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Can't-miss places in Noe, if any? New to the neighborhood.

carbonara Jul 2, 2011 12:32 AM

Hello,

We're about to move to Noe, and we've spent enough time in SF--especially in the wondrous Mission--to know we're not quite moving to the food mecca of this city. Which is okay, as we'll merrily walk/Bart/Muni/drive for food, and we're so excited to be settling for a while in a city containing (or near) La Taqueria, Aziza, Bar Tartine, Lahore Karahi, El Farolito, Koi Palace, and on and on.

That said, for days/nights when we don't want to venture too far from our apartment, what are can't-miss spots in the neighborhood? We appreciate good price-to-quality ratios, but are willing to splurge if it's worthwhile.

So far, from Chowhound-trawling, I've pulled up this list:

- Very excited to try:
La Ciccia
Incanto
Noe Valley Cheese Shop

- Going to end up trying, though (for now) less excited by:
Ristorante Bacco
Fattoush
Tataki

- Have already tried:
Barney's (fine, didn't fall in love)
Lovejoy's (have near-rabid affection for tea and scones, so will go back, though it wasn't top-notch)
Savor (pleasant)

What's missing? Any thoughts on (any) (good) Asian food would be particularly welcome. Thanks very much in advance!

-----
Koi Palace Restaurant
365 Gellert Blvd, Daly City, CA 94015

La Ciccia
291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

Ristorante Bacco
737 Diamond Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

La Taqueria
2889 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Bar Tartine
561 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

  1. b
    bigwheel042 Jul 2, 2011 01:29 AM

    Contigo would be the main missing one I would put on the list. Henry's Hunan works in a pinch. Firefly has its partisans. The newish branch of The Little Chihuahua is very good and I would certainly go more if I lived closer to 24th/Castro. Pasta Gina isn't a restaurant but is known for its meatball sandwich.

    Everything else has a reputation of fair-to-middling (or worse):

    Swatdee is average for a Thai place. Regent Thai is maybe marginally better. Never been to Rin's.
    Cafe Ponte...nice cafe vibe when it's sunny, average food
    Hamano is fine for a neighborhood sushi place, but not much sets it apart
    Alice's/Eric's: OK for what they are, good deals at lunch but IMO crushed by Henry's Hunan in quality
    Casa Mexicana: don't see any reason to go here after Little Chihuahua opened
    Basso's: had a subpar visit a few years back, never felt inclined to go back
    India Clay Oven is OK...part of a chain, didn't think it was anything special when dining in but friends like their takeout
    Pomelo: interesting concept, execution...predictably meh.
    None of the pizza places have a good record. The bagel places manage to stay in business but I've never heard anything great either.

    The ones I've never tried nor heard much about, but seem worth a bit of exploring: Noeteca on Dolores and Lupa.

    -----
    Pasta Gina
    741 Diamond St, San Francisco, CA 94114

    Lupa
    4109 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94114

    Contigo
    1320 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114

    Regent Thai Restaurant
    1700 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94131

    Little Chihuahua
    4123 24th Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

    4 Replies
    1. re: bigwheel042
      Windy Jul 2, 2011 07:56 AM

      Noeteca is lovely, especially since they make their flatbread in a toaster oven. Good wines by the glass.

      I'll concur with what's above. Eric's is inedible, and I love Henry's. And as noted, there's too much fancy food. Incanto and Contigo are not every night kinds of restaurants.

      Generally you'll do better going in any direction a few blocks--in particular to Mission between Cesar Chavez and Cortland, where you have ICHI Sushi (leagues better than Tataki), Pastores (now open till 10), Locavore, Angkor Borei (delivers, and better than any of the nearby Southeast Asian options), San Miguel, Inka's, and many others. Real not faux ethnic food, and at much better prices.

      There have been good reports on All Seasons (?) the Chinese restaurant in Diamond Heights that replaced Yet Wah. Haven't tried it yet.

