After eight different locations, chef Mike Lahnham’s phenomenal pop-up restaurant has a permanent home in Lower Pac Heights. This is excellent news for everyone because now we can indulge in his inventive and delicious (“post-modern”) 11-course tasting menu whenever we want. Well, maybe not whenever we want because it’s $128 (which, considering the ingredients and technique and number of courses, is actually a steal) and also because it’s open Tuesday through Saturday, but still, it feels good to know that this talented chef’s concept and his amiable and knowledgeable staff have finally found a home.
How to book: Reserve on Tock.
There’s just something about walking into a restaurant that is stunning from floor to ceiling that makes a dining experience feel that much more unique, and that’s precisely what happens the second you step foot inside Copra, the Southern Indian restaurant from chef Srijith Gopinathan (Ettan in Palo Alto) that opened in the old Dosa space on Fillmore in February. The airy vibe is like a tropical oasis with lush greenery, climbing vines, macrame art, and light fixtures that hang from the soaring ceilings. It’s the kind of restaurant you want to stay at for a while, which you will because Copra also happens to be serving some of the best food and cocktails you can get in San Francisco right now. The food is inspired by Gopinathan’s childhood in Kerala (located in the southwest corner of India). And while many dishes may not be familiar to diners, the servers will surely lead you on a journey of fantastic flavors and a lot of heat if you’re up for it. The cocktails are also excellent—the lemon chili with lemongrass, mint, yellow chartreuse, Thai chili, and gin became one of our instant favorites—and the wine program is also incredibly interesting, with some unexpected pairings if you’re willing to be adventurous.
How to book: Reserve a table on Resy.
SF may not have many actual laundromats left, but you know what’s a lot more fun than washing your clothes? Eating plump, freshly baked bagels by morning and Detroit-style pizza, accompanied by a local beer or glass of natural wine, by night. And those bagels aren’t just any old bagels. They’re the famous organic, hand-rolled, boiled, and baked Holey Roller Bagels that popped up in 2020 to instant accolades. Yes, SF is having a bagel and Detroit-style pizza, but we promise the folks behind this new spot aren’t “just” capitalizing on that. The bagels and pizza are legit, and really, it’s more of a “Which came first?” kind of situation that we’re just happy exists at all.
How to enjoy: Walk in or order online for to-go orders.
If you haven’t been to Liholiho since before COVID, now’s the time to revisit, as the popular family-owned restaurant has a new look and a (mostly) new menu. Diners can still get their favorite heritage-inspired dishes from chef Ravi Kapur dishes, including the Tuna Poke with nori crackers and Instagram-famous Baked Hawaii. But there are also new dishes, such as a crispy Swordfish Katsu with Russian dressing, and the larger plates were scaled back so guests can try more dishes. The interior changes are subtle but give the space a more open and comfortable feel, all the better to enjoy the creative cocktails and buzzy vibe.
How to book: Reserve a table on Resy.
Chef Matthey Accarrino has been delighting SF diners with his Italian food at SPQR but at $100 for a tasting menu meal before wine pairings, the Michelin-star restaurant is more of a special occasion destination. But now, Chef has a new casual Cal-Italian spot perfect for those of us on more of a budget. Mattina is a much more approachable restaurant where you can stop in on a whim for any meal of the day, including coffee and housemade pastries until 2 pm, and an all-day menu for lunch and (as of mid-May) dinner. Lunch and dinner feature a range of dishes cooked over the charcoal grill, in the brick oven, and in the smoker, including skewers, seafood options, pastas, delicious salads (since sometimes lunch really IS a salad), and all kinds of gelato for dessert (topped with a pizzelle made with Accarrino’s grandmother’s recipe). Go between 4 pm and 6 pm for “Appi Hour” with vermouth spritz-inspired drinks and snacks, which, in the coming weeks, you’ll be able to enjoy in the outdoor parklet.
How to book: Reservations are available on Resy.
Chef Eric Ehler’s Outta Sight pizza pop-up at Fig & Thistle wine bar quickly became one of our favorite pies in the city, so we were stoked when he opened a permanent spot open seven days a week in the TL with colorful chill vibes and those same delicious crisp-bottomed and generously-sized slices. Options include all of the classics (cheese, pepperoni, mushroom, sausage, and peppers, etc.), plus, like it or not, what’s become a California classic: the #50 with ham and pineapple. You can also get all of them as whole pies except the Lunch Lady, a square slice topped with vodka sauce, three cheeses, and basil. Salads, hoagies, and other snacks are in the work.
How to order: Walk-in. For pick-up, call 415-829-3108 or get it delivered from DoorDash.