Food & Drink

Triple play

TABLEHOPPING: Three new restaurant openings light up the fall. Plus: where to score green bean casserole (you know you want it) and char siu pork spring rolls.

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Best of the Bay 2013: BEST NEW GOLD RUSH

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Friends, we have eaten gold leaf. That's what they're serving these days at the new digs of the most lauded restaurant in SF, Saison: a voluptuous dish of sea urchin over grilled root custard in a handmade Japanese ceramic bowl, topped with a generous skin of melted gold. (Let's settle one question right away: no, our toilet wasn't gilded the next morning. Nor did we use the leaf to fake a grill.) It's part of the $248 tasting menu, $396 with insane wine pairing, at this two-star Michelin hotspot. Read more »

Best of the Bay 2013: BEST WORLD SOUND BITES

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Watch live flamenco and Arabian fusion music while you dance with a side of papas bravas and plantains. Take in the All-Star Latin Band on weekly Cuban and world music nights while munching Andean fresh corn tamales and yuca frita with cashew cream. Read more »

Best of the Bay 2013: BEST LATE NIGHT HOT POCKETS

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Spurn the crowds across the street at ever-popular Taqueria Cancun's Bernal-side outpost. You, a seasoned Missionite, have had your fill of what one of our dear ones likes to call "the Mexican death log." Burrito fiend you are not — which is why in your wisdom your tummy's late night call has led you to a late-night Salvadorean restaurant, sounding thusly: "pupusa..." They're no baby-sized gut bomb, the pupusas at El Zocalo. Read more »

Best of the Bay 2013: BEST POT LUCK

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An invention that seems perfect for the busy-yet-locavore-obsessed Bay Area (though test markets are popping up in Brooklyn, New Orleans, and LA) sustainable ready-to-eat delivery service Good Eggs seems to have it all. But for our money — and yes, it's not exactly cheap — there is one among Eggs' many intriguing, locally produced offerings that intrigues the most: caterer Max Pouvreau's Petit Pot. Did you know that everything tastes better in a Weck jar? Read more »

Best of the Bay 2013: BEST POW WOW PUNK CHEF

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You may see Rocky Yazzie at the best live venues around town doing one of two things. Either he's rocking coveralls and slinging authentic Native American fry bread, or banging it out with his self-described "pow wow punk" band, Sweat Lodge. Either way, you'll be glad to have stumbled into his special Rocky bubble. A few words on his Rocky's Fry Bread snacks, perhaps the better known of the two projects. Read more »

Best of the Bay 2013: BEST NOLA WEST

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Appropriately, the Chapel opened last year with a string of concerts by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, a group named for its origin point at NOLA's Preservation Hall jazz venue. That's the spot Valencia Street's new place for music worship (officially known as Preservation Hall West at the Chapel) is modeled after, and endlessly inspired by, be it in in the form of design, live music, or eats. Read more »

Best of the Bay 2013: BEST FREEKEH-BEET TO FREAK ABOUT

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It is with good reason that Hella Vegan Eats' doughnut burger was the runaway star of the San Francisco Street Food Festival this year. No false modesty here: the Bay Guardian had already been praising that sticky delicious beet burger for months, even giving it top billing in our "Vegan Junk Food" feature. But no matter who broke the story; the real scoop here is that special dish, lovingly crafted by couple-founders Tiffany and Sylvee Esquivel, and showing up regularly at places like Dear Mom, Timeless Coffee in Oakland, and Dolores Park through La Cocina. Read more »

Best of the Bay 2013: BEST SURROUND SOUND DINING

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When the sound system at your restaurant outstrips the food when it comes to rave reviews, you might have a problem. But the folks at Berkeleys's elegant, spare, and forward-thinking Comal are confident enough in their menu to take us to the next level of sensual experience. The haute-Mexican cuisine, emphasizing deep flavors and grilled textures, speaks for itself. But the sound of the place speaks volumes. Read more »

Best of the Bay 2013: BEST CURRY QUEUE

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Light fare it is not, but are we ever glad to have come around to the gravy-like consistency and rich, complex flavors of Japanese curry. Nothing seems more homey or satisfying than when the comforting heft of a curry-laden lunch plate — chicken or pork katsu, tender cubed beef, steaming veggie, etc. Read more »