      -----
      Inkas Restaurant
      3299 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

      Pastores Restaurant
      3486 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

      Contigo
      1320 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114

      Locavore
      3215 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

      ICHI Sushi
      3369 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

      1. re: Windy
        b
        bigwheel042 Jul 2, 2011 08:45 PM

        Agreed, for ethnic eats there are lots of excellent and cheaper options on that stretch. In addition to these I thought my one visit to La Paisa (Honduran, also serves Salvadoran/Mexican dishes) was pretty good. And there are numerous spots to get a good pupusa, though I wish Balompie #3 were a little closer.

        The ones I wouldn't bother with on this part of Mission are the Chinese restaurants and, oddly, the taquerias. It's a little strange that everything between 26th and Glen Park is a burrito wasteland. Has anyone tried some of these? I pass them a million times and never know what (if any) dishes are special there:

        Oye Managua (has a decent reputation, didn't like it much the one time I went - salt/flavor ratio was too high)
        Brisas de Acapulco (ordered a burrito one night when in a hurry, but seemed like their real wheelhouse is seafood so I don't feel like I had a representative experience)
        Nena's (was pleasantly surprised by this place on a first visit, but couldn't make head or tail of whether the Mexican or Salvadoran sides of the menu were better. Saw a few people tucking in to big soups)
        El Patio (never been)

        -----
        El Patio Restaurant
        3193 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

        Oye Managua
        3385 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

        1. re: bigwheel042
          Windy Jul 2, 2011 11:08 PM

          I had a decent soup at Brisas de Acapulco once, but your general assessment is right on. El Patio has leaden tamales. Cancun was decent long ago but no longer.

          El Zocalo is the best of the bunch and open until 2 or 3 for cheap pupusas and friendly service. Do they have burritos? Agreed that Balompie is better Salvadorean, but that area a little sketchy as it gets late.

          What did you order at La Paisa? I've always been curious about that and Playa Azul.

          San Miguel has a few Mexican dishes on its menu; I tend to forget it's there. I love the tostadas de camarones there and the fresh liquados.

          -----
          Balompie Cafe
          3349 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

          El Patio Restaurant
          37311 Fremont Blvd, Fremont, CA 94536

          El Zocalo Restaurant
          1633 El Camino Real, South San Francisco, CA 94080

          Playa Azul Restaurant
          1428 Contra Costa Blvd, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

          1. re: Windy
            b
            bigwheel042 Jul 2, 2011 11:51 PM

            I had the pincho a la olanchana - nothing fancy, just a tasty typical Central American meal of skewered steak+sausage with rice and beans.

            Playa Azul I visited once when starving and took down an entire red snapper by myself. It was good, but my friends all agreed that we'd probably had better seafood. Might be worth another try. We always have a good meal at San Miguel. I have a bit of a soft spot for Los Panchos also - they aren't open as late as El Zocalo and the pupusas might not be quite on that level, but El Zocalo's service seems like it can be really slow at times.

            Oh, and I personally detest Cancun but that may have as much to do with their hated toasting of the tortilla as with any downhill slide.

    2. artychokeasana Jul 2, 2011 10:28 AM

      I agree that for Noe Valley proper Contigo should be on your list for slightly higher end/not quite everyday eating. Bacco is actually a go to restaurant for me-because the food is good and the room is quiet-if I want to have a serene meal and/or hear my companion(s). For a casual meal I like Hahn's Hibachi-for their Korean Version of a Cheesesteak sandwich, their Bibimbap and their noodle soups. Slightly outside of the boundries of Noe-but potentially closer to your home-depending on your location I like Blue Plate for modern, eclectic Californian on the border on the Mission and Noe Valley.

