Now Playing

Three New Restaurants to Try Right Now

Fried chicken, dosas, and Ayesha Curry’s smoked ribs. 

Trio of ribs: American BBQ, Cuban, and Korean gochujang at International Smoke.

Minnie Bell’s Soul Movement
Emeryville
Regulars at the revamped Public Market likely didn’t know that a fried chicken joint was exactly what the food court was missing. But now that Minnie Bell’s has set up shop, the stall’s presence has an air of inevitability. It helps, of course, that chef-owner Fernay McPherson’s cooking is so good: ovenbaked mac ’n’ cheese with bits of the crispy-brown top layer mixed in, hefty squares of buttery cornbread, and soupy collard greens with an unexpected zip of heat. The main attraction is the fried chicken itself, which comes infused with the fragrance and flavor of rosemary and poses a kind of impossible mystery with every bite: How can the exterior crust be so audibly and impeccably crunchy while the meat inside retains so much of its tenderness and juice? 5959 Shellmound St. (Near Powell St.) —Luke Tsai

Dosa by Dosa
Oakland
What qualifies as street food in much of the world the Bay Area has managed to repackage as fast-casual cuisine—the latest example being this counter-service offshoot of table-service Dosa. Set in a warehouse-chic space with exposed wood beams, the restaurant offers its namesake rice-and-lentil crepes with myriad fillings, some more traditionally Indian (masala potatoes, say) than others (melted cheddar and mozzarella). An array of sides, salads, and chutneys rounds out the options, along with rice bowls that double as vessels for such staples as chicken tikka masala and saag paneer. There’s also a bar and a giant mural of a bustling market in Delhi, where the street food is better, faster, and cheaper. But given how and where we live, these dosas will do. 2301 Broadway (At 23rd St.), 510-285-6823 —Josh Sens

International Smoke
SoMa
The Venn diagram of people who should be excited to dine at an Ayesha Curry restaurant might include Warriors diehards, Food Network fans, and, well, anyone who can appreciate a well-prepared rack of smoked pork ribs. The place is not without its faults: It’s too expensive for lunch, and the meat-centric menu—which bears the imprint of Curry’s partner, the restaurateur Michael Mina—would benefit from more proper barbecue and less global criss-crossing. (There are better places to go if you’re in the mood for Vietnamese-style pork chops or Indian-spiced fish.) But oh, those ribs are a marvel, if you stick with the plain old American style—savory and succulent, with a pleasant caramelized-sugar crunch. More reliable, certainly, than any promise of a celebrity sighting. 301 Mission St. (At Fremont St.), 415-543-7474 —L.T.


Originally published in the May issue of
San Francisco 

Have feedback? Email us at letterssf@sanfranmag.com
Email Luke Tsai at
ltsai@modernluxury.com
Follow us on Twitter
@sanfranmag
Follow Luke Tsai on Twitter at
@theluketsai
Follow Josh Sens on Twitter @haikufoodreview