Last night I went to Kusakabe in Jackson Square, which like Maruya in the Mission, is a welcome addition to a city not known for its traditional, high-end sushi restaurants. The restaurant headed by chef Mitsunori Kusakabe, formerly of the Michelin-starred Sushi Ran in Sausalito, is made up a long bar, which last night was seated primarily with Japanese patrons whispering over the musak and exquisitely prepared food. The singular, $95 kaiseke-style menu featured buttery slices of bluefin (I opted for the "don't ask, don't tell" method of dining, so I don't know if the fish came from a farm or from the wild), followed by warm dishes such as tofu fried in popped rice topped with crab and set in a savory broth, and a grande finale of wagyu beef, torched briefly and laid across a thumb's worth of rice. The latter is something I experienced for the first time when I went to Tokyo and, as the food memories can do—just like that, I was traveling again. —Sara Deseran
Last Friday, I went to St. Vincent, where I ate an extraordinary amount of exceptional food. David Lynch’s restaurant has evolved since its opening two years ago, when it was considered to be a straight-up wine bar, into a full-bore restaurant serving gutsy, beautifully nuanced dishes. My inner carb-face could happily eat the soft pretzel that seemed to be on steroids, served warm with mustard and Maldon-flecked butter, every night of the week, but I was most taken by a little porcelain bowl of green coriander soup with blueberries. I have never seen such a vibrant shade of green, at least within the confines of a soup bowl—think Kermit meets matcha meets wasabi. And the flavor matched the color—sharp, bright, and wonderfully alive. —Rebecca Flint Marx
Everyone might think they can make a sandwich but in truth, a perfect sandwich takes as much thought as any other good food. Naked Lunch has their sandwich game down pat. Luckily the lunch and dinner spot is in North Beach, just a quick walk from our offices. I went there on Tuesday for the salmon sandwich (above)—the soft bun almost aloft with butter lettuce and piquant pickled onions beneath it, and, because it was so good, I attempted to repeat the experience the following day. Unfortunately they weren't serving the salmon, so I opted instead for fried green tomato sandwich, another winner. I sat at the bar, ate my lunch, and watched the World Cup at the bar while Ryan Maxey, Naked's endlessly friendly co-owner, refilled my sweet tea. —S.D.
Last night, I ate my way through much of Stones Throw’s new summer menu, and all I can say is that while the food may be seasonal, its pleasures are year round. Chief among them was an avocado and burrata salad punctuated by sweet sungold tomatoes, nubs of infant cucumbers, and crunchy shards of lavash. For me, the burrata was the knock-out component, creamy, rubbery, mild, and sweet. A further illustration of the principle, in other words, that when you have ingredients of this caliber, you just stand back and let them do the talking. —R.F.M.
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