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The Best New Restaurants to Try Now

Cambodian in Emeryville, elevated breakfast sandwiches in Oakland, and smart comfort food in Half Moon Bay.

 

Nyum Bai
Emeryville
Kuy teav, a breakfast staple in Cambodia, makes a welcome addition to the lunch and dinner options at the Emeryville Public Market, where Nite Yun turns out vibrant iterations of the flat rice noodle soup. The best is the kuy teav Phnom Penh, its base a tart but hearty balance of pork and shrimp. Once a pop-up operator, Yun has signed a six-month deal in this counter-service spot, where she serves until 8 p.m., or until the soup runs out. —Josh Sens

Daughter Thai
Oakland
“No, no. Too spicy for you!” a server says of a scorching curry called gang som white fish: It’s a warning that the table wisely ignores. At this cheerful newbie in the Montclair district, the kitchen covers much of the westernized Thai canon, cranking out compulsories like pad Thai so sweet it could pass for dessert. What make the restaurant worth a visit are the less familiar dishes, infused with chili fire and shrimp paste funk. Take the gang som white fish, tinged with turmeric and plated over coconut rice. If your waiter looks alarmed, you’ll know you’ve ordered right. —J.S.

Gastropig
Oakland
Ann Thai and Loren Goodwin’s mission seems to be to elevate the breakfast sandwich. In place of rubbery eggs on gluey biscuits, you’ll find avocado toast, garnished with pickled red onions and cilantro crema, and cheddar-cheese-and-chive-spiked scrambled eggs on locally baked sourdough. This being Uptown, the counter-service space works hard at being hip, right down to the nomenclature on the menu, which includes an egg-on-brioche sandwich called the Baconslut. Disregard the self-abasing name. It turns out to be a sandwich worthy of respect. —J.S.

Dad’s Luncheonette
Half Moon Bay
“Dad” is Scott Clark, a genial guy who left his most recent post as Saison’s chef de cuisine to transform a historic train caboose into a roadside lunch stand. Its brief menu is long on flavor. A mushroom sandwich presses fungi between grilled white bread with cheese and an egg, while homemade potato chips are thick but crispy and an herb salad gets a kick from a perfectly balanced vinaigrette. There’s also a sweet of the day—if it’s the matcha brownie, get it. —Rebecca Flint Marx

 

Originally published in the April issue of San Francisco 

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