At the restaurant Nopa in San Francisco's Western Addition, the long bar and communal tables are perfect places to perch on a weeknight. Go early, order an elderflower gimlet or a sparkling, minty Old Cuban (both off-menu). Don't miss the Mission School-style mural painted on the wall.
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One of my Top 10 restaurants of all time: NOPA
NOPA is one of my favourite restaurants. They do classic dishes with such precision. The waitstaff here are superb and try to deal with the expected lineups with ease and calm.
If you're alone, try to snag a seat at the big table near the reception desk. Just go and sit because noone will lead you there. It will be easier than getting a seat at the bar.
Their grilled chicken is moist and tender. The salad provides a nice balance. I also was delighted by their grilled corn. Their Bloody Mary is fantastic as well.
I can't say enough about this restaurant. Book a reservation as soon as you can. It's one of the most popular restaurants in North America.
How I researched SF: http://nearafar.com/2011/09/12/how-i-researched-san-francisco/
It’s known for being hard to get into, but being diligent enough to score a reservation at Nopa is worth every bit of your time.
This beloved restaurant, just north of the Panhandle near Alamo Square, is renowned for its simple, delicious New American food and specializes in organic, wood-fired cuisine; make sure that someone at your table orders the avocado toast and the grass fed hamburger—and steal a bite or two.
The food isn’t the only draw—Nopa’s interior is casual, cozy, and communal, with high ceilings (the space used to be a bank) and a mural on the wall done by a local artist.
Nopa is open seven days a week for dinner from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.; stop by Mondays through Fridays for bar snacks starting at 5 p.m. Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Reservations and walk-ins are available.
Remember when we were kids and you'd say "I love this" and some smart-alec would respond, "then why don't you marry it?" So when I said, "I love this custard French toast at Nopa," the next thought that came to my mind was "I could marry it." It's that good.
Everything else on the brunch menu, even the buttery and light soft baked eggs, should be eaten before the French toast because there's no comparison.
Reservations highly recommended.