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SF Lunch Series: Bocadillos (report)

Ruth Lafler | Aug 17, 200406:51 PM

Five hounds gathered on a peaceful Friday to explore Bocadillos -- the newest member of Gerald Hirigoyen's restaurant family. The menu at lunch is fairly limited -- there are no cooked small plates, just soups, salads and bocadillos (small sandwiches). The bocadillos come two to a plate, so we managed to order eight different ones, plus the soup of the day, five salads and a cheese plate. This was plenty of food for five people.

I wasn't taking notes, so I hope Kathy still has hers, but while all the sandwiches are well-made with good ingredients, only a couple of them stood out: the rich, spicy chorizo bocadillos and the lamb burger, with a hint of something hot and pungent (horseradish? hot mustard?). I thought the salads were a bit more interesting. The daily special "grain" salad was a bright, lemony couscous; the chicken salad had a surprisingly generous amount of moist, panko-crusted chicken breast; and the shrimp salad was also sparkling fresh. The red pepper soup was good, but not as good as mine.

The cheese plate was excellent, with four different artisinal Spanish cheeses accompanied with quince paste, fig (or date?) paste, and grapes. At $12 I thought it was a good value as well. The menu allows you to mix and match soup, salad and bocadillos, and the bocadillos plates come with a small salad of lightly dressed mixed greens. With a generous tip, the bill came to $20 each.

The interior reminds me of Piperade, with a nice balance of warm rustic elements (exposed redbrick, lighting fixtures on the wall that look like votive candles) and sleek, modern furnishings. Seating is limited, especially if you don't want to sit at the long communal table.

All in all, a very pleasant place for an informal yet upscale lunch.

710 Montgomery Street (at Washington -- note that while it's often described as being on Jackson Square, it is not). Open for breakfast and lunch weekdays and dinner Monday-Saturday.

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