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Short Orders: The Advocate, Old Bus Tavern, Calavera, and Drake's Dealership

 More new spots to try.

The Advocate serves Northern California cuisine infused with Moroccan flavor.

 

The Advocate
Berkeley
With Comal already in their stable, John Paluska and Andrew Hoffman have sired what appears to be another cash cow. This one, like its sibling, leans on nifty cocktails, but it swaps Comal’s Mexican cooking for Cal-Med cuisine with a Moroccan bent. Smoldering harissa and cumin-scented spice blends enliven a menu that builds from flatbreads and salads toward more substantial dishes like plum-sweetened roast pork loin with quince saba. An evening here follows a farm-to-table path that, although not wildly adventurous, ends in a happy place. 2635 Ashby Ave. (near College Ave.), 510-370-2200
—Josh Sens

Old Bus Tavern
Bernal Heights
The Bay Area’s craft beer capitulation continues at this sleek brewpub opened by a trio of avid home brewers. Part dining room, part brewery, it’s 100 percent San Francisco—meaning that the corn bread here is made with buckwheat and served with miso-honey butter, and the onion spaetzle mingles with maitake mushrooms and kohlrabi. It’s food, in other words, that’s friendly to both beer and zeitgeist. 3193 Mission St. (near Valencia St.), 415-843-1938
—Rebecca Flint Marx

Calavera
Uptown
Located in the Hive, the latest project from Chris Pastena (Chop Bar, Lungomare) is another large, well-lubricated restaurant, this one built on upmarket Mexican dishes washed down with oceans of mezcal and tequila. There are moles and ceviches, but also masa-encrusted sweetbread tacos and braised pork shank with black bean foam. Service can be spotty, but the cocktails are spoton. 2337 Broadway (near 24th St.), Oakland, 510-338-3273
—J.S.

Drake’s Dealership
Uptown
Calavera’s neighbor in the Hive generates buzz of the literal kind with 32 varieties of craft beer, all produced at Drake’s San Leandro brewery. The menu—surprise!—is decidedly beer-friendly: woodfired pizzas and elevated pub grub like duck leg confit with spaetzle, kimchee, and kale. On a sunny afternoon, there’s no better place to sit than in the huge openair courtyard, with a laid-back mood to match the food. 2325 Broadway (near 23rd St.), Oakland, 510-833-6649
—J.S.

 

Originally published in the October issue of San Francisco

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