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Restaurants & Bars 10

Three months of lunches

Windy | Jul 1, 200512:00 PM

Not too much to report. I've been busier this month, plus I've finally found a few good regular spots in the Financial District.

Oishii cafe--Market near Front. Thanks for the pointer to this closet-sized spot. I love the juicy, sticky teriyaki burger, although I can't figure out where they cook it. (Big sign that says, "we don't use microwaves.") Tasty if soggy fries. Call ahead, and your order will be waiting.

Sorobol, Rincon Annex--mediocre Korean steam table. Didn't mind the bulgogi, but like most of the places in Rincon center, Sorobol serves glorified cafeteria food in elegant surroundings. The veggie bowl (which is really bi bim bop) looked better, but no one offered me a bite. Self-serve kim chee.

Tida's on California, near Cafe Madeleine--okay Middle Eastern deli counter with nice table space and attractive assortment of quiches. I didn't love my couscous with cranberries and sundried tomatoes (the couscous itself was dried out), but the chicken pasta salad was good. Breakfast options looked good, and their takeout fruit and drink assortment is better than average.

Out the Door, Ferry Building--beautiful, competent, but uninspired Slanted Door take out. It's very busy at lunch time, and items are made to order which can take a while. Bun with bbq pork was decent; duck special over rice less successful. Desserts are quite good but pricey $4-5. $10 easy. Iced tea was good.

B&M Mei Sing, 2nd St--what a scene! This was fun. We took Robert Lauriston's advice and ordered from the wall and went upstairs with our poker chips and then weren't sure where the chopsticks and tea were. Food was delicered quickly. I liked my gloppy shrimp with snow peas. The roasted eggplant at the next table looked better, and we were sorry we hadn't ordered the fried sole, which everyone around us seemed to be eating. Cheap and mysterious, with a big menu and huge portions. We'll be back.

Delica, Ferry Building-- a pretty good option for takeout, although far from cheap. Bentos run $8-10. I got scallop cake, soba, green beans, and a croquette and seaweed. They sell bottled teas from Ito En, one of my favorite stops in NYC; try oolong.

Osha Thai, 2nd St--see my dinner report from a few weeks ago. Beautiful place, beautiful food without much taste.

Repeats from past months:

I've become a regular at Cafe Tomo on 1st, which offers a largely Japanese menu although they're Vietnamese. If they have the sukiyaki special, don't miss it: tender medium-rare chunks of beef with enoki mushrooms and cellophane noodles. Savory chicken porridge was delectable on a rainy day. The line is often out the door so go early or late. And get a Vietnamese coffee to entertain you while you wait.

Other favorite spots:
-Sapphire and Il Massimo (get the pastrami sandwich warmed before you move to sorbet; the cannoli looks better than it tastes, and the cookies disappoint. The staff is the best.).
-Bahn mi at Happy Donuts was only so so and more expensive than at Tomo; on the other hand, still $2-3 cheaper than the bahn mi at Out the Door and a lot happier.
-Specialties makes a PB&J on whole wheat with sliced bananas, apples, and pears that will make you feel like a contented kindergartner. I like the way they wrap the paper around them for catered deliveries. Don't forget milk.



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