I try to avoid B Patisserie for fear I will fall prey to the siren song of Belinda Leong's buttery, sugary, drippy, messy, stupidly delicious koignamann—but the other day, my car did a U turn in the middle of California Street and parked right in front. Of course I bought a koignamann and then I tried to drive while tearing into it (the crackling sound of a perfect koignamann being torn into is something extraordinary). A few seconds later, it was like a croissant had been murdered at the wheel. Flakes everywhere. Me driving with my palms, greasy fingers extended, desperately searching for and failing to find a napkin. Wanting to take another bite but knowing better. Much more dangerous than texting and driving. —S.D.
Sandbox Bakery in Bernal Heights one of my other favorite bakeries in the city. Though their muffins and croissants and curry buns are all top notch, what I really go for is their rice burger--essentially two massive sticky rice patties sandwiching a slab of seasoned tofu, pickled carrots (essential), and tomato, all wrapped in nori. I'm not sure it's technically good for me considering the fact that it weighs a thousand pounds, but I'll gladly pretend it is, scarfing it down like the good vegan that I am most definitely not. (They make a fried chicken version for those less virtuous.) —S.D.
Last night, in need of some kind of sustenance before a black metal show at the Great American Music Hall, I stopped in to Yemeni's, an unassuming Sutter St. restaurant that happens to sell one of the best falafel sandwiches I've eaten in a long time. Although the falafel itself is just dandy—in addition to being tender and deeply flavorful, it's uncommonly plentiful—it was the pita bread that truly won my affections. Whereas a lot of pita serves as a bland, doughy vessel for its infinitely more tasty innards, Yemeni's appears to griddle theirs, which makes it alternately crackly and soft, and spotted with black blisters. You could spread rubber cement on it and it would still be relatively appetizing; fortunately, Yemeni's instead uses hummus, and it's damn good hummus at that. Needless to say, mine was a sandwich with a very short lifespan. —R.F.M.
The other day I finally got around to checking out Uno Dos Tacos for lunch. I was more or less expecting a home-grown version of Chipotle, and while the food isn't going to make an instant fan out of Diana Kennedy, the vegetarian and fish tacos I had were eminently delicious. I was particularly taken with the fish, which was battered and fried to improbably light and crispy perfection. Its vegetarian counterpart was likewise very respectable, thanks to a bounty of mushrooms, zucchini, onion, mustard greens, and peppers that were actually cooked properly, unlike those found in the vast majority of vegetarian tacos—I mean, how often do you see mustard greens in a taco, let alone well-cooked ones? Also of note: the corn tortillas, which are apparently made fresh. It shows: they're sturdy but pliant and actually taste like corn. Like Yemeni's pita, they're not just a worthy vehicle; they're capable of stealing the show. —R.F.M.
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