      When I lived in Noe my favorite almost in the neighborhood but not quite restaurant was Chez Spencer -it's really truly in the Mission and probably not walkable from your home but don't miss it if you like French. Possibly walkable but also firmly in the Mission are Foreign Cinema -for a unique SF experience and very good food and Dosa for interesting Indian-oh and if you like Indian you may want to try take away or delivered Indian pizza from Zante's -it's really hard to describe but trying it is, I think, a Mission/Noe Glen Park right of passage. Speaking of Glen Park which is only a BART stop away or a longish walk Gialina's is good for Pizza, Petit Robert is good for Moules and other French Bistro standards. Glen Park is also home to my favorite Taqueria in the city (and I am definitely not alone in this) La Coroneta. Finally if you are movie going types you may find yourselves in West Portal where Roti does good Modern Indian.

      One last thing-if you are nearby keep your eye on Amber Jack Sushi-it's ok/fine for neighborhood sushi but recently they did a pop up ramen restaurant with housemade ramen that I heard was very good. The owners of Pie Bar / Chenery Park were on hand to help so it seems like there might be some interesting collaboration going on these days.

      -----
      Gialina
      2842 Diamond St, San Francisco, CA 94131

      Blue Plate
      3218 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

      Chenery Park Restaurant
      683 Chenery Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

      Contigo
      1320 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114

      1. carbonara Jul 2, 2011 10:54 AM

        Oh, this is great. We can't wait. Thank you.

        The mentions of Zante and Angkor Borei bring to mind a follow-up thought--other than the places mentioned, are there other good restaurants that will at least deliver to Noe?

        11 Replies
        1. re: carbonara
          BernalKC Jul 2, 2011 11:03 AM

          Spicy Bite will deliver, and they are totally underrated for Indian, IMO -- maybe because their dining room is so bleak. They have a chef's special menu that offers some very rare-around-here Chinese-cooked-Indian-style plates that are worth checking out. But their menu is very good, top to bottom. Infinitely better than the dreadful Clay Oven. We order the Indian pizza from Zante, but if we want Indian food, we order from Spicy Bite.

          -----
          Spicy Bite
          3501 Mission St, San Francisco, CA

          1. re: BernalKC
            artychokeasana Jul 2, 2011 11:27 AM

            I agree Spicy Bite is a hidden gem with a slightly depressing dining room.

            -----
            Spicy Bite
            3501 Mission St, San Francisco, CA

            1. re: artychokeasana
              b
              bigwheel042 Jul 2, 2011 08:29 PM

              What's good here? I was interested in their Indo-Chinese dishes (they are maybe the only restaurant in SF offering this cuisine) and was underwhelmed by an overly salty fried rice. Are other parts of the menu better bets?

              1. re: bigwheel042
                BernalKC Jul 2, 2011 09:19 PM

                Our favorites: dal (seriously good dal), nan, any of their veggie dishes, any tikka masala especially the chicken, biryani, decent tadoori... the only dish I'd avoid was their fish curry. I have had some overly salty dishes. One time their hot&sour soup was way over salted -- but its still on our must-order list.

          2. re: carbonara
            Windy Jul 2, 2011 01:22 PM

            Keep your fingers crossed that Lotus Garden (Vietnamese) recovers from the fire and reopens. They were the best local delivery option.

            Angkor Borei delivers, as do Pad Thai and Udupi Palace on Valencia. I haven't gotten delivery from Udupi, but the food is delicious and cheap.

            Amberjack is closed/closing/for sale. But walk the extra couple of blocks to ICHI.

            I like La Corneta too, but from Noe, the branch at Mission and 23rd is closer than the one in Glen Park.

            -----
            Lotus Garden
            3216 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

            La Corneta
            1147 San Carlos Ave, San Carlos, CA 94070

            1. re: Windy
              artychokeasana Jul 2, 2011 03:13 PM

              I never really thought the La Coroneta on Mission was as good...but it's been a few years-so if you've been at it's as good-I'll give it a try-sometimes that location is more convenient for me too.

              I didn't know Amberjack was for sale. It was definitely open about a week ago for the Ramen dinner I referred to.

