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Four Great Restaurants to Eat at Right Now

Rapid reviews of the hottest new places. 


The Growlers’ Arms
A haute take on haggis highlights the menu at this thoughtful gastropub. Chez Panisse vets Seamus and Shelley Mulhall run the show, and A16 alum Brian Ventura handles the cooking: a satisfying survey of British and Irish tavern fare that includes fish pie and Yorkshire pudding. No one should leave without trying the haggis: The assortment of lamb offal comes braised, not boiled, and it’s easy on the palate even without a whiskey chaser. J.S.
4214 Park Blvd. (near Glenfield Ave.), Oakland, 510-328-1315

Seed + Salt
The food at this immaculate Marina café eschews gluten, dairy, processed sugar, trans fats, and GMOs. Fortunately, there’s no prohibition on flavor or innovation. The “B” in the BLT comes from crunchy eggplant bacon, while the falafel sandwich is reimagined with quinoa and green garbanzo hummus. Desserts also emerge triumphant: A chocolate chip cookie, made with almond flour, isn’t just a good gluten-free cookie. It’s a good cookie, period. R.F.M.
2240 Chestnut St. (near Avila St.), 415-872-9173

Orenchi Beyond
Not since Tampopo has ramen been so trendy. And not since, well, ever, has the Mission had a ramen shop of such cachet. Its cult status secure at its original Santa Clara location, Orenchi has spun off and branched out. But its signature soups remain the showpiece, offered with assorted add-ons in your choice of broth. If you’ve been to the original, you’ll recognize the vivid, layered flavors, as reliable as the long lines you’ll face out front. J.S.
174 Valencia St. (near Duboce Ave.)

Izakaya Rintaro
Sylvan Mishima Brackett (Peko Peko) has transformed the former Chez Spencer space into a rustic, gated little izakaya. In the open kitchen, cooks shave katsuobushi (dried fermented tuna) into perfect curls. They’re part of a menu that includes yakitori, grilled rice balls, and lacy gyoza. A perfect wild arugula and radish salad betrays a bit of Chez Panisse, where Brackett used to be the creative director. Snag one of the spacious booths if you can. S. D.
14th St. (near Folsom St.), 415-589-7022


Originally published in the February issue of San Francisco

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