Friday, February 29, 2008


Simple pasta pleasures

Somebody at the SF Bay Guardian must have read my eulogy for OH's. Check out this review:
Everything about Bar Bambino (2931 16th St.; 701-8466, is carefully rustic. In the restaurant's front window, a rough-hewn community table seats 10 and a soft white Italian marble bar reaches all the way back to an open section of the kitchen, displaying cheeses and charcuterie. A few scattered indoor tables give way to a quiet, heated outdoor patio. The menu shows owner Christopher Losa's love for northern Italy, where he lived for several years: the food is simple, traditional Italian, like the polpetti, pork-and-veal meatballs in a rich tomato sauce with dark chard. There's nothing superfluous on the plates (order some sides for that), and the dishes are affordable. "I'm all about gastronomic progression, but how many times a week can you eat peppered sardines in cilantro foam?" laughs Losa. "Sometimes you just want a plate of really good pasta." The highly polished Italian wine list offsets Bar Bambino's simple food.
But really, if you want great simple Italian food, Little Joe's (not "Original Joe's" or any of the others), which used to be on Broadway, then Van Ness, but now located somewhere south of Market has the best marina sauce over raviolis anywhere. I wrote about it a year ago. My opinion hasn't changed.

I love marina sauce!
The New Pisa is also one of the few remaining traditional family Italian restaurants left in North Beach, with good recipes handed down through several generations. There are a couple of others. The Maffia busts of the 1980s took a few of them out.
I luv Maffia marina sauce!
There were some busts, but I think it involved two restaurants run by the same family.
Do you suppose any of the restaurants in Arkley's Marinara Center will serve marina sauce?
Rain or shine. There is always a line. Little Joes is my favorite SF eatery. The open kitchen flames on Broadway were the best entertainment when dining alone. Sitting at the counter listening to the banter of the waitresses was great fun. The food is always tasty and plentiful.
Little Joe's also has the best cannelonis I've ever had.
How about Jovanelos in SF, eh?
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