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Short Orders: More New Spots to Try

Sussing out Burma Bear, Barzotto, Nomica, and Teo.

Hitachino beer–spiked waffles with chicken at Nomica.


Burma Bear
The unlikely union of American barbecue and Burmese cuisine has found a home at the edge of Uptown Oakland, where Burmese-born (and bearishly built) chef Hubert Lim toggles between traditions. His counter service menu swings from sweet-and-smoky slow-cooked dishes like baby back ribs and kalua pulled pork to Burmese classics like a tea-leaf salad that can also be had California-style, with kale. The urban-chic space is small, but the portions are large, none more so than a helping of moist chicken curry that could use more kick. 325 19th St. (near Webster St.), 510-817-4413
—Josh Sens

Pasta gets the so-called fine-casual treatment at this lively, tile-lined Italian spot in the former St. Vincent space. The “casual” means that you place your order at the counter; the “fine” means that you drink wine from a real glass at a table outfitted with real silverware. The pasta itself is straightforward but flavorful: A dish of baked strozzapretti, studded with olives, capers, and anchovies, was a hit of sodium wrapped in a hug. Less straightforward is the restaurant’s name, a bit of naughty Italian slang that alludes to al dente noodles. 1270 Valencia St. (near 24th St.), 415-285-1200
—Rebecca Flint Marx

The first spin-off from the team behind Sausalito’s Sushi Ran, this streamlined drinking den abounds with booze, blond wood, and izakaya-style grub. Small plates, such as a seaweed salad slicked with pine-nut butter and freckled with crispy buckwheat, pack an abundance of flavor into their relatively limited confines, while larger dishes, like a donabe stocked with rice and Dungeness crab, make worldly stomach liners. Sometimes food and drink collide, such as in a waffle spiked with Hitachino beer and maple syrup that is both bitter and glorious. 2223 Market St. (near Sanchez St.), 415-655-3280

The food of the Chaoshan region in China’s eastern Guangdong Province has gotten a cavernous SoMa home. The menu is both familiar and unusual: Fresh tofu comes studded with shrimp and cubed vegetables, while marinated goose meat, a traditional dish from the region, comes sliced thick and pliant. It’s interesting, often flavorful food, though the chilly environs leave something to be desired. 1111 Mission St. (at 7th St.), 415-626-8366

Originally published in the November issue of
San Francisco 

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