An offshoot of the cultlike Tartine Bakery, this neighborhood restaurant in an artsy space provides a way to taste the bakery's famed (and nearly always sold-out) country loaf. Chef Nicolaus Balla's flavor-packed cuisine combines an Eastern European sensibility with California seasonality and some Japanese influences. The menu includes many house-pickled items, tempting langos (fried potato bread), and seasonal salads such as one with persimmons, pressed cheese,
chicories, walnuts, and orange honey. Chicken paprikas and fisherman's stew are among the larger, homey dishes Balla prepares. The extensive wine-and-beer list makes this a fun place to swing by for a glass—if you can find a seat. Weekend brunch is one of the city's more distinct offerings in that category, with an array of smørrebrød (toppings like trumpet mushrooms, mizuna, and cultured butter on sprouted rye) and buckwheat blintzes, and a beef-brisket hash with celery root, parsnip, Yukon Gold potatoes, and fried eggs. On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoon, the restaurant operates a shop that serves sandwiches, smørrebrød, and light snacks.