SF Weekly's Seven Day Dish


Around Town:
Longtime contender for the best cup of joe in the Bay Area, Blue Bottle Coffee (66 Mint at Jessie) opened its first true cafe last week to much buzz, both figurative and literal, in SoMa’s refashioned Mint Plaza. The true star of the opening was not the cafe itself, but the rare $20,000 halogen-powered Japanese siphon coffee maker — the only one of its kind in the U.S. — which is said to take brewing to a new level of artistry, not to mention price: An 18-oz. pot costs $9-$11. For more info, call 510-653-3394 or visit www.bluebottlecoffee.net.

With that stubborn head cold spreading around the city like wildfire and the dreary, rainy weather to boot, some Vietnamese pho is in order this week. The classic broth-with-rice-noodles soup is served with bean sprouts, Thai basil, lemon or lime, red chile, and impossibly thin-sliced meat. Pho truly is the Vietnamese equivalent of Jewish penicillin (chicken soup), and while there are many divey, fluorescent-lit joints to get soupy in San Francisco, the SF Weekly’s Meredith Brody offers two recommendations. For warm ambience and cozy decor, try Pot de Pho (3300 Geary at Parker), where the high-backed leather chairs practically beg you to linger and the chicken pho is a sure bet. For more info, call 668-0826 or visit www.potdepho.com. For tried-and-true beef pho, check out nearby Pho Clement (239 Clement at Third Ave.), where the setting takes a backseat to the staggering 23 pho variations on the menu, but with the steaming broth and the forest of condiments, who’s looking at the decor? For more info, call 379-9008.

Weekly Planner:
Billed as “the most unique private underground supper club in the San Francisco Bay Area,” Cook with James Supper Club (1373 Masonic at Frederick) brings a welcomed element of speakeasy-type mystery to the local dining scene. This week, it’s your turn to get in on the proceedings. James’ Saturday dinner party will feature a menu full of classic Roman offerings, including pasta alla carbonara, tripe, and oxtail. E-mail james@stolich.com for reservations, stating the number of guests. For more info, visit www.cookwithjames.com.

Whether or not you’re a football fan, Super Bowl Sunday is a fantastic excuse to eat all kinds of decadent, finger-licking foods, and Mission mainstay Luna Park (694 Valencia at 18th St.) is happy to oblige: Behold the Tailgate Platter, a delivery/pickup-only combination on offer this Sunday starting at 2:00 p.m. It features a self-indulgent feast of pizza alternatives including Niman Ranch BBQ chicken and ribs, coleslaw, french fries, beans, and mashed potatoes, and costs $29.99 for two, $49.99 for four. For more info, call 553-8584, or place an order online at www.lunaparksf.com.

Date Night:
Fast, healthy, and gourmet may sound contradictory, but Castro newbie Frisée (2367 Market at 16th St.) has been pulling off the feat with charm to spare since opening a few months ago. With a menu of freshly prepared organic Californian fare for lunch and dinner along with a well-chosen wine menu and exceptionally friendly service, it’s a good pit stop on your way to catch a flick just down the street at the excellent Castro Theater (429 Castro). For more info, call 558-1616 or visit www.friseerestaurant.com. Through Feb. 4, the Sixth Annual San Francisco Noir Film Festival is bringing sexy, sinister celluloid rarities back to the big screen with 20 films in 10 days. For more info, call 621-6120 or visit www.noircity.com.

Night Cap:
Dress down, slip into your favorite sneakers, and check your attitude at the door, because Friday nights mean Nickel Bag of Funk at the Make-Out Room (3225 22nd St. at Valencia), where your nickel’s worth (door is actually $5) goes a long way. Resident DJs Jimmy Love, Duserock, and Bri-Thai spin a mind-blowing (and booty-shaking) mix of dancehall, baile funk, hip-hop, house, and, yes, classic funk. For more info, call 647-2888 or visit www.makeoutroom.com.

Coming Soon:
It’s time again to make the rounds of new joints sprouting up across San Francisco, starting in Hayes Valley at Blue Muse (370 Grove at Franklin), where French/Californian fusion fare is the name of the game. For more info, call 701-9888. Next stop, the Outer Sunset, where just-opened Cajun purveyor Boiling Crawfish (2333 Irving at 24th Ave.) offers some of that spicy Creole crawfish. For more info, call 663-6033. And finally, sate your sweet tooth at the Marina’s Sweet Dish (2144 Chestnut at Pierce), featuring a vast assortment of fancy and hard-to-find candies from around the world. For more info, call 563-2144.

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