Appetizers

Al’s Place and Rintaro in SF get the Big Thumbs Up from Bon Appetit

The “food as lifestyle” national magazine Bon Appetit shares its list of the “country’s 10 best new restaurants” in its September “Restaurant Issue.”

Not surprisingly, four of the 10 are in California, with the Restaurant of the Year — Al’s Place — in San Francisco’s Mission District at 1499 Valencia St., 415-416-6136.

A few of Al’s menu items caught our eye, for various reasons:

Stone fruit curry, black lime-cod, green bean, blueberry ($17).

Grits, goat’s milk curds, green tomato, corn, padrons ($16).

Fish mullet, preserved lime, garlic dip ($15).

Fish head under a brick, sweet+sour ($16).

Hanger steak, smoked salmon butter, balsamic-uni ($16).

Smoked brisket, sieved egg, pickled mire poix, maple mustard ($15).

Another San Francisco restaurant in the Mission District, the Japanese Rintaro, finished No. 8 (82 14th St., 415-589-7022). A sampling:

Fried Riverdog chicken skin with spicy yuzu salt ($5).

Hand-rolled udon with broth and scallions ($9)

Salt-grilled wild king salmon head ($9).

Cucumber and miso-cured Bolina black cod in sweet vinegar ($12).

Allen Pierleoni: 916-321-1128, @apierleonisacbe

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