Luna Bar & Restaurant: A Favourite Neighborhood Vacation spot – San Francisco Bay Occasions

Luna Bar & Restaurant: A Favorite Neighborhood Destination - San Francisco Bay Times

By David Landis, The Homosexual Gourmand–

In search of a neighborhood restaurant gem that’s worthy can typically be a problem. There are quite a few take-out locations or fine-dining eating places, however typically there isn’t any in-between. It is laborious to discover a place to sip a well-crafted cocktail, sit down, and be served a correct, well-prepared meal.

So when playground closed within the Mission District, there was a second of mourning over the lack of an amazing American bistro inside strolling distance of so many residents. Fortunately, reincarnation exists! The brand new Luna Bar & Restaurant has risen from the ashes on Valencia Road. It is a extra modern culinary journey from a pedigreed crew, the house owners of Wanderer’s Tavern. And sure, the venue nonetheless affords an inexpensive and attractive meal for lunch, brunch, blissful hour, or dinner.

The expertise begins on the door with Danny, your welcoming host and supervisor. The ambiance is boisterous and enjoyable, it might get loud at occasions. Nevertheless it’s all a part of the ambiance, which makes for a enjoyable expertise. The inviting bar, with an illuminated, elevated liquor shelf, traces the primary half of the restaurant alongside the right-hand aspect, inviting diners to take a seat down and work together. Additional again into the restaurant, there is a heat, brown inside that is punctuated by purple leather-based banquettes accented by provocative modern paintings on the partitions.

Chef Michelle Matthews has achieved one thing distinctive: making American excessive consolation meals extra fascinating with an Asian twist that surprises and delights. No surprise. His durations embrace essential New York pillars corresponding to Picholine (a Homosexual Gourmand favourite), and Daniel. Earlier than operating Luna’s kitchen, he additionally labored in San Francisco Kaiyo. She retains a watch on the kitchen, however Luna is the sort of place the place Chef Michelle likes to amicably serve clients when the restaurant is full (which is commonly).

Inventive cocktails like a hibiscus margarita and a gin thang (with watermelon, cucumber and lime) populate the intelligent drinks menu. As a substitute, we settled on a easy Chopin gin martini (completely executed) and Mendocino’s Skylark Pinot Blanc (dry and crisp, with hints of minerality).

Shifting on to the salads, I do not know why the new bacon dressing has gone out of fashion. It is without doubt one of the most satisfying accompaniments to greens, mixing cold and hot, flavorful and crunchy. Luna makes a winter inexperienced chicory salad with goat cheese, a soft-boiled egg, buttery selfmade croutons, and the aforementioned bacon dressing (with delicate anchovies). It could possibly be a scrumptious mild meal in and of itself.

Subsequent, we shared the juicy pork kebabs, which sported a touch of mango and cilantro – a surprisingly tangy mixture with simply sufficient warmth to make them sing. For our mains, we shared probably the greatest fried rooster tenders on the town. This is not your mom: It is Koji marinated in gochujang, sesame and scallions, a Korean scorching sauce I might eat any day.

We sampled the Reuben, which sported a kimchi slaw as an alternative of coleslaw, with the anticipated and deliciously moist brisket, Swiss cheese, and thousand island dressing. It is an unpredictable but scrumptious mix of East and West. Fortunately, the accompanying french fries had been further crispy as Mom Nature supposed.

The menu additionally affords a specialty of entire fish, with orange, pistachio, lime inexperienced sauce, chilli oil and salt. We did not attempt it, nevertheless it seemed extraordinarily appetizing and the neighbors eating to our left raved about it. Additionally on provide is a tempting Luna burger, poutine and a neighborhood king salmon.

For dessert we opted for the orange blossom crme brle, a style of spring in your mouth. It is one other instance of Chef Michelle’s inventiveness. She takes an everyday dish like crme brle and makes it authentic with a contemporary new ingredient.

Additionally, a spherical of applause for the wonderful server Daniela, who takes care of each want with ease, information and a pleasant contact.

In brief, Luna Bar & Kitchen is a superb discover. And it is a first-class neighborhood vacation spot, wherever you reside.

Bits and bites

I not too long ago had the pleasure of tasting among the greatest and most elegant Italian wines in the marketplace right now, from a family-run vineyard in Verona referred to as Sartori of Verona (which suggests tailor in Italian). Paired expertly with a tasty new-ish lunch Ula Restaurant & Tapas Bar at Union Sq., wines have actually confirmed their capacity to deliver out the very best in a wide range of culinary choices.

Recognized for its full-bodied Amarones, Sartori has simply launched a brand new complicated and scrumptious white wine, the Sartori Marani Bianco Veronese 2020. As a wine fanatic who favors clear, mineral whites, this 13.5% wine is, in accordance with the winemaker, a broad-shouldered white Amarone. This full-bodied but approachable wine from Garganega grapes is barely calmly fermented in barrels, so it has no oak taste. A savory zucchini and crab croquette, together with a aspect of crispy brussel sprouts complemented the wine completely.

The 2018 Sartori Regolo Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso vineyard (named after the winemaker’s grandfather) is greatest described as a small Amarone. It’s a mix of Corvina Veronese, Corvinone and Rondinella grapes. At 13.5% ABV, it packs a punch, however in a easy, resonant method. A fettuccine all’arrabbiata with olive tapenade introduced out the very best on this sturdy but refined wine.

The Sartoris stars, the Amarone Classico Reius 2016 and the Amarone Classico Riserva Corte Bra 2013, confirmed their versatility as a superb companion to the restaurant’s seared tuna (with dried fruit compote), in addition to the lamb shank with purple wine and mushroom risotto with asparagus and Gorgonzola. These wines are refined and basic, with muscularity (15% ABV) and dignity. Above all, they’re tasty. Sartori wines can be found on the Ula restaurant and likewise on-line by way of Whole Wines, BevMoAND

I hear good issues about Coho, the brand new seafood restaurant that has taken over the outdated Vasco house in Mill Valley. The creators are Luigi Petrone and Felicia Ferguson, the kids of Paolo and Domenico Petrone (who based Piazza D’Angelo, and who additionally handle Desk spoon AND Dry Creek kitchen in Healdsburg).

Within the how good however native class, The Ritz-Carlton in San Franciscos lounge has launched artistic new libations representing a collection of the town’s iconic neighborhoods. Cocktail choices embrace: Seville negroni (representing North Seaside and made with Tanqueray Sevilla, Spanish vermouth, Campari and orange bitters in a Riedel Rocks glass); Good luck (representing Chinatown and made with Tanqueray Rangpur, kumquat/ginger syrup, ginger lime liqueur in a vampire glass); AND In love with Charles (representing Karl the Fog and the Golden Gate Bridge and made with Belvedere, purple grape and hibiscus syrup, elderflower liqueur germaine, aquafaba and lemon juice in a Riedel coupe glass).

I am additionally blissful to see that there is a deliberate revival of the well-known Espresso Flower within the Castro. Who hasn’t spent many hours lounging all day over a powerful cappuccino at this nice indoor/outside nook cafĂ© at Noe and Market? New proprietor Serhat Zorlu plans to reopen within the coming months as a sustainable seafood restaurant referred to as Fisher and Flora.

Luna Bar & Restaurant:
Sartori Di Verona:
Ula Restaurant & Tapas Bar:
The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco:
Fisch and Flore:

David Landis, aka The Homosexual Gourmand, is a foodie, freelance author and retired public relations knowledgeable. Comply with him on Instagram @GayGourmetSF or e-mail him at:

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Printed on April 6, 2023