I just wanted to report on a great meal experience at Canteen in SF. It's a tiny spot tucked next to the lobby of a cheap hotel in a not-so-great neighbourhood. No points for great design or anything, but it's cozy and the staff are friendly and knowledgeable. The wine list is short and well-priced, with some eclectic selections. You get to choose from 4 appetizers and 4 mains. Meat, fish and vegetarian are all represented. I think there are 4 desserts too. I'm guessing they change the menu often, perhaps daily.
Anyway, I had poached squid to start, which was perfectly cooked and came on a bed of lentils. Delicious. My wife had an escarole and raw artichoke salad, Interesting textures. Generous portions. For my main coarse I had swordfish with paprika/tomato sauce smeared on top, and roasted vegetables below (including potatoes and cipollini onions). Great! My wife had a roasted mushroom vegetarian main. It was rich and meaty tasting. Dessert was a vanilla soufflé.
We like restaurants that are unpretentious but have great food, and we'll definitely return to Canteen in the future. Every city (every block!) deserves a spot like this.