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Four New Restaurants We're Crazy For

We check out Black Bark BBQ, Leo’s Oyster Bar, Shiba Ramen, and Fiorella.

 

Black Bark BBQ
Japantown
“Don’t get saucy with us,” reads a sign above the kitchen, a clear indication of the kind of ’cue you’re in for. Chef David Lawrence, who also runs the show at 1300 on Fillmore, favors dry rubs over flavor-masking sauces, so that’s how he treats his cuts. They’re offered by the half pound or as part of a platter with classic sides like coleslaw, collard greens, and sweet potato fries. All of his slow-cooked meats turn out tender, but none more so than the brisket, which sports the charred exterior that gives Black Bark its name. 1325 Fillmore St. (near Ellis St.), 415-848-9055
—Josh Sens

Leo’s Oyster Bar
Financial District
Fat, cold oysters and strong, cold drinks are chief among the pleasures offered at the fourth outing from the Big Night Restaurant Group (Marlowe, Park Tavern). They’re accompanied by a host of updated seafood classics such as a rock shrimp Louie tricked out with fennel and mâche and a New England–style lobster roll stuffed into a brioche bun. The tone, which skews mid-century elegant, is set by the wallpaper, a tableau of palm fronds and tropical flowers that suggests a lost world of martini lunches and Lilly Pulitzer garden parties. 568 Sacramento St. (near Sansome St.), 415-872-9982
—Rebecca Flint Marx 

Shiba Ramen
Emeryville
Jake Freed and Hiroko Nakamura, the husband-and-wife team behind this newest addition to the ramen boom, aim to keep things simple at their spare counter in Emeryville’s Public Market. The menu comprises a rotating selection of three to four kinds of ramen, with a short list of optional toppings ranging from cultured butter to grilled kabocha squash. If that’s not bare-bones enough, there’s even a “dry” ramen, a brothless tangle of pork-flavored noodles that’s built for diners on the go. 5959 Shellmound St., Kiosk No. 10 (near Shellmound Way)
—J.S.

Fiorella
Outer Richmond
Neapolitan-style pizzas born of a woodburning oven take top billing at this wee Italian spot from Boris Nemchenok (Uva Enoteca) and chef Brandon Gillis. The roster is straightforward—you won’t find nasturtiums sitting on the crust—but satisfying. The tomato sauce on a New Haven–style pie is sweet victory, while a Neapolitan number is punched up by the funk of anchovies. There’s pasta and antipasti, too, but really, it’s all about the dough. 2339 Clement St. (near 25th Ave.), 415-340-3049
—R.F.M.

Originally published in the April issue of
San Francisco

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