560 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117
I was incredibly excited about Nopa, not only has it been featured in a ton of articles, blogs, tv, solid 4 star rating with over 2 thousand reviews on Yelp.com, but I know their food views is amazing. Fresh local ingredients, seasonal menu, resonable prices plus I’ve been looking for a reason to pop in for their burger which has been raved as one of the best in the Bay Area.
Knowing all of this, I made reservations on a Sunday night at 6:45pm for my friend’s 30th birthday. We arrived about 6:35pm and seated right away (yayy!), we ordered sparkling water and scanned the menu for the yummies we wanted to fill our tummies with. We got a complementary amuse bouche from the chef, selected two appetizers and our main entrees.
Fried Fava Beans with Romesco Sauce (10)
We were torn between this and the baked goat cheese. Our server suggest the fava because getting the goat cheese comes with a ton of bread also and might be too much food for us. I’m glad we did, they were perfectly crisp, the sauce was amazing and I really enjoyed it!
Flatbread with Spicy Fennel Sausage, Potatoes, Favas and Crescenza (14)
Nopa is super famous for these, I knew this was one of the things I had to get, hand-made dough cooked in their own brick oven. I thought the sausage lacked in flavor, I was expecting bursts of spice but had none, I loved that the potatoes were tender and sliced super thin and the minty top was a great finisher. The dough was fantastic, I liked how it was blistered and charred from the cooking.
Northern Halibut with Butter Beans, Purslane, Breadcrumbs and a Meyer Lemon Aioli (25)
The Birthday Girl was torn between this dish and the Roasted Chicken. She went with the Halibut in the end and thought the dish was light and had great flavor, but for the price, she wished it was a bigger piece of fish. I tasted it and it was delicious, very moist, flakey and perfectly cooked, but do agree about the portion size. There was some yummy broth at the bottom, but we didn’t get any bread to sop it up. She did mention, if she could re-order, she would’ve gone with the chicken instead.
Grass Fed Hamburger with Gruyère Cheese, Pickled Onions, French Fries and Harissa Aoili (14.50)
I asked for it medium rare and it was! (plus 1!), the burger itself was thick and extremely juicy. First bite was AMAZING, that instant hit of beefy flavored made me close my eyes and moaned just a little. I’m a huge burger whore, so for me, it was instant bliss. I liked how the condiments were kept to the barest essentials. I put some pickled onions on top, and a bit of lettuce, but I refused the offer of mustard, mayo or ketchup. Being toted as one of the “Best Burgers in the Bay”, I really wanted to taste the meat. I can’t deny it, I’m an instant fan!! The fries were great also, but wasn’t as memorable as the harissa aoili. I was drenching my fries in it, it was so yum!
All in all, I thought the food was fantastic and lived up to its hype. Thier service however..was painfully slow. I can understand because of how busy they get, the bar was packed and people were bustling. Our server only checked on us a few times, though she was pleasant, we waited almost 40 mins between finishing our appetizers to when our main courses were brought out. If she would’ve said something to us, possibly explained that the kitchen was slightly backed up, we would’ve been fine with it. The Birthday Girl and I had great convos during dinner, so that helped pass the time between courses.
1335 Fulton St
San Francisco, CA 94117
We walked the 2.5 blocks to Candybar after our dinner at Nopa. I wanted to get the Birthday Girl to have an amazing dessert since she was underwhelmed by her entrée at Nopa. I love Candybar for its atmosphere, great desserts, fun cocktails ad board games!! What other lounge allows you to get drunk, a sugar high and challenge your friends to Connect 4, Chutes and Ladders and a ton of other kiddy board games from your youth? It was pretty quiet when we got there, being a Sunday night, I wasn’t expecting much of a crowd, but that’s the best thing about Candybar, even when it’s slightly empty, you still feel so cool for hanging out there! We played some Connect 4 while we waited for our sugar fix.
Apple Pie a la Mode: hazelnut crust, cream cheese filling, caramel, gingerbread ice cream (9)
Jasmine Sparkle: Sparkling wine, jasmine and lemon (8)
The Birthday Girl ordered this. She said the cocktail was a bit strong and she wasn’t expecting that, but it was delish regardless. She really loved the Apple Pie, I took a bite also and it was amazing. I’m not an apple pie fan, but they really did it well here, I loved how the ice cream melted all over it for that perfect hot and cold bite. Love that play on my senses.
Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwich: chocolate macaron, blueberry vanilla ice cream, dark chocolate sauce and blueberries (8)
Cappuccino: Illy’s espresso, milk and luscious creamy foam (4)
When I read the description, I was expecting a normal size macaron with a scoop of ice cream. What came out was this monstrous size chocolate macaron that made my eyes bug out! You have to understand, I absolutely LOVE macarons, it’s my favorite dessert and seeing it this big with 3 scoops of blueberry vanilla ice cream in the middle made me swoon!! The macaron was perfect, had the right amount of crispness outside and that light chewy texture inside that I loved so much. The blueberry ice cream was delightfully fresh and I couldn’t have asked for a better ending to our meal.
What a great meal *rubs belly*