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Thoughtful and Fresh...Diner Food? Nombe's Izakaya Menu Proves it Can be Done

[rating: 4]

In my opinion, Nombe (pronounced "nom-bay") has been the best addition to the Mission's dining scene in the last year (in fact, I included it in the May edition of my Examiner series "Restaurants to Impress." The spirit of the area is completely embodied in the restaurant's concept: no-frills, relatively inexpensive, open late, a hip-without-trying-to-be vibe on the inside, and a unique menu (well close to it, as there are almost no izakaya-style restaurants in SF), that proves seasonal, sustainable, local, Japanese diner food has a place in this city...

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Degustation: One of NYC's Best Kept Secrets. Doesn't Advertise, Doesn't Need To.

[rating: 5]

First, the breakdown. The restaurant's concept: creative. The dining experience: unique. The cuisine: exceptional. The execution: flawless. The service: impeccable. The cost: cheap, considering the quality of what's being served. When you take each of those pieces and put them all together again, you get Degustation, a restaurant that ranks amongst New York City's finest...

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Gitane: If Only the Food Was as Flavorful as the Atmosphere

[rating: 3.5]

This restaurant has a lot going for it: owned by the same people in charge of Cafe Claude (one of my favorite restaurants in the City), good location, beautiful decor, lively atmosphere, outdoor seating, french/spanish small plates (rather unique in this city), an extensive cocktail menu, and listed as one of the 100 Best of the Bay this year. Whew, that's one impressive list!

It's like they thought of all the ingredients to make a perfect date environment, and if that's the reason you're going here, you will not be disappointed. Plus, they have mirrors on the walls so you can secretly watch other people without your date remarking on your wandering eyes!

What it doesn't exactly have going for it is the food, which is my bottom line. I can deal with a snippy server, minimalist decor, and a short beer/wine list if the food is amazing. I mean, the whole point of going to a restaurant is to eat, right?...Continue Reading

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Pesce - a Cut Above Your Average Neighborhood Italian


Okay you know the scene in the Godfather when Michael assassinates Sollozzo in the Italian restaurant? As soon as I walked into Pesce I felt like I was in a similar scene. Well, minus the white table cloths and the getting shot in the head part. This is a tile floored, wooden walled, no frills, neighborhood Italian joint that is taking a spin on "family style" by serving seafood tapas instead of giant platters of baked ziti. And it works...Continue Reading

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