Cole Valley -- anything worth eating?
Is there anything worth eating in Cole Valley? I like the almond croissants at the Boulange and the burgers at Kezar (Cole and Carl) but haven't been to Eos in at least a decade, don't like the looks of that Bambino place and am not excited by these crepe chains. I guess there's an old fashioned ice cream place opening soon. Anything I'm overlooking? How's that no name sushi spot or the other one next to Bambino?
Been here for over 4 years, and while there aren't super standouts overall, there IS some great food here. Both Reverie and Kezar do a great job of letting their staff make delicious Mexican food. The huevos rancheros, pozole, and fish tacos at Reverie are pretty delicious, and I rarely order anything besides the enchiladas at Kezar (except sometimes the mussels or potato pancake/andouille sausage combo) They are made with a homemade green sauce, and come with a nice avocado salad on the side; goes perfectly with the Karmelit Tripel on tap.
Happy hour at EOS is worth checking out - 5 to 7 Sunday to Thursday, though I feel the wine quality and general interestingness has gone down since their old bar manager left. (Anyone know where to? Kind of late 30s guy with shaggy brown hair? Blanking on his name...)
Hama Ko is fun and solid if you go in with the right attitude. Had very memorable meal there, sharing sake with owners while they showed us their old photo album with pics of Yo Yo Ma playing in the restaurant. Is it the best sushi in the city? no. But it's a different kind of experience.
And though not technically Cole Valley, Alembic is close enough to be dangerous. My favorite bar in SF, and the food is not given nearly enough attention by most. Everything I've had there is far far better than it needs to be, particularly the artfully composed salads. Oh, and mmmm duck hearts!
Though it's a chain, the smoked trout salad at Boulange is a standby for me. Taboun, just up Parnassus has solid Med. food, including nice chicken schwarma, Kefta kebabs, and an ample veggie combo plate.
As for Zazie, my mind still boggles every weekend day at the hoards of people waiting to eat. Most would be better served ambling down to Masonic and eating the fabulous brunch at Magnolia (crabcake benedict and pork belly grits!)
Haven't tried the new Bacon Bacon spot at Ashbury and Frederick, but had their food from the truck before and it's solid. The egg sandwich they are offering sounds pretty tempting (egg, bacon, bacon jam, and arugula).
And just checked out the new Ice Cream Bar today -- this is a huge win for the neighborhood. Fun sodas and ice cream, with super knowledgeable soda jerks, and once they get food going, it should be even better.
Hama-ko is good, but not the best. worth a try, if you can deal with the sometimes slow, sometimes weird service. i think it is overrated by its cult following -- which it definitely has.
kamekyo: I love the chirashi at kamekyo -- i often get that to go. their tempura is not great.
boulange: i love the ham and cheese croissants from boulange, as a relatively light breakfast. their fruit tarts and fresh orange juice are good. sticky buns are also good.
Bambino's is just terrible -- it is like an italian restaurant you would expect to find in some suburb that had awful italian food. i don't understand that place, and how it draws crowds.
Zazie's for dinner is okay/good. hit or miss i'd say. seafood stew was bad. pork chop was decent. burger is decent. beef stew was good. desserts are pretty good, but a little sweet. i can't comment on brunch, as i generally hate brunch-type food.
revelrie has great casual food. i like their egg bagel sandwiches and their huevos rancheros.
say cheese has good sandwiches to go. it is also a really great cheese store / gourmet deli. we enjoyed their foie gras terrine thing. nice little anchovies / fish things, and various cured vegetables.
i like the ice cream at tully's.
eos: i don't like the type of food eos serves (fusiony), but the place has its fans. their desserts, including their ice cream, were excellent. i'd return for just that.
i don't think i'd go out of my way to have anything in cole valley. but it is a lovely neighborhood, and i'm there a lot as my girlfriend has an apartment there.
Zazie is good.
I'm not sure if they still do this, but sfweekly reported in 2010 that the cooks at Reverie were from the Yucatan, and did a weekly pozole. I'll try to hunt that down in the next few weeks if no one else chimes in.
Yes, it's in the Haight, but Alemic is just a few blocks away. Citrus Club across the street isn't spectacular, but they serve a really good seaweed salad with tofu.
According to Tablehopper, Ice Cream Bar is slated to open on Saturday the 21st. It's been in progress for forever.