[Full disclosure: I am a friend of the owner of this restaurant.]
After chowing at Jai Yun for lunch, we managed to squeeze in dinner at Shoopra Assyrian restaurant before catching the Butoh Festival at nearby Fort Mason.
If you've never had Assyrian food, this is the only place, I believe, on the West Coast. There are similarities to other Middle Eastern cuisines (falafel is one) but there's also some Turkish and Greek "influences" (cabbage dolmas, meat kabobs, pita and yogurt cheese balls). At least one dish is completely unique to Assyrian cuisine, the "cooba", which is beef meatballs cooked inside dough.
Everything we had was excellent. The soups are probably my favorite, celery and rice one night, split pea and rice another night. Also, Turkish coffee (yum, cardomon!) and the dessert platter are a must.
And I must remark, the decor is really nice. Shoopra is one of the nicest looking "family" restaurants in the city. They also have quality stemware and wine list.
Robin Davis of the Chronicle gave it a nice review when they opened almost a year ago. Sharon Stone and hubby stopped in a few weeks ago.
If the location was a little closer to the bustling sections of the Marina, then Shoopra would be more of a
"hot spot". A family restaurant this classy and unique certainly deserves to be, IMO.
3301 Buchanan Street
San Francisco, CA 94123
p.s. A quick note on "Assyrian"... this was an ancient culture located where modern day Iraq, Syria, and East Turkey are. There is now an Assyrian population living mostly in Chicago and the California Central Valley. They are mostly Christian, not Muslim.