Restaurant Review

The Spanish table

Patio Español is perhaps the most authentic Spanish restaurant in a city that doesn't have enough of them
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paulr@sfbg.com

The waxing and waning of tapas fever reminds us, first, that it is in the nature of fevers to wax and wane. Today we love tapas — Spanish bar bites, basically — and tomorrow we will love American tapas, Cuban tapas, Peruvian and global tapas, tapas of every description, and soon enough we will be tired of all tapas. Read more »

Elite Cafe

A delicious New Orleans-inspired secret on Fillmore
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paulr@sfbg.com

How too perfect that we find the Elite Café smack in the heart of Pacific Heights. Since Pacific Heights is full of ... well, you know. Read more »

MarketBar

A Mediterranean-inflected menu chockablock with temptation
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paulr@sfbg.com

We have the other white meat and the other woman, and in the Ferry Building we have had, for the past five years, the other restaurant, the Not-Slanted Door. Read more »

Epic Roasthouse

The price of paradise on the Embarcadero
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paulr@sfbg.com

For bay views, it's hard to beat Epic Roasthouse, the Pat Kuleto and Jan Birnbaum collaboration that opened in January along the Embarcadero at the foot of Folsom Street. Read more »

Cava22

Tequila sunset: Cava22 is the Mission's answer to Tres Agaves
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paulr@sfbg.com

If, like me, you occasionally succumb to the temptation to judge a restaurant by its name, you might suppose that Cava22 is some kind of champagne bar ... all right, a cava bar, cava being the word the Spanish came up with to describe their méthode champenoise–style sparkling wines. Read more »

B Star

Burma Superstar opens an upscale cousin up the street
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paulr@sfbg.com

If you run a successful restaurant on Clement Street, apparently you face a terrible temptation to open another restaurant on Clement Street — across the road, perhaps, or on the next block. And the new place should appeal to a different socioeconomic stratum. Read more »

Orson

Pulsing energy and DIY bites at Orson in SoMa
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paulr@sfbg.com

If there was ever a doubt that Elizabeth Falkner had a thing for Orson Welles, her new restaurant — named Orson — should lay to rest any lingering uncertainties. Falkner's first venture, a bakery called Citizen Cake, first appeared in the late 1990s in a northeast Mission District space (near Rainbow Grocery) now occupied by Chez Spencer. Read more »

Tres Agaves

Feast and fiesta in the ever-more-crowded environs of the ballpark
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paulr@sfbg.com

If you're one of those people who's always on the lookout for the next big thing, and you think the next big thing might be tequila bars, you might feel a pang about Tres Agaves, the brick cathedral of tortillas, margaritas, and fun that opened about two and a half years ago in the ever-more-crowded environs of AT&T Park. Tequila is, at its best, a New World riposte to the single-malt scotches and fancy brandies of the Old World: a carefully made and indigenous essence worthy of thoughtful appreciation. Read more »

Millennium

At the gates of the vegetable kingdom
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paulr@sfbg.com

Considering that San Francisco is the center of the vegetarian universe and home to one of the country's first, greatest, and most durable vegetarian restaurants — Greens — it has long seemed faintly odd to me that we don't have more Greens-like places: restaurants that reconcile the vegetarian impulse (with its complex ecological and ethical components) and high style. Read more »

Jardiniere

After 11 years, still breaking out the bubbly beneath the gardener's dome
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paulr@sfbg.com

Fizz, like buzz, is evanescent by nature, so I was not totally surprised to see that the champagne-bubble lights that once hung in the air above the bar at Jardinière were nowhere to be seen when we stepped inside on a recent evening. Had they been removed as a discreet way of acknowledging the rapid defizzification of American life? Or just switched off? Read more »