Though I don't usually like to frequent restaurants with "nuevo" cuisines or "pan-name-your-culture" themes, I wanted to post about Che. Che closed its doors on Saturday night after being open one year, and it was quite a sad occasion at the restaurant. Che was a fantastic nuevo latino restaurant on the scale of Patria in New York and significantly better than Calle Ocho.
They closed because rent was raised by some ridiculous percentage (50% + ) and a more reasonable deal couldn't be negotiated. With the rents sky-rocketing in San Francisco, it's a true loss when reasonable and excellent restaurants cannot survive.
Che had a fun atmosphere, a fun staff, and a great chef- Johnny Alamilla. Their menu was simple and concise; the food delivered pure, bold flavors. Entrees were primarily meat-driven and every dish was excellent. Though I usually do not like to order the same things when I frequent a restaurant, I always ordered the arepas and the Sonoma duck. It was always fantastic and I'm sorry to see them go. Additionally, they had an extremely reasonable wine list with many delicious wines from Chile and Argentina.
The positive is that the owner and the chef are looking to relocate in the city. News of re-opening can hopefully be found soon at the link below.