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Four New Restaurants to Try Right Now

Farmhouse Kitchen Thai lands in Jack London Square, and Cal-Turkish comfort food settles into the Richmond. 

SLIDESHOW

Southern Thai–style fried chicken.

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Ya dong, an herb-infused hard liquor.

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The festive dining room at Farmhouse Kitchen.

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Lokma

Photo: Courtesy of Lokma

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Piri Pika

Photo: Gamma Nine

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Kantine

Photo: Courtesy of Kantine

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Farmhouse Kitchen Thai Cuisine
Oakland
Step through a doorway fringed by palm fronds and enter a sensory wonderland. Thai pop music plays on the stereo. Cloth lanterns dangle above a dining room bedecked in flowers and floral patterns. And, like its sibling restaurants in San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, this newcomer to Jack London Square cranks the flavors in its Thai cuisine to 11, fanning the flames on chilies and sharpening the tang of lemongrass and galangal. Seared wagyu beef rolls, wrapped in mint, capped with cucumber, and napped in a cilantro-lime vinaigrette, rank among the standouts on a menu that ranges from herby salads to grilled prawns brushed with red curry so fiery that it should probably come with a safe word. Another must-try is the turmeric-tinted southern Thai–style fried chicken, served with blue rice, roti, and yellow curry. It’s a poised but playful dish, emblematic of a sophisticated restaurant that’s not afraid to have freewheeling fun. 336 Water St. (near Embarcadero West), 510-419-0541 —Josh Sens

Lokma
Outer Richmond
San Francisco has no shortage of Cal-Med hot spots. But precious few places can match the charm of this all-day Cal-Turkish restaurant, where chef-owners Emre Kabayel and Neslihan Demirtas dish out entrées such as whole grilled branzino and yogurt-topped meat dumplings known as manti. It’s during brunch service, however—or, even better, on a weekday morning, when the atmosphere is languorous and inviting—that Lokma’s various influences coalesce in the most comforting ways. The pancakes, for instance—as fluffy as any in town—are made with Greek yogurt and might be accompanied by scrambled eggs studded with sujuk, a kind of spiced sausage. And the two-person Turkish breakfast is a massive spread of eggs, cured meats, hummus, Turkish-style clotted cream, and warm pita. 1801 Clement St. (near 19th Ave.), 415-702-6219 —Luke Tsai

Piri Pica
Mission
Chicken piri-piri—literally, chicken pepper-pepper—is a humble dish of a thousand faces in the Portuguese-speaking world. In the hands of chef Telmo Faria (Uma Casa), the grilled chicken gets ramped up to four different levels of chili-marinated heat. You pick your pain threshold and portion size (quarter, half, or whole bird), then pair the result with smartly executed sides. You can also get a fried chicken sandwich or swap poultry out altogether for skewers of piri-piri shrimp. As counter-­service spots go, the place checks all the boxes: fresh, satisfying food delivered swiftly. But if you prefer things scorching on the Scoville scale, consider bringing your own hot sauce; even the extra spicy might not do the trick. 590 Valencia St. (near 17th St.), 415-800-7994 —J.S.

Kantine
Duboce Triangle
This airy breakfast-and-lunch nook brings to Market Street a slice of Copenhagen café culture—and proof that there’s more to Nordic cuisine than the fine-dining sanctuaries that populate world’s-best-­restaurant lists. Kantine specializes in everyday strains of Nordic fare: poppy seed pastries, sweet and savory porridges, and smørrebrød, the open-faced sandwich that’s ubiquitous in Denmark. The nutty sprouted rye bread is worth a visit all on its own, whether you eat it piled high with pickled herring or, more simply, with a swipe of cultured butter. For the best of all worlds, get a brunch board, which lets you mix and match five or seven items—tiny pink shrimp, a soft-boiled egg, a melon salad, and so on—to form a hearty, wholesome meal. 1906 Market St. (near 14th St.), 415-735-7123 —L.T.

Originally published in the November issue of San Francisco 

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