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Sep 13, 2007 10:28 AM

Can't-miss dishes at Nopa?

Going to Nopa tonight for the first time -- we're a group of 6, so we'll be able to try much of the menu, but I still thought I'd ask...

Are there any absolute don't-miss dishes there? I remember reading some great stuff about the lamb riblets on this board, but they seem to be gone from the menu. Anything else that's stellar?

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  1. I go for whatever roasted meat they have--in the past the best has been the lamb and beef dishes. Also have always had good luck with the soup, gratins (in the sides), and little gem salad (last I was there they had a baby romaine salad that was very similar) and the lamb shank. I miss the squid salad so if it's made a reappearance, I would get that.

    Was there last week and had some bad luck with a rib eye. It was just too fatty and there wasn't a lot to salvage. I also would skip the chicken, but my main beef (heh) with it there is that it's just too much (it's a half chicken) and I think it would come with both a vegetable and starch sides.

      1. Just went last week and had the best pork chop there.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Problem Child

          Third the pork chop. Better than Boulevards.

        2. The pork chop is always a winner in my book. Succulent and meaty, and not too fatty. For starters, I find the squid salad to be totally delicious, as well as the fried anchovies, which are ethereally light and crisp. Burger is great if you have nonadventurous members in your party. I never fell in for the flat bread myself, particularly the one with lamb (though I love lamb). It was sort of sprinkled on top and would fall off when I attempted to take a bite.

          If this is your first trip, I would warn you about their amuse bouche. It is often something so ridiculously small or simple -- I've gotten a sliced radish and a crouton, I sh*t you not -- that they would be better off giving diners nothing at all.

          Overall, while the food is tasty, it isn't really the top draw for me. It's the ambience, which is somehow both bustling and comforting at the same time. Great servers and great space. Also it's open super late, and that is hard to find in SF. Had dinner there around midnight once -- delicious!

          2 Replies
          1. re: iwantmytwodollars

            Re: the ambiance--How funny, I had exactly the opposite reaction. I just loved everything I ate there (little gems salad, burger, fries, and chocolate pot de creme) but I haven't returned because it was so noisy I couldn't comfortably make conversation with my partner who was on the other side of a very, very small table from me.

            1. re: Pistou

              I know what you mean. Sometimes it is deafening. But I think we subconsciously choose to go there only when we want noise around us. The hubbub makes us feel like we did something (v. renting a movie and sitting in our apartment eating Pakwan takeout). But for peace and quiet or even just romance, you're right, NoPa is not a good choice.