Luzon Your Belts
A Filipino restaurant we want to linger at
San Francisco has a hard time keeping a date-night Filipino restaurant around.
Daly City and San Bruno are full of Filipino restaurants of the dressed-up-waiter, nice-china variety. But almost all of their S.F. counterparts serve from steam tables.
Three-month-old Kuta Bistro has higher aspirations. If you can’t tell from the name itself, you might take your cues from the burgundy walls, sleek black tables and prime sound system--for karaoke, of course.
The restaurant serves a short list of standards, heavy on dishes from Luzon, where owner Carol Vicente was born. Sisig and pancit aren’t Kuta Bistro’s strengths, but Vicente does serve a richer-than-usual milkfish sinigang ($14), its tamarind-soured broth rife with vegetables and meat. Her tortang talong ($7), a soft, whole eggplant dipped in egg and pan-fried, is no more substantial than a poll result.
Kuta Bistro’s best dish? Its kare-kare ($13), or oxtail braised in peanut sauce until the beef can be shimmied off the bone with a spoon. Hidden amid the quartered eggplants and long beans, you’ll find a little honeycomb tripe, too, funk-free and tender.
We’ve been there on nights when we watched Vicente greet half the diners with hugs. She’s so friendly, you may want to linger. We hope the restaurant does, too.
Kuta Bistro, 4994 Mission St. (at Italy Ave.); 415-859-9828 or Facebook