Italian restaurant in North Beach in the early 80's [San Francisco]
I used to go this North Beach restaurant all the time. It was on Columbus Ave-same side of street as Gold Spike It had red booths on the right when you entered and seating on the left where you could sit on stools and watch the cooking and sauteing. We had a great Yugoslavian waiter; the food was excellent and very reasonable. Does anyone remember its name?
I did a scan of the 1982 R. L. Polk City Directory (the latest available at sfgenealogy.com) for restaurants on Columbus Avenue. Here are all the ones I picked up between Broadway and Union Streets. The odd numbers would be on the same side of the street as Gold Spike.
309 Edna's Fish and Chips
314 Taj Mahal
317 Cafe Americain
321 Baby Joe's
325 Little Joe's
362 Cafe Europa
366 Original South Philly Cheesesteak
411 Caffe Puccini
414 Caffe Roma
431 US Restaurant
500 Curly's Coffee Shop
501 JB's Hamburgers
515 Anchor Cafe
519 A Slice of Life Pizza
527 Gold Spike
Here's a link to the 1982 directory. Restaurant listings begin on p. 189
I believe the restaurant you're thinking of was called Luigi's at 353 Broadway Ave. It was next door to Molinari's. It's possible the Yugoslavian waiter you mention was my father Americo. It was owned by another Yugoslavian named Mirko who along with Vlaho the chef made the best veal parmigiana I ever had.
The restaurant was in the movie "The Enforcer" with Clint Eastwood and you could just make out Mirko in the background.
YES! It is definitely Luigi's. To this day, all of us, who grew up in the area lament the lost of our favorite restaurant.
Correction to the address: Luigi's was on Columbus, between Broadway and Vallejo. Right next to Molinari's Delicatessen. The number 353 is probably correct because that would be the 3rd block of Columbus.
I still have never found a comparable pesto sauce, linguine with clams (white) or the best warm zabaglione in the world. My sister's favorite was carbonara. My parent's loved the stuffed sole.
After I married, I introduced my mother-in-law to the restaurant. She, in turn, introduced it to her colleagues at Sak's 5th Avenue. She patronized the restaurant so often that she and Americo recognized each other.
I had always wondered what happened to the restaurant. It was there one day and gone the next.