Sushi Bistro opens second location in the Mission!  »

Sushi Bistro opens a second outpost tomorrow (July 23) at 24th Street and York Avenue and looks to have some decent vegan sushi offerings. Obvs you’ll be seeing our fat asses in line tomorrow night.

Here’s the entire veggie section of their menu, (almost entirely) copy-and-pasted because it all looks so g-d delicious:

Crunchy veggie roll
Lightly deep-fried vegetables with crunchy tempura batter outside, drizzled with sweet sauce.
Tuscan roll
Avocado and Tuscan dried tomato wrapped in a seaweed, flash-fried and served with spicy sauce.
Shiitake veggie roll

Grilled vegetables, topped with shiitake mushroom and house sauce.
Fortune roll

Avocado with crunchy outside drizzled with sweet soy.
Asparacado roll
Avocado and asparagus, served with ponzu sauce and garlic onion aioli.
In the sun

Avocado, cucumber and mango wrapped in soy paper topped with thin-sliced tomato.
Classic veggie

Cucumber, mixed greens, avocado and salad dressing.
Avocado and/or Cucumber

Shiitake mushroom nigiri

We were lamely scooped on vegan happenings in the Mission (Mission) AGAIN. I’m ashamed/lazy. Ugh.


Burma Superstar!  »

Burma Superstar: You either love it, or you refuse to put up with it because of the ridonkulous wait*. I love it, I can’t help it. I’m a glutton for food you must fight for. And all other food too. Burma Superstar I love so much that it’s usually the first place I take out-of-towners and it’s always the favorite. In fact, I have a friend who went three times on her last visit. Of two days.

Things to order: Tea leaf salad (no skrimps!), samusa “I AM THE BEST EVER” soup (it is made with falafels, samusas, lentils and other manners of perfection in the best slightly spicy broth. No description could do it justice, it is beyond words. It will probably one day be my viewed as my hamartia. That, or my good looks.) and coconut rice. Everything else on the menu is very good but those three items are stand outs and you must, must, must eat them. In my version of Heaven, they are all served to me at all meal times (which is every hour on the hour and sometimes on the half-hour). Also in Heaven, the streets are paved with Funyons and there is a donuts ‘n waffle fries stand on every corner. Actually, just imagine Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory but replace the children with more candy and Gene Wilder with a talking pig and there you have it.

Finally, they recently added a make it yourself Tea Leaf Salad kit that they sell in the restaurant. You just add everything in the kit to some chopped romaine or cabbage, diced tomatoes, and lemon juice, and mix it all up. It’s a party in your mouth. The salad comes in a cute red bag sealed with a label that warns of its addictive qualities. Too true!

*If you hate Burma Superstar because of the wait then I have two suggestions: go 10 minutes before they open and you’ll always get a table; AND/OR go to the one in Alameda. Not only is it located on the Maui of the West but also, it’s really not that much farther than the fucking Richmond District when it comes down to it.


A native New Yorker’s guide to real bagels in San Francisco  »

I’m in New Jersey right now, hiding out and hustling from my parent’s dining room. My mother bought me a package of bagels from New York and I have been slowly devouring them, with my coffee in the morning/afternoon (can’t quite get on East Coast time), which made me want to talk about where to get bagels in San Francisco.

Now, if you live in California and you’ve had the pleasure of biting into a New York bagel, let’s make something very clear: bagels in San Francisco are a compromise, a test of your true love. Your palate will adjust, but there’s nowhere on the West Coast that has bagels that are as good (something about the water, I hear?).

That being said, I only consider two places in town as bagel contenders.

Katz Bagels in several locations: Lower Haight, the Mission, and SOMA
The bagels themselves are OK; when eaten fresh they are doughy and satisfying, and certainly not as sweet as a Noah’s Bagel, but I mention Katz here because they are vegan-friendly. They carry Tofutti, including the Herbs & Chives variety, which you can then load up with vegetables if you wish. You can also get peanut butter or hummus on your bagel if the sometimes plasticky taste of Tofutti bugs you.

House of Bagels in the Inner Richmond
Personally, I like House of Bagels the best. They’re a very close approximation of a NY bagel and they even taste okay if you don’t toast them (I have never toasted a bagel until moving to California, TRUE FACT!). However, no vegan-friendly toppings here, so you’ll want to buy a dozen and take them home and do with them what you will. There are a few places in town that sell them, including Real Food and Rainbow, so you don’t have to go to the Inner Richmond if you don’t want to.

What are your favorite places to get bagels in town?

[photo by Rusvaplauke]


Unexpected vegan finds!  »

A few places in town that are surprisingly vegan-friendly.

1. Pork Store—two locations: one in the Haight; one in the Mission. This is how much San Francisco wants you to be happy: it gives you a diner called the Pork Store and throws a really nice, garlicky tofu scramble on the menu, the “Vegan Delight.” From my numerous times sitting at the counter at the Haight location, I can tell you they use different pans for the tofu.

2. Q—One of only a few places on Clement Street to get non-Asian food, Q is an adorable restaurant: good for brunch, good for dinner, good for dates, good for anything.  For brunch they have a tofu scramble, which they call “Hippy Heaven” and for dinner/lunch they have a grilled vegetable cornucopia called the “Ultimate Vegan Grill.” They also, quite notably, serve tater tots.They have an amazing wine list and serve sangria, so if you really don’t want to eat, you can always just get drunk. None of us will judge you (too much).

3. Casa Mexicana I (in the Castro) and II (in Noe Valley)—we love burritos at Vegansaurus! If you can’t take the greasiness of El Farolito or the long waits at Papalote, Casa Mexicana is a local taqueria chain (I’m certain they’re affiliated with some other taquerias in town, but have no evidence) with some tasty vegan options including lard-free beans, vegetarian rice and tofu ranchero; blocks of tofu covered in wonderful red sauce. Here’s what you do: you get a tofu ranchero burrito with refried beans, add avocado. You go to to the salsa bar, you add roasted tomato salsa and more cilantro. You love everything about life right at that moment.

[photo via yelp]

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