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POSTED August 28, 2014


There's been a swath of sit-down, ingredient-driven Mexican restaurants opening this year. The latest addition is Bandidos, opening in the Castro next Tuesday. The second project from Jesse Woodward and Dana Gleim (of Hi Tops, the much-loved gay sports bar), Bandidos will have a menu of Cal-Mex classics courtesy of Top Chef contestant Jamie Lauren. Dishes will include clams with chorizo ($18), duck confit tacos ($11) and a slow-roasted chicken served with fresh tortillas ($23). There will be a selection of tequila and mezcal cocktails, too, not to mention a flaming gin cocktail called the Smoking Gun.

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POSTED August 21, 2014

Jack's Oyster Bar & Fish House

There's a new fish destination in Oakland's Jack London Square now that Jack's Oyster Bar & Fish House opened this past Tuesday. The second project from Rick Hackett and Meredith Melville of Bocanova showcases fresh seafood preparations from chef Peter Villegas (La Mar, Campton Place), including squid ink carbonara, halibut fish and chips and a Maine-style lobster roll on a pretzel bun. There's an extensive raw bar, too. And just in time for Bay Area summer, there's outdoor seating—all the better to enjoy some warm Oakland nights. 336 Water St., Oakland

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POSTED August 14, 2014


This kiss is on our list: Beso opens its doors on 18th Street tonight, joining sister restaurant Bisou down the street. As the linguistic divide may imply, Beso will serve Spanish tapas in a similar vein to Bisou's California-fied French cuisine. Expect classics such as patatas bravas ($8) and paella ($32 for two), with changing seasonal specials featuring produce from the Napa Kitchen Garden up north. Try them all with sliced-to-order Serrano and Iberico meats, Spanish cheeses and a selection of Spanish and California wines.

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POSTED August 7, 2014

Urchin Bistrot

The newest Valencia Street destination: Urchin Bistrot, the latest endeavor from Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani, the minds behind not one, but two Michelin-star restaurants (Terra in St. Helena and SOMA's Ame). Urchin is the husband-and-wife duo's more casual effort and features a menu of seasonally inflected, California-influenced takes on modern French bistro cuisine: steak tartare served with fried oysters, lamb cassoulet, and a Hiro Sandwich packed with meatballs, bone marrow and jalapenos. Pair it all with French-inspired cocktails from Rafael Jimenez Rivera (most recently at Comal) and a selection of French wines.

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POSTED July 31, 2014


We love a good family restaurant legacy. So we've been anticipating the opening of Plin from Alexander Alioto of the storied Alioto's, which has been holding court in Fisherman's Wharf since 1925. This particular Alioto was the chef at Seven Hills in Russian Hill, and he's bringing those pasta chops to Plin, where the focus will be on handmade noodles (including his much-lauded raviolo al uovo) and fresh, Italian-style seafood. Other dishes include cold spaghetti with geoduck clams, chicken liver mousse lollipops and a beef filet served with fried oysters and mushroom agnolotti al "plin." Talk about our kind of surf and turf.

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San Francisco


  • Jack's Oyster Bar & Fish House
  • Beso
  • Urchin Bistrot
  • Plin


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