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Restaurants & Bars 4

Fresca Noe Valley has its act together

nja | Oct 10, 200502:47 PM

I've been to Fresca in my neighborhood four times since they opened back in May. The first time was pretty much a disaster for food and service (e.g., ceviches arriving after we're halfway done with entrees). But things have steadily improved and the last two times have been great. I've posted before that Fresca Fillmore was my favorite Nuevo Peruano restaurant in SF, and I think Noe is now its equal.

Unfortunately the website is down so I can't provide exact dish names. But here's my best shot at my favorites: the ceviches (especially the halibut "5 Elementos"), causa cangrejo (a composed stack of crab, potato, and avocado), coconut fried shrimp, mahi mahi entree, halibut entree, and chupe de mariscos are all excellent. The only dishes I can recall not liking was the black ceviche (the texture of the squid was perfect, but there was almost no ink) and the wonton-like appetizer. I didn't care for the lomo saltado on my first visit, but since everything else has improved I think it's worth revisiting. I think the Soutomaior Albariño is a great match with the ceviche and other seafood dishes.

The place is packed every night, so I recommend making a reservation. It's also very noisy--easily the most boisterous restaurant in Noe. The occasional wailing baby (this is Noe after all) is usually drowned out by the rest of the noise. Some of the tables are arranged rather awkwardly in the middle of the room, so I suggest asking for a table along the wall, at the ceviche bar, or for maximum privacy one of the alcove banquets.


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