Restaurant Review

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 »

Tinderbox

Tinder is the night
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paulr@sfbg.com

For more than a decade, the king of the hill over in Bernal Heights, restaurant-wise, has been Liberty Café, one of those marvelous places that bloomed in the city's neighborhoods after the 1989 earthquake. Read more »

Palencia

Nice niche!
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paulr@sfbg.com

Palencia so nicely fills such an obvious niche in the city's restaurant universe that we are left only to wonder why it wasn't filled sooner. The niche is white-linen or upmarket Filipino cuisine, and it's an obvious one in the sense that the connection between the Philippines and the United States — the West Coast in particular — has been strong for more than a century.

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Pete's Tavern

The house that Pete built
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paulr@sfbg.com

With the recent cashiering of Barry Bonds, the House that Barry Built goes into receivership, while the neighborhood pauses to reflect. Perhaps the foul odors that have gathered over AT&T Park in recent seasons — bad-team and steroid-scandal stinks — will now dissipate. Read more »

Golden Rice Bowl and San Tung

Why did the chicken cross the street?
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paulr@sfbg.com

If you think chicken is restaurant food for losers, you haven't been getting out to enough Chinese restaurants lately. And who could blame you? Going out for Chinese food these days is a little like voting in a presidential primary: there are far too many choices that seem far too much alike, and most of them turn out to be disappointing. But we mustn't let ourselves become discouraged by mediocrity, which after all is the usual state of human affairs and the human beings who conduct them. Read more »