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Three New Restaurants to Try Right Now

A Cal-Med neighborhood haunt in the Richmond, quick-service omakase in Japantown, and a tony hummus chain in SoMa.

Pearl
Outer Richmond
In the foggy and informal Richmond district, a former dry cleaners has been primped and styled into a snazzy outfit without a hint of starch. Café by day, bar-restaurant by night, Pearl is the next-door sibling of Pizzetta 211, the primo local spot for thin-crust pies. Here, however, there are bagels, blistered in a wood-fired oven; avocado toast draped with boquerones; and, in the evening, a menu that opens up into an omnivore’s delight. From oysters on the half shell, smacked with fermented hot sauce, to housemade pastas and herb-enlivened roasts, Pearl brings focused flavors to a sprawling repertoire of Cal-Med cooking. It’s a neighborhood haunt of unpretentious ambition, with a kick-back manner that’s easy to like. 6101 California St. (at 23rd Ave.), 415-592-9777 —Josh Sens

Oma San Francisco Station
Japantown
The omakase, or chef’s choice, sushi meal can be an intimidating affair: the three-digit price tag, the counter seat reserved weeks in advance. What if, instead, you could walk up to what is essentially a mall kiosk—at 3 p.m., even—and drop $30 on a six-piece omakase mini-feast? Such are the pleasures of Oma San Francisco Station, newly open in Japantown, where chef Wilson Chan (formerly of Tsubasa in Hayes Valley) serves an omakase-only menu at a spare, seven-seat sushi bar that sits at one end of the Japan Center concourse, unenclosed from the bustle of nearby hobby shops and stationery vendors. The casual vibes are as invigorating as the freshness and precision of Chan’s nigiri, which is available in sets of 5, 8, or 12 pieces—capped off by a nori-wrapped bundle of fatty toro to finish with a flourish. 1737 Post St. (near Webster St.), Ste. 337 —Luke Tsai

Oren’s Hummus
SoMa
The first thing you notice is the enormous, shimmering chandelier that overlooks the dining room—a symbol, perhaps, of this Palo Alto–based chain’s oversize aspirations. At the San Francisco location, the tables are lined with butcher paper and the to-go counter does a brisk business. But the casual, corporate-feeling nature of the operation notwithstanding, Oren’s Hummus probably serves the tastiest Israeli food in the city, with a menu ranging from shakshuka and falafel to harder-to-find specialties such as the eminently addictive sabich: smoky eggplant, hard-boiled egg, potato, and pickley amba sauce on fluffy pita. The centerpiece is the titular hummus, which is silky-smooth and available in 11 permutations. Get the version topped with chicken livers and caramelized onions and spike it with as much red chili garlic sauce as you can handle. 71 3rd St. (near Jessie St.), 415-915-6736 —L.T.

 

Originally published in the October issue of San Francisco 

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