Table Stakes: January

Hurricanes, gelato and a bar devoted entirely to rum

January 27, 2017 9:00 am

To keep tabs on every San Francisco restaurant and bar opening is folly. But to keep tabs on the most worthy? Yeoman’s work, and we’re proud to do it. Thus we present Table Stakes, a monthly rundown of the five (or so) must-know spots that have swung wide their doors in the past thirty (or so). Bon appétit.

Alba Ray’s

In brief: Chef/co-owner Adam Rosenblum cooked on New Orleans’ St. Charles Avenue (at Donald LInk’s Herbsaint) before heading west to launch this project so deeply felt that it’s named for his daughter and his business partner’s son. 

Order this: Small plates of gumbo and boudin balls, followed by blue crab stuffed flounder and Cajun shrimp with grits. Wash it all down with a round of Hurricanes, natch. 

2293 Mission St. (map)

Uma Casa
Noe Valley

In brief: If you’ve ever sat at a restaurant overlooking a Portuguese beach and desperately wanted to approximate the experience back home, Uma Casa will get you there. 

Order this: The carangueijo — marinated dungeness crab with aioli and grilled bread, with sides of peri-peri chicken wings and polvo na chapa — charred octopus served with turnips. 

1550 Church St. (map)


In brief: A so-serious-about-their-craft gelato spot that the two Milanese founders enrolled at the Carpigiani Gelato University in Bologna to study the craft. 

Order this: A $12 pint of pistachio for the freezer and a small cone of pistachio to go. 

685 Harrison St. (map)

Halal Guys

In brief: The New York food cart sensation makes its Bay Area debut. It will delight you at lunchtime, especially if you prefer your sauces in terms of “red” and “white.” 

Order this: The gyro platter, with a side of fries, another of hummus, and then a baklava dessert. (Two packets of white sauce and one of red included.) 

340 O’Farrell St. (map)

Over Proof

In brief: A wonderfully high-concept quarterly pop-up bar above ABV, with a three-month deep dive into a spirit of choice, plus food “accompanied by (necessarily paired with)” said beverages. First up: “Flip Flop,” and appropriate rum drinks. 

Order this: Well, it’ll have rum in it — perhaps the Pink Flamingo, with rhum agricole, lime, pineapple gum, and absinthe. Plus Clam stuffies with andouille, Cherry Stone clams and lemon.

3174 16th St. (map)


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