              How is that Nepalese place on Cortland? Is it still there?

              1. re: artychokeasana
                Windy Jul 2, 2011 11:11 PM

                http://sf.eater.com/archives/2011/06/...

                Little Nepal was good last time I ate there, but it's been a while. I like Piqueo's (modern Peruvian compared to Inka's) a lot too.

                -----
                Inkas Restaurant
                3299 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                Piqueo's
                830 Cortland Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94110

                Little Nepal
                925 Cortland Ave, San Francisco, CA 94110

                1. re: Windy
                  Windy Jul 3, 2011 06:34 PM

                  Drove by AmberJack this morning, and the windows are papered over. There's a note posted, which I couldn't read from the car.

                  1. re: Windy
                    artychokeasana Jul 3, 2011 07:57 PM

                    Thanks for the update Windy. I have a friend who lives nearby on 27th-I'll ask him if he knows what the note says and/or the plans (he owns a nearby restaurant so he just might.)

                    1. re: artychokeasana
                      Windy Jul 8, 2011 03:12 PM

                      Looks like Amberjack is being replaced by another sushi bar.

                      1. re: Windy
                        artychokeasana Jul 8, 2011 05:13 PM

                        Thanks-I'll swing by and have a look.

          3. farmersdaughter Jul 2, 2011 02:43 PM

            The one place with edible food that hasn't been mentioned yet is the Noe Valley branch of Patxi for deep dish, Chicago style pizza. I haven't tried anything else there but the pizzas are fine - just don't expect Little Star. (24th between Castro & Noe)

            3 Replies
            1. re: farmersdaughter
              carbonara Jul 2, 2011 07:36 PM

              These are great. Thanks! We love Peruvian food, so we might make Inka's our first neighborhood(ish) stop once we move in.

              -----
              Inkas Restaurant
              3299 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

              1. re: carbonara
                Windy Jul 2, 2011 11:10 PM

                There are several writeups of chowdowns at Inka's to point you toward the roast chicken, ceviches, fried yucca, picarones, etc. Also they have very inexpensive corkage if you want to bring a bottle.

                -----
                Inkas Restaurant
                3299 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                1. re: Windy
                  carbonara Jul 3, 2011 12:23 AM

                  Heh, yes, I've started taking reading and taking notes. We just went to La Mar for lunch today for our last SF meal before we move here, and were pretty disappointed with all but the pisco sours, so we're now doubly excited about trying Inka's, and now Piqueo, too.

                  -----
                  Inkas Restaurant
                  3299 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                  Piqueo's
                  830 Cortland Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94110

            2. r
              Radical347 Jul 3, 2011 02:12 PM

              Rin's Thai = don't expect Lers Ros, but perfect example of neighborhood Thai with a Cal-fresh spin. She makes everything from scratch, even the tom kha (she digs it out of the coconut herself.) The salmon rolls, though not really Thai, are worth it.

              -----
              Rin's Thai Restaurant
              4301 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94114

              1. carbonara Aug 5, 2011 01:46 AM

                Just wanted to say thank you for all the recommendations. After a week in Noe (sans 99% of our stuff, i.e., no pots, pans, or utensils), we've tried several of these recommendations, and we are really (really) looking forward to trying many more. So far, Spicy Bite's delivery is the clear winner of the bunch. Henry's Hunan lunch is satisfying--it's going to be a mainstay. Locavore's brunch was a little disappointing, starting with nearly inedible biscuits. (The service was so nice that we wanted to love the place, though.) Incanto was weirdly lackluster, we thought, excepting their olives. The olives rocked. And Bar Tartine's new incarnation nearly broke our hearts--we'd loved the old Bar Tartine so much! Plus, we love Hungarian food so much! How did the combination of the two come out so strangely? We liked our appetizers (roe salad and cold cherry soup) but our meat dishes made us sad. However--Spicy Bite! That place warms our hearts. Finally, we've gotten very fond of the coffee from, of all places, Spin City, as in the laundromat. Going to continue to eat our way down this list.

