san francisco's best offbeat
- keith koenigsberg
I'm going to SF for a wedding this weekend. I have
dutifully used the chowhound search and read everything
that came up for SF, but what I'm really looking for
didn't come up. I've always had good food in SF,
and have no doubt I will eat well. But two things:
1)Anything truly different and better over there that I
shouldn't miss (can't be matched in NY?) Any ethnicity
that's better represented?
2)Anything strange or offbeat...grungy storefront mom
and pops, selling something extreme, weird, or
It would be great to scoop my San Francisco friends by
taking them someplace *they* never heard of.
I don't have any exotic suggestions that
will impress your SF friends (my own view,
having just moved to NYC after 5 years in
SF, is that SF has no deeply underground,
completely unknown places--all the people who
live there just think it does. But anyway... )
The one thing I have missed since coming to NYC
is SF's Cambodian food. Both Angkor Wat (on Geary,
in the avenues) and Angkor Borei (Mission nr Cortland,
Bernal Hts) were better than Cambodian Cuisine, New
York's sole offering in that regard. To a lesser
degree, I also miss Casa Aguilar, the good Mexican
place in the outer sunset that is much better than
anything I've had in NYC; and the tamales at
Roosevelts Tamale Parlor (24 St nr Bryant).
I don't eat seafood, but I would be surprised
if you can get out here the crabs that everyone loves
(along with the garlic noodles) at the Vietnamese crab
house at Judah near 40th.
The only place I can think of that your friends
may not know is the tiny cafe in Bernal Hts, on
the corner on the east side of Mission across
from the Safeway (for all I know it has gotten
really popular). As of a year ago, the groovy owner
would cook up a fabulous feast once a month for
the 10-15 people who make advance reservations.
The owners are great, they are wonderful cooks,
they use excellent ingredients, it's a funky,
fun little setting with mismatched linens and
candles and very cozy. But you may not be in
town on the day they are open (they are open
regularly for coffee). Sorry I forget the
name, but it's easy to find. It's right by
bad news: roosevelt's tamale parlor is BADLY downhill.
On the other hand, the deli (La Palma) across the
street makes the best potato chips in the continental
richard sterling, who's an authority on Cambodian, says
the two cambodian places aren't reliable anymore (if
they're even still open).
sorry for the gloom-n-doom message (except for the