Late Night at 15 Romolo: The Smiths, Frat Boys, and High-Flying Wings
Through San Francisco's Bada Bing! landscape of strippers and cannolis runs an alleyway with a bar that defies geographic guidelines. Hipsters in jean jackets and dark-rimmed glasses sing along to the Pixies and the Smiths on the jukebox, while frat boys get a straight and simple "Nope!" from bartenders when they attempt to order a Long Island Iced or Tokyo Tea. Arrive at 15 Romolo in North Beach late on a Friday and you won't find many embellishments, just the aforementioned people-watching, artisanal cocktails, and a kitchen that serves until 1 a.m.
Carina Ost The fried-banana-and-Nutella Challah at 'Cha Boy. Pickles: bad. Pickle juice: good.
There's a burger that comes with peanut butter and bacon if you order it Yo-Mama style, but SFoodie felt compelled to try the Challah at 'Cha Boy (challah with fried bananas and Nutella), with the very unkosher addition of bacon and the very kosher addition of pickles, bizarre to say the least (this from someone who has eaten bacon-wrapped matzo balls). We removed the pickles, and actually appreciated their residual tang in the sandwich.
Still, the thing that stole the show at SFoodie's late-night grub fest were the chicken wings Boricuas. These suckers flew high, fried first, then paired with a chile-coconut cream and topped with cilantro, and lime wedges ready for the squeezing. There was the perfect amount of heat in these delicious bar bites, a compelling reason alone for making 15 Romolo our new late-night, under $10-per-dish food stop.
Also, if you need to call a cab later it's useful that the bar name equals the address. Just sayin'!
15 Romolo: 15 Romolo (at Broadway), 398-1359.