We continue with John Maloney’s selections for San Francisco. The time we look at his picks for top ethnic restaurants. Tomorrow, we go over the top with places where cost is not a concern.
L'Osteria del Forno (Italian) – From sfstation: “L'Osteria del Forno is an authentic Northern Italian bistro. Maybe about 25 people can be seated, and to say the least, it's romantic. Wine in water glasses, great focaccia bread, L'Osteria is about tasty food in an unassuming environment.” This is one that I have been to several times and also highly recommend. It is located in North Beach so stop at City Lights Bookstore first. The address is 519 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133-2801, Cross Street: Green Street Phone: (415) 982-1124
Taqueria San Jose (Mexican) CitySearch comments. “With vibrant orange walls and colorful murals, the ambience is a cut above the prototypical Mission joint. What distinguishes this taqueria from nearby competitors is its expansive selection of authentic fillings rarely seen elsewhere. In addition to the expected grilled steak, chicken and pork, diners can sample stewed tripe, brains, cabeza (head meat) and tongue.” (I think I’ll pass on the latter group but then the following looks good) “Super tacos come heaped with fresh guacamole and sour cream, and generous plate specials offer a choice of meats or whole, crispy, deep-fried tilapia fish.” It is located at 2830 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110-3908 Cross Street: 24th Street Phone: (415) 282-0203
The Helmand (Afghanastan) It gets great reviews. Afghanastan food is like a cross between Persian and Indian and closer to Persian which makes sense geographically. Samples include: Mantwo, pastry shells filled with onions and beef, Koufla Challow, meat balls seasoned and served with sundried tomato, hot peppers, green peas, and fresh tomato sauce over rice, and Theeka Kabab, meat marinated in sun-dried tomato, onions, peppers, and spices like cardamom, turmeric and cumin. It is located at 430 Broadway St./Montgomery in North Beach. (415) 362-0641) We also have one by the same name in Cambridge, MA which is excellent.
R & G Lounge (Seafood) sfstation says, “R & G Lounge is mostly known as that "quirky" karaoke bar, but it's also one of the best Chinese restaurants in town. So not only do you get a good laugh, you get great food. The salt-and-pepper prawns or crab and the oysters in a clay pot are very good. Also: A lot of the best plates are not listed on the English menu so ask the waiter for help or better yet, go will a couple of friends who read Chinese.” It is located at 631 Kearny St. San Francisco, Neighborhood: Financial District Tel: (415) 982-7877
Jai Yun (Chinese - Hong Kong) It offers a prix-fixe menu which changes daily depending on the ingredients available. The San Francisco Chronicle - October 30, 2002: "Chef Nei became an instant local legend when he instituted his 24-course, prix-fixe dinners. Since then, he has been recognized in other publications for his refined flavors and technique..." John Maloney adds, “It is a one-man show. He doesn't speak any English. His wife helps a bit. For $50 you get 22 courses, and it is up from there. Everything is from the market that day. A specialty is a fresh abalone egg white omelets. People actually applaud at the end of the service. There are only a few tables and only one seating per evening.” It is located at 923 Pacific Avenue, San Francisco (415) 981-7438
Matterhorn (Swiss) is noted for its fondue with nine kinds available, served in traditional style with a bubbling pot of oil and broth and accompanied by side dishes and condiments. choices include Fondue Ticinese: The Spicy One (a blend of Swiss cheese with pepperoncinos and tomatoes) and Fondue Allemagne: The Smoky One (a blend of smoked Swiss and German cheeses). It also offers Wienerschnitzel and other entrees like chicken and potatoes, or veal cordon bleu. Deserts include chocolate fondue and crème brulee. The interior is very Alpine with lots of blond wood and views of the Alps.It is located at 2323 Van Nees Avenue (Russian Hill) Tel. 415 885 6116
Recent Post Script from John - A highlt rated barbecue place. This is one I want to try.
Memphis Minnie's Bar-B-Que Joint & Smoke House
"Home of Swine Dining"
576 Haight St. (bet. Fillmore & Steiner Sts.)
San Francisco, CA, 94117 (415) 864-7675