New (and Old) Favorites: Kitchenette and Woodward's Garden
Kitchenette is two blocks from my office, and has changed my life. I used to drag around mournfully, anticipating the ring of the 5 o'clock bell like your average office robot. Now my day peaks at noon, when I stop by Kitchenette to pick up lunch. In the afternoon I ruminate on how excellent my lunch was before I start planning my dinner. It's really that good.
-Indian-inspired chicken sandwich with garam masala honey: an instant winner, still-warm, cumin-flavored chicken with a cole slaw topping
-Everything they do with local cod (fried local cod roll, cod tacos)
-Delightful, filling and interesting green salads
-Marin Sun Farms reuben
-Every single cookie they've ever offered
As I'm sure other posters have noted, Kitchenette is out of a loading dock, so there's no space to eat inside and just a few benches outside, so you can bring this back to your office or walk just a few blocks to Esprit Park, which has both benches and picnic tables. The menu changes daily and is posted to their site, so you can't count on having a particular dish available when you'd like it, but surprise and exploration are part of the fun.
I must have walked past this place one hundred times in the three years I've lived in the Mission, but never visited until someone brought me a couple weeks ago. The space is intimate and elegant--we sat at the two-top against the Duboce Street side, just under the freeway, and if your'e on a hot date, I recommend requesting that table.
The open kitchen turns out well-prepared seasonal, local cuisine. I had an excellent sour cherry-flavored duck leg, and my date had some type of fish. We enjoyed the roasted beet farro appetizer, though I was confused at the cheese: it was reported as burrata on my menu and gorgonzola dolce on his, and ended up being the sweet blue. Fine, fine, but I wanted burrata! Service was warm, welcoming and unpretentious, like being served by your favorite aunt.
In the end, it was the atmosphere that won us over. There was just something so exceptionally lovely about eating in a little nook carved out against a highway, the urban noise and light filtered by curtains and candlelight. The perfect location for a city romantic.
1700 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94103
958 Illinois Street, San Francisco, CA