Restaurant Review

1300 on Fillmore

Soul of the new Fillmore
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paulr@sfbg.com

Ordinarily one would be distressed, though these days hardly surprised, by the news that a farmers market in the midst of the city was being displaced by a brand-new building full of luxury condos, with a fancy restaurant on the ground floor. Although farmers markets, like coyotes, have been modestly flourishing in the city of late, they are still a delicate species whose natural habitat — often parking lots — invites predation by developers. Read more »

Nickie's

The last word in Cajun ... or creole
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paulr@sfbg.com

Cooking styles have their seasons, just as nature does, and lately there has been a delicate springtime for restaurants serving Louisiana-style food. By this I mean Cajun and creole, a pair of slippery terms that are almost always mentioned together but, despite an implication of fungibility, don't mean quite the same thing. Read more »

Clay Oven

Church of the holy tandoor
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paulr@sfbg.com

Two cheers, then, for Google, which recently rerouted its Noe Valley shuttle-bus lines so as to cause less air pollution and other distress in the heart of a neighborhood that has become, in effect, Googleberry RFD, the nesting habitat for those countless Google employees who spend their working days in the suburban wilds of the Peninsula. The child is father to the man, and the city is now the suburb, a dangling appendage to industry but no longer itself industrial. Read more »

Le P'tit Laurent

The little prince
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paulr@sfbg.com

Although for years I have believed and maintained that you could never get good cassoulet in a restaurant, I find that I must now recant. You can get good cassoulet in at least one restaurant in this town, and that restaurant is Le P'tit Laurent, which opened a few months ago at the corner of Chenery and Diamond, in the heart of Glen Park's utterly transformed commercial village.

The restaurant bears the name of its owner, Laurent Legendre, who was one of the partners in Clémentine, a late-'90s presence in the Inner Richmond. Read more »

Live Sushi Bar

Good sushi, cute bathroom
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REVIEW When you're looking for a restaurant in Potrero Hill, Live Sushi Bar is the proverbial needle in the haystack. But with a good location, great service, and fresh food at reasonable prices, it's worth finding.

First of all, our server figured out I was a vegetarian when I ordered the Green Combo, and he replaced the beef-based miso soup that accompanies the combo with edamame before I had to ask. Read more »

House of Prime Rib

The WYSIWYG principle
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paulr@sfbg.com

Beef: it's what's for dinner at House of Prime Rib, and it's pretty much all that's for dinner. There is a lonely listing for a fish of the day in a far corner of the menu; you must ask about the details. But really, we have no cause to complain, since if ever a restaurant honored the WYSIWYG principle, that restaurant would be House of Prime Rib. Read more »

Osteria and Bacco Ristorante

A walk on the mild side
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paulr@sfbg.com

When all else fails, we go to our neighborhood Italian restaurant. And since we're staying in the neighborhood for dinner — whatever neighborhood that might be — we can walk. This means we can drink as much as we want without tempting the after-dinner fates by getting behind the wheel, not that we would dream of doing such a thing. Also, we can pretend we're in Italy. The Italians spend a lot of time walking through their beautiful cities, at least when not scooting about on their Vespas. They tend not to drink too much, either. Read more »

Chez Maman

Just for toi
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paulr@sfbg.com

Chez Maman might not be spreading her arms just for you, but it sure feels that way. You step inside, and you are snuggled. There is no one else in her world but you — except, of course, those other inconveniently needy people who are lined up at the long bar and packed into the windowside tables, hungry for a taste of Mom's cooking and competing for her attention, damn them. Read more »

Bistro 9

A wealth of possible combinations and sophisticated treatments
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paulr@sfbg.com

It was déjà vu all over again when we stepped into Bistro 9 on a mild October evening.

"So when did you take over from Park Chow?" I asked our server. There was no doubt in my mind that Bistro 9 was the successor to that long-running Inner Sunset sanctum of casual comfort food. The heated sidewalk loge, the long bar, the warmth of brick and wood, the garden in the rear — it was all just as I remembered from my last visit to Park Chow. Read more »

Bodhi

The arts of the table ... and beyond
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paulr@sfbg.com

It would be possible to enjoy a visit to Bodhi without eating anything at all, and this is not because the restaurant's Vietnamese food is unworthy, but because the setting itself is so rich in allure that just sitting there (perhaps in the company of a good conversationalist, just to be on the safe side) is pleasure enough. Read more »