Home > Restaurant Reviews > I ATE • San Francisco • Bites + Sights + Restaurant Reviews

San Francisco is a great city, especially for foodies…they embrace food from every culture, kick it up a notch by inventive combinations and presentations and they’re all so dedicated to local farm-to-table products and the sustainability of our food sources. Very commendable that. And, then, there’s wine country in their backyard. 🙂

But, I think I may have to issue a ‘smackdown’ with the city because, despite what they say, they don’t have “great” pizza. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very good (really good) but SF doesn’t have a horse in the race with New York and Chicago. And, they definitely need a lesson (from a New Yorker, perhaps a Staten Islander) on how to make a clam pizza.

That said…I gained 5 lbs. in 3-1/2 days!

I spotted this fried fish and slaw sandwich in a window on Fisherman’s Wharf. I didn’t eat it (swear!).Alcatraz from the pier – as close as I wanted to get.A great way to kill some time after shopping the Ferry Building
with a plate of padrón peppers and a carafe of Rosé.A peek inside the ferry building. Are they not luscious?
I’d like to pop one in mouth right now.


La Mar Cebicheria, Embarcadero (Peruvian). I’d give this a whole bunch of stars from menu to execution to service to decor to location!

A fun ‘bread’ basket with 3 different pepper sauces for dunking.

Ceviche Mixto (Mahi Mahi, calamari, octopus and habanero pepper in ají amarillo, leche de tigre with cilantro, red onion, Peruvian corn and yam)

Causas (traditional Peruvian whipped potato with ají amarillo and seafood
or vegetarian toppings)

Anticucho de pulpo (Grilled octopus skewers, herbed mashed potato with chimichurri sauce and ají panca); and empanadas.

Picarones (Traditional warm pumpkin and sweet potato fritters with spiced Chancaca honey)

Beretta, Valencia Street (Mission)
This was one of the times when you happen upon a jewel of a restaurant…without a recommendation, without a review…just a ‘it-looks-good, stumble-in’ kind of experience. Warm and cozy and packed at 4:00pm on a Sunday afternoon, we knew immediately we were in for a treat.

We love tasting so after ordering a bottle of Montepulciano, we took a look at the menu and ordered a little of this and a little of that. It was our last night in San Francisco, after all.

Normally I would not include a photo of this quality but this dish was so delicious, I just had to share it. They call it ‘eggplant caponatina” (I call it caponata). Whatever…topped with burrata cheese and a drizzle of olive oil, it had a mix of soft eggplant, fresh tomatoes, slightly wilted celery, olives, pignolis and great flavor. I would highly recommend this dish, especially if you get some of their pizza bread to accompany it.Meatballs in spicy sauceCauliflower w/pan gratatto, capers and sagePizza: clams, tomato, provolone, garlic + sofritto

And just because the description was so enticing…Panna gelato with olive oil and sea salt.

[FOODalogue will now go back to regular scheduled posting and challenges. In a period of 10 weeks, I made trips to NY, South America and San Francisco. I’m finally totally unpacked, the luggage is back in storage and I’m happily looking forward to the holidays at home. ]

13 Comments, RSS

  • bellini

    says on:
    November 13, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    I absolutely adore your photo of the causas Joan. I want to dig in again aqnd savour every bite of this worldclass meal. It was a special night on the waterfront with two great New York gals:D

  • Peggy

    says on:
    November 13, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Sounds like a great trip to San Fran! Definitely one of the places I hope to visit one day!

  • My Carolina Kitchen

    says on:
    November 13, 2010 at 7:06 pm

    What a delicious assortment of food Joan. Love those delicious multi-colored tomatoes. They are beautiful.

  • Peter G @ Souvlaki For The Soul

    says on:
    November 14, 2010 at 4:55 am

    I’m so envious that you managed to explore the culinary delights of this fantastic, food-centric city Joan. I need to visit that Peruvian restaurant next time I’m there.

    • Joan

      says on:
      November 14, 2010 at 8:43 am

      Yes, Peter, I know you will enjoy it. Great food, very trendy, and primo location.

  • gail

    says on:
    November 14, 2010 at 9:40 am

    This is the Larry Flint version of food porn! XXX

  • Ben

    says on:
    November 14, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I really need to go back to SF to try more of that delicious food. Great reviews, posts and FOOD!

    • Joan

      says on:
      November 14, 2010 at 11:36 am

      You’ve got great food in Mexico City, too, for sure!

  • tasteofbeirut

    says on:
    November 15, 2010 at 12:23 am

    That Peruvian place is amazing!
    I loved San Fransisco because of its beauty, cafés, and being able to walk everywhere like we do in Europe and the Middle East. Miss that aspect in Dallas, Tx!

  • norma

    says on:
    November 15, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    It was a great time and sharting it with my old amiga even better. All the food and drink…but what I crave the most right now is the Padron Peppers….

  • Lori Lynn

    says on:
    November 16, 2010 at 10:29 am

    Thanks for sharing these pics Joan. sorry I missed the weekend there. La Mar is one of our favorites too. glad you had good time. Don’t think I’ve had pizza in SF…

  • Katie

    says on:
    November 17, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    Kudos on some great food photography in this post, Joan! My stomach is really rumbling now. I, too, can attest that SF is a great food city. I ate very well there a few years ago. I’m a bit hard-pressed to imagine that you gained 5 lbs. in just a few days, but after seeing the photos, I can imagine why! Who could resist all those delicious nibbles?

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