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:
WEST SIDE (N-S)
Pasilla Grill (Mexican)
Meditereaneo Gourmet Pizza
Baladie (Middle Eastern)
Ayola Greek Cusine
Banana House (Thai)
Muracci's Japanese Curry
EAST SIDE (N-S)
Teriyaki Experience (the Canadian chain)
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:
New Ocean (Chinese)
House of Lumpia (Filipino)
By the Bite (Burmese)
Taqueria Viva Zapata
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.
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.
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.
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.