                -----
                Bar Tartine
                561 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

                Spicy Bite
                3501 Mission St, San Francisco, CA

                Locavore
                3215 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                4 Replies
                1. re: carbonara
                  drewskiSF Aug 5, 2011 01:53 AM

                  Was that just one visit at Incanto? If so, I hope it was an off night. I really liked them.

                  What did you have that disappointed?

                  1. re: drewskiSF
                    carbonara Aug 5, 2011 02:11 AM

                    We had a salumi plate, the excellent olives, the handkerchief pasta and pork ragù, and a tomato-full pasta that is already half-gone from my memory. The pasta flavors were generally dull, and, given the season, there seemed to be no excuse for the utter dearth of tomato deliciousness. The salumi was similarly underwhelming--again, it was as if the flavor volume had been turned down. I hope it was an off-night, too. What did you like there?

                    1. re: carbonara
                      drewskiSF Aug 5, 2011 08:41 AM

                      My favorites were the sweetbreads and the pasta with the cured tuna heart.

                  2. re: carbonara
                    scarmoza Aug 6, 2011 10:06 AM

                    I like Spin City, too. They serve Blue Bottle espresso and drip coffees.

                    -----
                    Blue Bottle Cafe
                    66 Mint St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                  3. Tripeler Aug 5, 2011 02:17 AM

                    I have always been very fond of Bacco, but haven't been in a few years. If you go, let me know how it was.

                    1. v
                      vulber Aug 5, 2011 04:09 AM

                      firefly isn't the destination restaurant that people often make it out to be, but it's definitely a solid choice for a nice night out if you're in the neighborhood

                      1. scarmoza Aug 5, 2011 09:21 AM

                        Le Zinc does a very nice brunch on the weekends. They have french style espresso drinks and a small but lovely patio in the back.

                        -----
                        Le Zinc
                        4063 24th Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

                        1. carbonara Aug 14, 2011 07:51 PM

                          Two more questions: in addition to Le Zinc, what are people’s favorite places for brunch around here? Pastores is next on our brunch list. We’ve tried Noeteca’s brunch, and thought it was fine, though not exciting. From reading around, it seems Toast and Chloe's are going to be both mobbed and disappointing.

                          Second question: is there any frozen yogurt here? (We’re at Chavez and Church.) By frozen yogurt, I specifically mean the tart, yogurt-flavored variety. I'm bonkers about Fraiche's frozen yogurt, and badly wish there was one closer by, but in a pinch (and I find myself in these pinches, oh, weekly), I can survive on Red Mango and its ilk, too. I did hear that there was a Tuttimelon that closed.

                          We've just had a very happy few days of local eating, including more delivery from Spicy Bite and Henry's Hunan. Both were great--Spicy Bite's biryani and paneer tikka masala were yummy, as was Henry's shredded pork, ordered spicy. We also tried Spicy Bite's fish pakora, which CHers seem to have loved, but we weren't crazy about them. I think they suffered from being delivered, though--they must be better in-house. The people at Henry's Hunan are lovely. And we finally went to the Noe Valley Cheese Shop: from the moment I walked in and smelled the stink of many cheeses, I knew I was going to be very happy, and after a couple of purchases of gouda, including one truly salty, funky aged version, I am.

                          Also, we had the chance to go to La Ciccia. A plate of lamb was cooked perfectly, and the fregua with tuna heart was delectable, both in terms of how it tasted and in the mouthfeel of the pasta. We had a gnochetti with pork dish that we liked a little less--the gnochetti were excellent, but the pork sauce fell a little flat. We still miss Lupa and Al di la in New York, which are our favorite stateside Italian restaurants, but La Ciccia is going to be a more than satisfactory substitute. The La Ciccia staff, as noted elsewhere, were particularly warm and welcoming. We'll be going back there very soon. Also, the fact that our weekend included meals at old favorites like La Taqueria and Koi Palace reminds us of how glad we are to be living here.

