Naming The Top Restaurant Standbys of 2010
- Carolyn Alburger
As is the tradition at Eater, our closeout of the year is a survey of friends, industry types and bloggers. This year, we asked the group eight questions, from Meal of the Year to Top Standbys. Top Newcomers dropped earlier today. And all will be answered by the time we turn off the lights on Thursday. The answers here are in no particular order; all responses cut, pasted and unedited:
Q: Name your top restaurant standbys of 2010 — the restaurants you returned to most.
Josh Sens, restaurant critic, San Francisco magazine: Pho Ao Sen on International in Oakland and Indus Village on San Pablo in Berkeley. One a Vietnamese noodle house, the other a Pakistani curry joint. The only two restaurants I go to regularly these days on my own dime.
Paolo Lucchesi, San Francisco Chronicle Inside Scoop columnist: SPQR, Incanto and Zuni still top the list. Also went a lot to Zero Zero, Pizzeria Delfina, Mission Chinese and Comstock.
Sara Deseran, senior editor 7×7: Pizzeria Delfina in the Mission continues to be my regular spot. (I know—how predictable.) But I can only go so long before the craving for their margherita starts inching its way into my brain, ultimately taking over any rationale thought. Every time I go, I think I should have something else, but I never do. It’s just so zesty, so creamy, so bubbly crusty. Mmmmm. See? Same goes for the pierna enchilada torta at La Torta Gorda and the veggie taco with guac at La Taqueria. Nombe was another restaurant I found myself returning to a lot. I’m very sad that Nick Balla is departing but I see a bright future for him.
Katie Sweeney, editor YumSugar: SPQR, Pizzeria Delfina, 15 Romolo, Bin 38, Little Chihuahua, Tacolicious
Scott Hocker, Tasting Table SF: Arinell Pizza, Taqueria El Buen Sabor (its red salsa annihilates the celebrated one from Papalote), Delfina, Thanh Tam II, Los Panchos, Sandbox Bakery, Range
Stuart Schuffman, Broke-Ass Stuart: I think I probably went to Mr. Pollo at 24th and Mission. Manny’s arepas are amazing. I was averaging once a week for a few months.
Karen Palmer, editor Daily Candy SF: For newbies, I went to Citizen’s Band, Hog & Rocks, Prospect, and Zero Zero quite a bit. Older faves include Monk’s Kettle (mmm, lamb burger), Beretta, Dosa on Fillmore, and Lupa Trattoria (yes, that tiny Italian place in Noe; the secret is out!).
Virginia Miller, The Perfect Spot SF: Favorites I continue to return to for taste and value… Kappou Gomi (my favorite non-sushi Japanese restaurant), To Hyang (delightful non-BBQ Korean spot where mom cooks, daughters are waitstaff), Curry Village (one of my tops for take-out), the house (ever excellent seafood), Alembic (for cocktails and bites), Aziza (years later, it still wows, even improving with age).
Brock Keeling, editor SFist: HRD Coffee Shop, Ironside, Marlowe
Kevin Blum, founder SF City Dish: Spruce, Town Hall, Sheba Piano Lounge, NOPA, Liverpool Lil’s, House of Prime Rib, Burritt Room, and The Buckeye in Mill Valley
Michele Mandell, publicist: SPQR, Perbacco, Out the Door, Okoze, luella. And Mission Chinese Food (delivery). The Cavallo Point veranda also deserves a mention, though it’s not in SF.
Carolyn Jung, Food Gal: Betelnut (an oldie but goodie that’s always innovating), Gott’s Roadside (gotta get my fix of the ahi burger and sweet potato fries), Attic (San Mateo; for killer adobe wings and a fun vibe on the Peninsula), and A16 (because the pizza, pasta and fabulous wine list never disappoint).