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Four Restaurants We're Crazy For

 We stop by 3rd Cousin, Shed, Mission Chinese Food, and La Marcha.

Paella at La Marcha.


3rd Cousin
Bernal Heights
At the brick-and-mortar incarnation of his erstwhile Kinfolk pop-up, Greg Lutes serves cozy seasonal fare in an austere charcoal-gray dining room. A robust salad of baby mustard greens comes garnished with persimmon, garrotxa cheese, and dehydrated batons of purple yam, while grilled swordfish is rendered addictive by a shower of dukka, an Egyptian spice blend. Lutes’s strengths are best showcased in his savory uni crème brûlée: The caviar-topped number proves that you can teach an old dessert new, and impressive, tricks. 919 Cortland Ave. (near Folsom St.), 415-814-3709
—Rebecca Flint Marx

When it opened in 2013, Shed was described as a modern grange hall. Thanks to the introduction of Perry Hoffman’s new menus this past November, it’s become a bona fide destination. Hoffman is proudly of the local-seasonal-NorCal school: He serves wild salmon tartare in nasturtium leaves, tops a sunchoke-manchego pizza with whisper-thin slivers of Meyer lemon, and anchors a silky bowl of wild fennel soup with a finger of house-smoked local trout. It’s food that matches beauty with substance. 25 North St. (at Foss St.), 707-431-7433

Mission Chinese Food
When Danny Bowien visited his firstborn during a recent trip to promote his new cookbook, he took the opportunity to liven up its menu. Many of the classics remain, but they’re joined by new stars like matcha–and–ginger scallion noodles. Tea-fragrance rice, another vegetarian addition, makes a beautiful accompaniment to any of the new meat offerings, including cumin lamb larb. Diehards, rejoice: The tchotchke decor and mediocre service seem to be here to stay. 2234 Mission St. (near 18th St.), 415-863-2800
—Andrea Powell

La Marcha
Small plates with big flavors headline this top-notch tapas joint from Sergio Monleón and Emily Sarlatte, who previously built a following with a catering business. The chefs turn out a host of sharp paellas, including one stocked with clams and sausage, stained with squid ink, and finished with a cloud of sea urchin aioli. Standout small plates include patatas bravas, grape-sweetened fried brussels sprouts, and rich blood sausage on a lush bed of lima beans. 2026 San Pablo Ave. (near University Ave.), 510-269-7374
—Josh Sens


Originally published in the February issue of San Francisco

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