Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese Food
You might be surprised who the most recent person to think the Mission could be the next hot spot for Asian cuisine, but trust me, things are heating up in the neighborhood! The hottest spot (not only in the Mission, but perhaps in the whole of San Francisco) is Mission Chinese Food
. Chef Danny Bowien set up shop in Lung Shan Restaurant. What once was merely a pop-up has quickly gained notoriety as one of the top ten best new restaurants in America according to GQ’s Alan Richman. The Chinese-American fusion won’t break the bank like most other San Francisco establishments and if you are lucky you might just leave with your mind blown.
Must have dishes: Tea-Smoked Eel, Kung Pao Pastrami, Mongolian Long Beans (beware! This will leave your mouth burning!), Salt Cod Fried Rice.
Mission Chinese Food, 2234 Mission Street (at 18th Street), missionchinesefood.com
Another pop-up that I hope sets up permanent residence is Rice Broker
. After the closure of Spork last year, Rice Broker set up shop. The menu is fairly simple and fluid at this point, which keeps things interesting! You’ll love the casual and friendly atmosphere.
Must have dishes: Snack Trio: Pickled Daikon and Carrot, Sweet and Salty Coriander Peanuts, Soy Beans, Dandelion, Cane Vinegar; Crispy Chicken: Panko breaded chicken breast, pickled cabbage, shaved Brussels sprouts, Korean-style BBQ sauce
Rice Broker, 1058 Valencia Street (at Hill Street), ricebroker-sf.com
An Inner Richmond transplant, Namu Gaji
has arrived to the Dolores Park area. The new space consists mostly of communal seating with a limited number of “private” tables. If you didn’t take advantage of the old Namu, you might have to endure a longer wait time at the new location. Chef Dennis Lee is making waves all over the culinary map with the Korean fusion.
Must have dishes: Beef Tongue, Burger, Ramyun (only 24 orders per day)
Namu Gaji, 499 Dolores Street (at 18th Street), namusf.com
Another honorable Mission mention is the (fairly) new, Wo Hing General Store
. If you happen to be a cocktail lover this is the one stop that will satisfy your gluttonous craving for the spirits. Give the Scotch, Scotch, Scotch a whirl or try your hand at the Broken Flower. They also like to feature a “cocktail of the moment.” The atmosphere is modern and open. If you have a chance take a seat on a bar stool and take in the bartenders working their magic.
Must have dishes: BBQ Pork Spareribs, Bitter Melon and Salted Duck Egg
Wo Hing General Store, 584 Valencia Street (at 17th Street), wohinggeneralstore.com