Restaurant Review

Gang's all here

The Blob digs into Sydney Town Tavern, Juice Shop, Shorty Goldstein's, Walzwerk

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Kronnerburger

Downing Stranger Juice in the dark -- and biting into solid, juicy burgers at this Mission hotspot

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Mean Greens

Veg-tacular dishes and drinks at Cupola, Orbit Room, Market and Rye

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Coquettish

Michael Chiarello's new Coqueta seduces with Spanish flavors, intimate setting

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culture@sfbg.com

DINING When you name your restaurant Coqueta, Spanish for "flirt," you're really putting it all out there in terms of your food and atmosphere — playful yet unwavering, open but with a hint of mystery, and definitely attentive. After visiting Coqueta during its opening week, I'm confident celebrity chef Michael Chiarello's new venture will score.Read more »

Spring breakers

Warm weather + fresh and fruitful cocktails = an all-day drinking extravaganza

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culture@sfbg.com

DRINK San Francisco: the best bars, mixologists, and produce — not to mention drinkers — in the country. And once the weather warms up (fingers crossed), can a bloom of excellent fruity cocktails be far behind? In honor of the lengthening sunlight, here's a full day's selection of spring drinks picks.

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Eats everything

The Blob digs into Duarte's Tavern, Kitchen Story, and Limon Rotisserie. Plus: Talbot Cafe's cute school lunches

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The G50: San Francisco's top bars

From splashy dives to upscale classics (and everything in between) — our favorite spots to grab a drink

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Latin highs

A new chef livens up beloved Italian tradition Oliveto, and sexy Gitane intensifies its regional Spanish focus

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE Nothing replaces actually experiencing a cuisine served in its place of origin, but regional dinners are one way of traveling vicariously (and, perhaps, with less of a carbon footprint).Read more »

Can Yan noodle?

Martin Yan's M.Y. China and the upscale Hakkasan add to the Chinese scene

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE Style-over-substance at popular restaurants grew old in my Los Angeles days. A pretty package matters little if food isn't excellent. In SF, we tend towards the other direction. Thank goodness for places like Gitane, Bix, Foreign Cinema, which manage both — a little style is welcome. With the entry of two new, upscale Chinese restaurants, we get style aplenty. One, the international Hakkasan chain, feels oh-so LA or NY, and the other, M.Y. China, is inside a mall (very Southern California) from famed chef Martin Yan.Read more »

Southpaw

Spiced ribs and dreamy Natchez: the Mission BBQ makes a tasty comeback

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virginia@sfbg.com

APPETITE As I've often bemoaned, finding authentic 'que outside of the Deep South is a rarity. Case in point: Southpaw opened late 2011 on Mission Street, a BBQ oasis of the gourmet kind, brewing its own beers in a couple in-house tanks. Welcoming staff and flaky catfish impressed me early on, but watery sauces and dry ribs and brisket deflated my BBQ dreams.Read more »