Ask any dedicated foodie in San Francisco what the new hot spot is and they’ll point you to Nopa. Named for its location, north of the Panhandle in the city’s Western Addition, it’s off the beaten path for tourists but well worth the trip. An air of palpable excitement and a lively bar scene, in conjunction with reasonable prices and superior California/Mediterranean cuisine, have made Nopa a hit.
Housed in a former bank building — the wine is stored in the vault — the two-tiered space features an exposed, high-beam ceiling and expansive, concrete bar. In his open-air kitchen, chef/owner Laurence Jossel, a Gary Danko protégé, roasts, fries, and grills; chicken, hamburger, organic vegetables and pork chops cook over an almond wood fire. Start with a gem salad complemented by tarragon dressing, the baked goat cheese with beets and crostini, or a nightly drink special. Entrees range from $12 to $20. Open 7 days a week. Dinner is served from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. —Sura Wood