                          -----
                          La Ciccia
                          291 30th Street, San Francisco, CA 94131

                          Spicy Bite
                          3501 Mission St, San Francisco, CA

                          Pastores Restaurant
                          3486 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                          Henry's Hunan
                          1708 Church St, San Francisco, CA 94131

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: carbonara
                            Windy Aug 14, 2011 09:05 PM

                            Noeteca is really a wine bar/cafe with a toaster. They have good flatbreads, but the food is kind of a victory over the lack of an oven and kitchen.

                            No frozen yogurt, just the freezer section at Whole Foods or Mitchell's. (Try the sorbets and frozen bananas with nuts.) There's a dessert place on Chenery and Diamond in Glen Park, but not really worth it. Check out Tyger's for an old fashioned coffee shop breakfast.

                            BTW Pastores is now open for dinner, and she serves the breakfast menu including chilequiles all day. No brunch lines. Chloe's has its fans, but I've never understood why.

                            Henry's classic dishes: smoked ham, cold chicken noodle salad, pot stickers, and the hot and sour soup. Velvet chicken is good too for people who don't like spicy food.

                            The cafe on the corner of Diamond and 24th (used to be the Diamond St Cafe) has pretty good pancakes.

                            -----
                            Pastores Restaurant
                            3486 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                            Tyger's
                            2798 Diamond St, San Francisco, CA 94131

                            1. re: Windy
                              carbonara Sep 9, 2011 11:24 PM

                              Thanks, Windy. I tried out Mitchell's and was a little under-impressed, especially given the raves the place gets. Aside from sorbets and frozen bananas, do you have any other flavors you recommend? I'd tried their pineapple-coconut and chocolate chip.

                              1. re: carbonara
                                a
                                absc Sep 10, 2011 06:48 AM

                                My favorite flavor there is the pumpkin, but it is not available year round. My 9-year-old liked the oreo cookie.

                                1. re: carbonara
                                  Robert Lauriston Sep 10, 2011 09:55 AM

                                  The macapuno (sport coconut) is a really good and unusual flavor, though Mitchell's ice cream is fundamentally not to my taste. To me it has an unpleasant waxy finish.

                                  1. re: carbonara
                                    Windy Sep 11, 2011 11:42 PM

                                    Skip flavors based on vanilla and stick to unusual fruits: macapuno, ube, peach. Pumpkin, ginger, and Mexican chocolate are delicious.

                                    I also don't like their mango, despite it's popularity.

                                    1. re: carbonara
                                      t
                                      tex.s.toast Sep 13, 2011 08:26 PM

                                      The seasonal flavors at mitchells are my favorites (in addition to the aforementioned exotic fruits, the pumpkin pie, peppermint candy, and most importantly cinnamon snap - cinnamon ice cream with ginger snaps)

                                  2. re: carbonara
                                    artychokeasana Aug 15, 2011 08:22 AM

                                    Foreign Cinema has a very good brunch-and they take reservations. The house made pop tarts are well worth a try.

                                    Boulevard Cafe is my odd ball suggestion. It is in Daily City so you'd have to drive-but if you are down that way-to see a movie in Colma, to get house supplies at a big box store like Target or Home Depot ot to visit Fort Funston Boulevard Cafe is good for a classic brunch with full bar. It almost has an east coast greek diner vibe-and it is in a renovated Lyon's space. It's a strictly neighboorhood type place but the owners are proud of it and spend plenty of time there and it shows. The prices are also very Daly City not SF. At lunch or dinner I have a hard time not ordering Zucchini Cakes-sadly not on the brunch menu.

