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Jan 11, 2013 01:18 PM

Any place new and wonderful in the Castro? [San Francisco]

I'll be serving my annual ten day sentence in Noir City at the end of the month. Need recommendations for restaurants/takeout for lunch and dinner in the neighborhood of the Castro Theater, preferably quick and easy.

I neglected to post about the new places I tried last year, so away we go.

Still like:
Zapata Tacqueria - very good pozole and burritos
Rossi's Deli - good Italian deli sandwiches and an unusual selection of international cookies (Walker's, et. al.)

Good enough:
Firewood - pasta is good enough, salads better. Haven't tried the chicken because too messy for this event.

New places I tried:
Kasa - I enjoyed it. Probably not authentic, but the food was spicy and very savory and fast. I'll go here this year too.
Brandy Ho - Went here for Chinese NY. It was pretty good, but don't care for the dark atmosphere.
BiRite Creamery - Not my favorite ice cream, but did enjoy the Dainty Gentleman sundae (lavender ice cream plus)
New Orleans place down the block on Market - OK and now closed. They had po-boys on the weekend but I never got back to try them.

Plan to try:
Mollie Stone for prepared foods
Your recommendations?

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  1. Dinosaurs - vietnamese sandwich shop across from the library on 16th street is very good

    Eiji Tofu house / sushi has gotten good reports - we've not tried it as yet, but on our list

    Kasa is fairly authentic, IMO.

    Namu Gaji next to BiRite is also very good. Lots of places as you head in that direction


    1 Reply
    1. re: dlobo

      Thanks for the reminder about Noir City!

      +1 Namu Gaji if you're coming from Bart

      Dinosaurs is a good stop before going to the Castro Theater, and their banh mi are easy enough to sneak into the theater. Ike's is nearby too, but they're too messy to eat in the theater.

      Speaking of sandwich, M & L Market has fantastic pastrami. Long lines unfortunately and their hours are Tue-Fri 11:30 am - 4 pm.

      I asked a similar questions a year or so ago, lots of overlap with this thread and some other mentions.

      I'd be interested to hear a report on K-pop.

    2. It'/s not new, but have you been to Poesia?

      If Bi-Rite's not too far, then Namu Gaji, Delfina Pizzeria, and Bi-Rite Market for prepared foods.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Poesia is fantastic.

        Unlike most on this board, I do not like Frances. At all.

        There is a new Korean place on the corner of 18th and Castro that I want to try. Looks good to me but the bf is turning his nose up at it. From pressing my nose against the glass, the pickles (banchan) look nice. Might want to try them. This is quite close to Castro Theater and I believe simple walkin (don't know if they even take reservations).

        Since you want simple and maybe even takeout, Rosenberg's Deli on Noe just north of Market has good tunafish salad. :-)

        Farther away is my current favorite Japanese, Izakaya Yuzuki (but if you are going as far as Namu Gaji, walk the extra block, it's worth it).

        1. re: pauliface

          The new Korean place is K-Pop, menu looks pretty traditional:

          1. re: pauliface

            I tried K-Pop tonight (the new Korean place at 18th and Castro).

            While not as good as my other favorite Korean places in the city, I will return and I would recommend it for Castro eats.

            The banchan (those little plates of pickles and apps) were varied. There was a super tasty cooked yam, some nice brocolli, and a very tasty bean sprout. But the kimchi was not so great, and nor was the shredded daikon salad. At this point I was not hopeful (also because the yam and sprouts came only after I finished the broccoli; they brought more and at that point the best two came out. So the initial splay was not so hot)

            However for my entree I got a spicy beef soup that was amazing. It was listed on the card of specials on the table. A spicy soup with shredded beef (think brisket cooked until it falls apart into threads), egg, scallion, green beans, glass noodles, and I think some tofu.

            This was perfect for a cold night. Spicy, tasty, filling, delicious. I may go back for it again tomorrow.

        2. To answer the question in your topic, no. However, Rossi's also makes a great falafel sandwich. And their turkey is carved from the bird (vs. deli slices) so any turkey sandwich there is above average, by my standards. Great deviled eggs, too (and deviled egg sandwiches).

          Pizzas at Firewood are a good bet. I find the salads too expensive (though they are large enough). I've heard good things about the BBQ place on Castro between 18th & 19th but have not been myself. Thai House Express at 19th & Castro has good green chicken curry. I'm often in a rush for time in that part of town and settle for a slice of pizza. My favorite is Marcello's (Nizario at 18th & Castro is horrible).

          Finally, the upstairs sit-down area at La Taza is better than decent. I'm there fairly often for brunch, but the two times I've had dinner there were good too, and it's moderately priced and not too crowded.

          1. Frances, a great neighborhood place, though you typically need to book ahead.

            Maybe give them a call now and see if something is available?

            2 Replies
            1. re: RichInMV

              Poesia and Frances sound lovely but that week no time for dining. I'll have an hour and a half to get to the place and eat there or bring back food to the theater. And nothing too messy as I will be handling photographs and documents afterwards.

              1. re: chocolatetartguy

                I think Poesia could easily get you in and out fast enough if you mentioned your time constraints when you reserve.

            2. Canela is near the Castro Theater and is very good.