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The Best New Restaurants to Try Now
Rebecca Flint Marx and Josh Sens | Photo: Courtesy Uma Casa | March 16, 2017
Wood-fired pizza in Berkeley, Portuguese salt cod in Noe, and more.
A wood-fired oven burns in back of this table-service spot, churning out quick-blistered Neapolitan-style pies with toppings both old-world and Cal-Med. A margherita is kept simple, though offered with an optional duck egg, and a quattro formaggio pizza is exactly that, except that its four cheeses betray a trace of smoked maple syrup. This being Berkeley, you can also get your pizza gluten-free. 2016 Shattuck Ave. (Near University Ave.), 510-225-9467 J.S.
Berkeley Social Club
This jaunty Korean-American mash-up is an identity-shifting all-day joint. In the morning, the menu leans more West than East, its Asian-inspired dishes (seafood pancakes, rice porridge) far outnumbered by the likes of salmon Benedict and Brussels-sprouts-and-chorizo hash. Come evening, though, the axis tilts toward bulgogi and pork belly rice bowls. At happy hour, there’s Korean-style fried chicken. It’s the kind of place where you go on your way to a hangover, and then again the next day when you’re looking for a cure. 2050 University Ave. (Near Shattuck Ave.), 510-900-5858 J.S.
Former Tacolicious chef Telmo Faria has taken over the former Incanto space with his interpretation of Portuguese cuisine. That translates in part to a lot of seafood, including the vaunted bachalau, or salt cod, served both in croquettes and as part of a layered (and extremely salty) dish of potatoes and caramelized onions. A caldeirada, or seafood stew, is scented with saffron, while a litany of small plates includes arroz de pato, or rice with duck. Painted tiles offer a bit of Lisbon on Church Street. 1550 Church St. (At Duncan St.), 415-829-2264 R.F.M.
A casual public house that operates all day, this Rockridge newbie offers a compact breakfast menu that makes way for lunchtime sandwiches and then, at dinner, for sharply executed comfort food. The burger, garnished with cheddar and caramelized onions, is beautifully basic. And the grilled salmon, with beurre blanc, sunchoke purée, and sautéed kale, is the sort of dish that more skilled home cooks would make if they only had the time. The bar, stocked with craft beers, is a cheerful spot to sit, but the entire place gives off a cordial vibe that every neighborhood haunt should have. 5422 College Ave. (Near Kales Ave.), 510-871-3463 J.S.
Originally published in the March issue of San Francisco