page & Oak St.

$$$$$

3

1

Did you enjoy your day off? I think I would have enjoyed my day writing a wee bit more if I wasn't fighting this lame cold for the last three days. Which is exactly why I ordered s.. >

Tyger's Coffee Shop
2798 Diamond St.
at Chenery St.

$$$$$

3

1

OMG -- I have to just say they have amazing good breakfast! I love it! Consistent, good-size portion plates and quality food is what I can say about this place. I love it. It's a s.. >

Volare Pizza
456 Haight St.
at Fillmore St.

$$$$$

1

Volare Pizza on Haight at Fillmore has excellent deep dish. The crust is perfect, both from a texture and flavor standpoint. The ingredients are good enough. But the best part is h.. >

Zona Rosa
1797 Haight St.
at Shrader St.

$$$$$

1

Despite relatively rich prices, this corner joint has maintained a devout following since the 1980s. There’s a good chance on any given visit you may end up sitting adjacent to som.. >

Crave
2367 Market St.

$$$$$

1

Executive Chef Matthew DuTrumble’s name is listed prominently at the bottom of the small-plates menu at The Castro’s latest dining establishment—Crave (owned by the same people beh.. >

El Taconazo
4697 Mission St.
at Persia Ave.

$$$$$

3

1

The El Taconazo regime took over this space - blaring televisions and all - from El Fadi in late 2006, but it still feels like the new kid on the block along this slowly evolving s.. >

La Taqueria Menudo
4591 Mission St.
b/w Brazil Ave & Harrington St.

$$$$$

3

1

Although La Taq. Menudo ditched the sports posters on the ceiling and the Ms. Pac Man arcade game that coaxed customers’ quarters for years, it’s still tough to talk down any food .. >

Taqueria La Iguana Azul
928 Geneva Ave.
b/w London St. & Mission St.

$$$$$

1

Occupying the former home of unequivocally lame Taq. Maria, La Iguana Azul has ramped up the quality from this address’s six-mustache era. Among the menu’s featured meats: pork rin.. >

24th Street Cheese Company
3893 24th St.
b/w Sanchez St. & Vicksburg St.

$$$$$

1

I like me some cheese, mmm hmm. And when I get the hankering for havarti, a craving for Cotswalds, the yen for...well, I can't think of a cheese that begins with Y...I head straigh.. >

Peasant Pies
4108 24th St.
b/w Castro St. & Diamond St.

$$$$$

1

I've got a housecleaner furiously tearing up my kitchen, a contractor tearing up my basement and a job interview this afternoon. So I'm not super incented to make myself much in th.. >

Urban Cellars
3821 24th St.
b/w Church St. & Vicksburg St.

$$$$$

1

Now, there's no shortage of places to buy wine in San Francisco or even, for that matter, here in Noe Valley. So that makes it all the harder for any of them to stand out. But hand.. >

Azteca Taqueria
235 Church St.
b/w 15th St. & Market St.

$$$$$

1

With a front façade that's brighter than the brightening brightness of bright, Azteca – not to be confused with Bayview eatery El Azteca – displays that shiny look so common among .. >

Mad Dog in the Fog
530 Haight St
b/w Fillmore St. & Steiner St.

$$$$$

3

1

At 7.19 am last Sunday morning I found myself on a bus heading in the direction of Haight Street. I am not sure quite how I got there. Let's just say that a kind Frenchman, who had.. >

Drewes Brothers Meats
1706 Church St.
b/w 29th St. & Day St.

$$$$$

1

I must confess that I started this post several times already, and repeatedly held back. For you see, though I do endorse Drewes Bros, I cannot do so unconditionally. There have be.. >

Beep's Burgers
1051 Ocean Ave.
b/w Harold & Lee Ave.

$$$$$

3.5

1

Oh, God. It's Fleet Week again. And once again, every pacifist, peacenik, anti-war extremist, crank, and me will be obliged to sit through a week of wooshing planes shaking our.. >

Cafe Reverie
848 Cole Street
b/w Carl St & Frederick St

$$$$$

1

While hanging out at the Reverie Coffee Shop on Sunday, I got to talk to a friend that I hadn't hung out with in 6 years. This guy has seen more than 2500 films and has reviews of .. >