                                    -----
                                    Boulevard Cafe
                                    2 Poncetta Dr, Daly City, CA 94015

                                    Foreign Cinema
                                    2534 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110

                                  3. carbonara Sep 9, 2011 11:19 PM

                                    Another quick update: really enjoyed both Inkas and the burritos at Little Chihuahua. That spicy yellow sauce at Inkas was delicious--I wished I could just get a jar of it to take home. Plus, I love their friendly $8 corkage fee. Thought Inkas vastly superior to La Mar, and wallet-friendly to boot.

                                    Hahn's Hibachi, though--we finally tried it last week and that place almost made me cry, literally, from disappointment. I understand that Noe might not be a place to find truly authentic Korean, but what the heck was that brown goop they poured over the barbecued meat? Why was the gochujang so weird and watered down? Who in their right mind charges for banchan? And how can anyone, anyone charge for kimchi, especially such soggy, flavorless kimchi? I guess we should have known as soon we walked in and opened a menu that was printed only in English, but this was by far the worst Korean food we've ever had. It barely tasted Korean--the barbecued beef tasted like a cousin to a sad late-night meal I once had in Lisbon, of all places. It wasn't just shoddy Korean--it was shoddy food, period. Haven't felt this outraged about a meal for a while. Bah!

                                    On the other hand, the Noe Valley Cheese Shop continues to warm and warm this turophile's heart.

                                    -----
                                    Inkas Restaurant
                                    3299 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                    Hahn's Hibachi
                                    1305 Castro St, San Francisco, CA 94114

                                    Little Chihuahua
                                    4123 24th Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: carbonara
                                      wolfe Sep 10, 2011 08:19 AM

                                      "but what the heck was that brown goop they poured over the barbecued meat?"
                                      Emile Villa;s secret sauce?

                                      1. re: carbonara
                                        Robert Lauriston Sep 10, 2011 10:08 AM

                                        I think once upon a time the original Hahn's Hibachi on Clement had some real Korean food, but as it expanded to a chain it got more and more focused on pandering to non-Koreans. They've been in decline for a while, down to four branches from at least eight at their peak.

                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                          Melanie Wong Sep 10, 2011 09:31 PM

                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4099...

                                          1. re: Robert Lauriston
                                            Tripeler Sep 10, 2011 11:09 PM

                                            My wife and I had an early dinner at Hahn's in Noe Valley this past May.
                                            I found it remarkably de-ethnicized, and just chalked that up to the location.
                                            It was sort of Asian-esque, but not really Korean as I know it.
                                            My wife says she has no particular memory of it, and likely it is "not worth discussing on Chowhound."

                                            1. re: Tripeler
                                              Windy Sep 11, 2011 11:44 PM

                                              long ago you could get decent kalbi or jap chae at Hahn's. But the Noe branch was always awful.

                                              1. re: Windy
                                                drewskiSF Sep 11, 2011 11:48 PM

                                                *long ago* is the key phrase. Sorabol is more authentic . . . and that's not saying much! ;-)

                                                1. re: drewskiSF
                                                  Windy Sep 12, 2011 11:13 PM

                                                  Sorabol has good tasting meat. It's not comparable to the best Korean in the city, but I think for a food court, that's saying a lot.

                                        2. y
                                          yanks26dmb Sep 13, 2011 09:44 PM

                                          Fattoush is AWESOME. It doesn't try to be anything it isn't. It's just really great middle eastern food done very well. Definitely under the radar, but a place I'd love to near.

                                          1. m
                                            MaggieJ0531 Feb 28, 2012 09:47 AM

                                            I recommend the Front Porch (29th) and Emmy's (Mission and Virginia) -- they both have good food and fun atmospheres.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: MaggieJ0531
                                              v
                                              vulber Feb 28, 2012 09:54 AM

                                              emmy's is not noe, and wouldn't really consider front porch either (although it also depends if you accept the new neighborhood of "la lengua"

                                            2. n
                                              NoeMan Feb 28, 2012 03:27 PM

                                              I am shocked no on has mentioned Lupa. Great neighboorhood authentic Italian. Try it, you'll like it

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