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Best Veal Parmigiana In SF?

  • h

Up until a couple of months ago, if anyone asked me, I could say that Little Joe's has the best Veal Parmigiana in San Francisco. I've been eating it since 1983, when I lived there. After that, I moved to Orange County, where we have not a single decent Italian restaurant I've found. So, I would travel to SF every couple of months, and without fail, always have at least one meal of Veal Parmigiana at Little Joe's on the trip.

Now, I've heard that the restaurant has closed for good. I've heard that many times in the past, when they had just moved. But now, it looks like it truly is gone for good (Franco looked sick when I was there a few months ago, and last time I was there, he was conspicuously missing from the restaurant -- very unusual for him).

So, given that there are still no decent Italian places down in Orange County, I will still need to go up to SF for my Veal Parmigiana. However, with Little Joe's closed, does anyone have any recommendations on where to go for the best? Not merely good, but outstanding Veal Parmigiana?

TIA

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  1. I haven't been there but since you are a VP expert please report on the version at the new Original Joe's.

    1 Reply
    1. re: wolfe

      Not an expert, just a lover. Original Joe's VP was just adequate when it was in the tenderloin. I don't suspect that it changed just because it moved to North Beach.

    2. little joe's didn't close, it just relocated to 7th and market

      4 Replies
        1. re: vulber

          FWIW, there's a 2/20/2012 post on Yelp saying this new location is now closed.

          1. re: drewskiSF

            Oh well, in that case, Original Joe's is probably the best bet.

            http://originaljoessf.com/menus

          2. re: vulber

            I heard that it relocated to 7th and Market, and then that location closed.

          3. If you are willing to cross the city limits, Joe's of Westlake in Daly City serves a serious VP.

            14 Replies
            1. re: DavidT

              How far is it from the Daly City BART stop?

                    1. re: Hoc

                      I've done it going to Gerry's (sadly now closed) in the mall across the street. Eight blocks, pretty much flat, good sidewalks. There are also a couple of buses. It's very suburban, the new Original Joe's is in a much more interesting neighborhood (North Beach).

                  1. re: Hoc

                    You can find cabs at DC Bart.

                    1. re: walker

                      I generally don't take cabs when in SF. I walk, BART or Muni.

                      1. re: Hoc

                        Daly City is not like SF. It's very suburban, like Robert said. It's not that long of a walk but you have to cross a huge intersection with freeway entrances and then cross a bridge over the freeway, it's not that pedestrian friendly. It's usually pretty windy and cold there too. There are buses (the #110 and #120) but they run infrequently and not very late at night.

                        There usually cabs waiting at the station, it would definitely make dinner more pleasant to take a cab at least one way.

                        1. re: pamf

                          I don't think the "huge intersection" is quite that huge. I am almost positive that the roadway that crosses over the highway (#280) does have sidewalks for pedestrians and I am sure that a number of people who live in the area do walk to & from the BART station to their homes regularly.

                          Should you decide to visit Joe's of Westlake, I would suggest sitting at the counter and watching the line cooks do their thing. They put on quite a show.

                  2. re: DavidT

                    I second Westlake Joes' ..big portion crispy breaded veal (or chicken) piquant tomato sauce, good fresh crispy bread...fun through the looking glass-time machine ..mid century modern place...! I have mine with a side of spaghetti with butter and garlic...
                    When you arrive at Bart it is downhill all the way to the restaurant...HOWEVER... after you're stuffed..it is all uphill after that!

                    I also remember having a good veal parmigiana at Gold Mirror..out on Taraval...the Muni Metro goes right by...

                    here's a link:

                    http://goldmirrorrestaurant.com/

                    1. re: ChowFun_derek

                      Marcello's, a little further out on Traval (at 30th Ave.), is another old-school Italian place that serves VP. I have not had it there so I cannot recommend it one way or the other.

                      1. re: ChowFun_derek

                        Just FYI -- I don't care about the portion size. Most US Restaurants serve too much food as a portion, anyway. What I care about is the quality and taste. Rather have a thimbleful of good soup than a bucket full of slop.

                        1. re: Hoc

                          Speaking of US Restaurants have you tried the US Restaurant on Columbus? Pretty sure they used to have veal parm and the menu now lists a US Parmigiana made with a beef cutlet. Don't think I ever had it in all the times I have been there over the years.

                          1. re: chocolatetartguy

                            I've eaten there. Very disappointing.

                    2. You could also try Sodini's Green Valley at 510 Green in North Beach.

                      1. I had the Veal Parmigiana at The Gold Mirror last summer. I quite enjoyed it, as well as the old-school SF vibe of the place.

                        And regarding the new North Beach Originals Joe's. I would recommend trying it as reports are they have seriously improved quality in their new location. They are trying to make a big splash in the new space.

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: Calvinist

                          I was told that the prices reflect its' new surroundings....has anyone been? Can you share about the cost as well as the food quality?

                          1. re: ChowFun_derek

                            Here is link to the menu pages for the new Original Joe's. You can check out the prices for yourself.

                            http://originaljoessf.com/menus/

                            1. re: DavidT

                              Well, the price for VP is about double what it was at Little Joe's, but if it's great, I'll certainly try it.

                              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                Thank you both.....the prices were higher than I had even imagined....25 dollars for sweetbreads? What a difference...

                                1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                  Old-school food at old-school prices, go to Sam's. I think sweetbreads are still $16, though I wouldn't be surprised if the new Original Joe's cooks them more carefully.

                                2. re: Robert Lauriston

                                  reports also say that quality has improved too; no more canned vegetables, no more pre-cooked spaghetti (in the examiner review)

                                  1. re: vulber

                                    When I went to the one on Taylor (for many years) the veggies were fresh.

                                    1. re: walker

                                      Most of the vegetables at the old place were fresh but Unterman's remark in her review was that they're now using fresh beets rather than canned in the chopped salad.

                            2. We moved a recommendation for Veal Parmigiana closer to home back to the LA board at: http://www.chow.com/topics/836564

                              1 Reply
                              1. OK, so I tried Westlake Joe's on Sunday. It was pretty meh. Veal was soggy, sauce was OK, but nothing to write home about, and the ravioli were so-so. Original Joe's in San Jose serves a better Veal Parmigiana, but even that one doesn't come close to the one that used to be served by Little Joe's in SF.

                                1. Marin Joes, in Corte Madera (no BART, only Golden Gate Transit busses for mass transit; sorry) was started by cousins of the original family of Original Joes and was a virtual imitation of that. Menu largely unchanged for many decades and of course has Veal Parmigniana.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: alfairfax

                                    I never really was impressed by Original Joe's Veal Parmigiana. The one in San Jose is OK, but nothing to compare to Little Joe's in SF.