Friday, April 12, 2013

San Francisco: Pasión & Sakura

Pasión  737 Irving St./9th Ave., Inner Sunset District, (415) 742-5727. L M-F, D daily, Sat-SunBr; $$$.  Reservations advised.  Peruvian-style cuisine with complex sauces dominate the menu in this sleek, sophisticated restaurant furnished with dark wood tables and chairs softened by a few comfy banquettes.  Floors are polished grey cement, and large windows provide views to the street.  As would be expected, the menu offers a bevy of ceviches (my favorite is the scrumptious cooked lobster version with mango and avocado) and a raw oyster bar.  Appetizers include conchitas (seared wild scallops from Maine topped with a sweet plantain tostone and colorful cilantro mojito sauce), albondigas (lamb meatballs in a creamy sherry-truffle sauce topped with fresno peppers), and duck empanadas.  Entrees include a paella and traditional lomito saltado stir-fry of sirloin steak strips,  tomatoes, and onions plus a side of french fries.  Among the desserts are moist tres leches cake and chocolate-coconut bread pudding.  Pisco drinks are a house specialty (I loved the traditional pisco sour with a swirl of bitters in the foam), and sangria is an option.

Before or after, enjoy a pleasant stroll along busy Irving Street and browse the shops.  One of my favorites is Sakura (936 Irving St./10th Ave. (415) 665-5064.  Daily 10:30am-7pm.), a small shop that sells Japanese household items and foods.  I picked up a big bag of rice crackers like they serve in nearby Golden Gate Park’s Japanese Tea Garden, some wasabi-covered hard green pea snacks, and a box of guava cookies from Kauai.

More things to do in San Francisco 

Way more things to do in San Francisco.  

More ideas for exploring Northern California. 

images c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

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