Now Playing

Four New Restaurants We’re Crazy For

We check out Tharaphu Burmese Street Food, Handline, Agrodolce, and Hwaro. 

Kimchee fried rice from Hwaro.


Tharaphu Burmese Street Food
Ripples from the Burmese restaurant boom lap at the edge of the UC Berkeley campus, where Mindy Khoo and Nora Aung have turned a former boba shop into a memory box filled with the street food that Khoo enjoyed as a kid. Along with Burmese national staples like tea leaf salad and coconut noodle soup, the menu introduces less familiar regional dishes that include a sharp version of Mandalay meeshay, which is something like pad Thai, but with more chili fire and pickled-veggie funk. 2037 Shattuck Ave. (at Addison St.), 510-356-4860
—Josh Sens

From its weathered wood fixtures to its menu of local/sustainable seafood, Handline embodies a certain Northern Californian fast-casual utopian ideal. The second restaurant from the owners of Peter Lowell’s, it abounds with smart, crowd-pleasing food: Think rockfish ceviche served with shards of tostada, or a side of roast pumpkin, fragrant with cinnamon and smothered in mole. It’s happy food served in a happy place—attended, even at 5 p.m. on a weekday, by a line out the door. 935 Gravenstein Hwy. S. (near Fellers Ln.), 707-827-3744
—Rebecca Flint Marx

In the space that once housed Cafe Gratitude: an actual reason to be grateful. It’s brought to you by the D’Alo family, who also own Elmwood’s Trattoria La Siciliana and here dig deep into a trove of family recipes. The result is heartfelt southern Italian cooking embodied by such classics as sfincione, an anchovy-and-tomato-topped pizza, and bucatini “chi finucchiede,” which is stocked with fresh sardines and fennel. Any item on the expansive menu can be doubled and presented on a platter, family-style. 1730 Shattuck Ave. (near Francisco St.), 510-848-8748

Though Hwaro’s gray, chilly interior makes it feel a little like a Death Star anteroom, the food on its tables tells a more hospitable story. Billed as traditional Korean cooking with a California twist, its menu abounds with rich soups, savory pancakes, and bulgogi. Some of the nods to “fusion,” like a pallid seaweed salad, are best ignored, but more classic dishes, like the kimchee pancake, encourage lasting loyalty. 4516 Mission St. (near Santa Rosa Ave.), 415-859-7111

Originally published in the December issue of San Francisco 

Have feedback? Email us at
Email Rebecca Flint Marx at
Follow us on Twitter @sanfranmag
Follow Rebecca Flint Marx at
Follow Josh Sens on Twitter @haikufoodreview