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San Francisco Archives - Restaurant Girl: Best Food Blog & Restaurant Guide
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Restaurants in San Francisco

Kiss Sushi

Cuisine: | Featured in City Guides

There are only twelve seats at this jewel box of a sushi spot in San Francisco.   If you’re a purist about your sushi, you’ll love Kiss Seafood.  (If you’re not and you love inventive sauces or creative combinations, eat elsewhere.) It’s run by a husband-and-wife team and open only four days a week, which further makes it feel like you’ve just been invited into their notably zen dining room for dinner. There’s a solid sake selection and some seriously fresh fish.  The chef specializes in a series of cooked dishes, like fish ball soup or steamed sea urchin with tofu sauce, sashimi, sushi, and various levels of omakase.  I recommend the chef’s omakase, which includes a mix of cooked dishes, sashimi and sushi.   On the night we were there, the omakase included a trio of raw fish preparations,...

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Zuni Cafe

Cuisine: | Featured in City Guides

I have to admit that I didn’t have high hopes for Judy Rodger’s New American, Zuni Cafe.  For starters, they had an attitude every time I called for a reservation. And all anyone talked about was their famous Brick Oven Roast Chicken.  Was it really worth fighting for a reservation for chicken?  The answer surprisingly is yes.  The Chicken is that good.  It’s cooked in their Wood-Fired Oven ’til the skin’s crispy, sliced up and served over a warm bread salad with pine nuts, currants and garlic to sop up all of the delicious juices, then topped with a fistful of vinegary greens.   And while I normally discourage people from spending time on the raw bar at a destination restaurant known for other things, the oysters here are some of the best I’ve had to date on the West...

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Hog Island Oyster

Cuisine: | Featured in City Guides

It ain’t easy to find a great oyster house… never mind one with a view, so you’ll want to savor not only the terrific variety of bivalves at Hog Island Oyster Co., but also the outdoor dining overlooking San Francisco Bay.  Tourists and locals alike descend on this no-reservations spot for lunch or dinner so you may have to wait a bit, but it’s entirely worth it.  Especially after you sample the Hog Island Sweetwater Pacific and Atlantic oysters as well as whatever other West Coast oysters they’re shucking that day. There’s plenty more reasons to visit, like the Steamers, a mix of fresh from the water Manila Clams, Beans, Fennel Sausage, and Leeks in an addictive Wheat Beer Broth that you’ll want to mop up with the bread.   And while I’m typically a Manhattan Clam Chowder kind...

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Flour + Water

Cuisine: | Featured in City Guides

What’s all the buzz about… still? After all, Flour + Water has been open since 2009 and yet it’s more impossible than ever to get a prime-time reservation at this Mission eatery nearly four years later.   As the restaurant’s name suggests, the fuss is what happens when you combine flour and water — Pasta & Pizza, that is.   From the humble and laidback neighborhood setting to the menu items, this is a prime case of undersell and overdeliver.  Just sink your teeth into one of their beautifully bubbly  Neopolitan pies delivered from the wood-burning oven.  There’s plenty of innovative options, like the Bianco Verde, a finely charred pizza paved with Asparagus, Nettles, Green Garlic and a bright hit of lemon that teases the vibrant vegetal quality out of all of the market fresh ingredients.  While it’s mostly...

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Rich Table

Cuisine: | Featured in City Guides

This cozy corner spot in the Hayes Valley part of town looks more like your local neighborhood bistro than a destination restaurant, but as we all know, looks can be deceiving.  In fact, Rich Table was nominated for a James Beard Award for best new restaurant.  While the setting, with its open kitchen, long communal tables, and buzzy bar, may seem laidback, the food is innovative and pedigreed. Owners and husband-and-wife team, Evan and Sarah Rich, have worked at Bouley, Coi and several other praised eateries.  While the cooking here is much more casual, it’s still exciting.  Just sample the Sardine Chips, listed under “Bites,” a homemade potato chip skewered with a perfectly fried sardine, served with a spunky horseradish cream.  Don’t see snacks like that these days. Or how about a Dried Porcini Doughnut, a warm puff of...

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The Slanted Door

Cuisine: | Featured in City Guides

Some may say this modern Vietnamese eatery, which opened in 1995 and relocated to the Ferry Building in 2004, has become too mainstream and lost some of its authenticity.  Well, I’m glad I didn’t let any of the naysayers deter me from revisiting  The Slanted Door because James Beard Best Chef Winner, Charles Phan, is still making magic in the kitchen.  Sure, the drinks are undeniably trendy and the kitchen often takes a Westernized approach, but the food with its exotic Vietnamese flavors is as exciting as ever.  Not to mention the amazing view of the bay (via floor-to-ceiling windows) from just about every table in the restaurant. While Slanted Door is technically not a seafood restaurant, they happen to have a terrific raw bar with locally plucked, California Yellowtail Sashimi and a beautiful dish of wondrously fresh Wild California...

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