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Jun 13, 2008 09:39 PM

Is the 300 Block of Kearny the Ethnic Foodiest block in SF? And what's that fancy patisserie doing there?

I wonder about this one every time I wander down Kearny Street. You're looking for lunch on the 300 Block of Kearny (between Bush and Pine) and you can grab a sandwich from Lee's, or a slice from Mediterraneo Pizza. But if you are looking for something less banal, (and assuming the temporarily closed International Food Center, which has an entrance on Kearny St., reopens), you can take your pick of Burmese, Chinese, Japanese (sushi, teriyaki or Japanese curry?), Thai, Vienamese, Cuban, Greek, Middle Eastern, Filipino or Hawaiian.

I did a bed-check today (it was well past lunch so I can't be sure all of these are currently operating) and here's what I saw:


Pasilla Grill (Mexican)
Meditereaneo Gourmet Pizza
Sushi Bay
Baladie (Middle Eastern)
Paladar (Cuban)
Ayola Greek Cusine
Banana House (Thai)
Muracci's Japanese Curry
Bangkok's Best


Teriyaki Experience (the Canadian chain)
El Faro
Tasty Express (Chinese buffet)
Lee's Deli (Sandwiches, not the Vietnamese chain)
L & L Hawaiian

INTERNATIONAL FOOD CENTER (temporarly closed due to a fire) has:

Pho Express
New Ocean (Chinese)
House of Lumpia (Filipino)
By the Bite (Burmese)
Taqueria Viva Zapata
Sushi Tesuki

I also noticed that the Bon Bon Patisserie in the old Kimi's Pizza space looked to be in condition to open soon. How's this going to fit into the immediate environs? Bon Bon is no casual venture; according to the Inside Scoop it involves the brightest minds and supplest hands of Plouf, Garcon and Chouchou. Will a sweet for dessert cost as much as your entire meal at the IFC? At least, in the sprit of its neighbors, you might find your eclair stuffed with mango.

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  1. Paladar's great, numerous reports here.

    If you're looking for lunch on a weekday, that stretch of Kearney (a short walk for several hundred thousand office workers) has a lot of options, although they tend to be mediore. Dinnertime, they're almost all closed, though bustling Belden Place is right around the corner. Turnover among the tenants is pretty high.

    1. Yes, I agree, if you include variety in your criteria, it's a remarkable block. Having spent years working near there, it was a treat to have so much and such variety at my disposal for lunch or an early dinner. Bangkok's Best was good. I would often get the spinach salad at Baladie. Sushi Bay also serves Japanese curry, by the way. The Hawaiian barbecue place was fun on those days when I didn't care about calories. And that particular El Faro (which used to be a Burger King) has a "baby" burrito that is big enough for a meal. Sorry to hear about the fire at International Food Center. Not exactly gourmet food down there, but plenty filling and cheap, good enough when you're just grabbing a quick lunch to go.

      1. I thought I saw a sign on L&L the other day that they were closed... There are a few other posts on places like Yelp with the same info, which indicate it might be related to the same fire that closed International Food Court.


        2 Replies
        1. re: waldrons

          You may be right. I made my survey in late afternoon, when most of the businesses were close for the day, and I may not have looked closely enough. It looked still operational, unlike Pasta Paradiso, for example, which had its windows papered over.

          1. re: Xiao Yang

            I walked by again the other day, and L&L has a new sign saying they will reopen in July. The International Food Center just says "on vacation".....


        2. Muracci's has a great Katsu-don - I think I get it at least once a week!

          1 Reply
          1. re: gemster


            Muracci's Japanese Curry & Grill
            307 Kearny St, San Francisco, Ca

          2. I ate at the new Teriyaki Experience and would say it's eh. They mince the dickens out of the chicken though (perhaps to make the portion look bigger? or cook faster?), which is not to my liking. Flavor wasn't bad, but the mincing made the texture very dog-foodish for me.


            4 Replies
            1. re: waldrons

              It's a Canadian-based fast food chain, so one shouldn't start with high expectations. What turned me off was the boast that they only use white meat chicken.

              1. re: Xiao Yang

                link 2

                Made In Japan Teriyaki Experience
                356 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA

                1. re: rworange

                  Er, that doesn't look like Kearny & Pine to me....

                  1. re: rworange

                    Try this one:

                    Made In Japan Teriyaki Experience
                    356 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA