Today's San Francisco Friday Fives picks come from the desk of Chris Ying, editor-in-chief of Lucky Peach, the quarterly food journal founded by David Chang. Lucky Peach has produced some of the very best and certainly most original food journalism and commentary over the past couple years, and you can thank Chris for overseeing that charge. Earlier this month, Lucky Peach also launched its new website - it's super fresh and we wholeheartedly suggest you check it out.
Unsurprisingly, Chris has some glorious suggestions for eating in SF, from Bar Tartine to a very convincing case for the power of Benihana. Check them out below, and for more Lucky Peach, check out editor Peter Meehan's picks on the NY site.
chris' "perfect for" picks
"I’m sure prime rib doesn't fall into everybody’s definition of steak, but I don’t care, I’ll take prime rib over a grilled steak any day. HOPR is the only “classic” meat emporium in SF worth visiting. It is not hip, even in an ironic way; the food is delicious, but in no way interesting. I have thrown up in the bathroom here on more than one occasion, overloaded with bloody meat and martinis and red wine. I cannot wait to return."
"The patio at El Molino Central in Boyes Hot Springs is nothing particularly special, but it’s all there is. You don’t come here for ambiance. You come for the finest fish tacos, chilaquiles, and masa-based Mexican fare in the Bay Area, bar none."
"Josh Skenes, the chef at Saison, used to lean heavily on fish flown in from Tokyo. Then he wisened up and started serving local stuff, to ridiculous effect. The whole tasting menu at Saison is righteous, but the fish-heavy first half is life affirming."
"I love Benu and I love Coi. I love State Bird Provisions and Bar Tartine and Commonwealth. But the truth is, for special occasions, I go to Benihana. Am I saying you should surprise your wife with an anniversary dinner at a chain teppanyaki restaurant? No. But is it your birthday? Or did your brother get a promotion? Do you love steak cooked in butter? Have you ever shared a blue ocean punch bowl? Have you ever had one by yourself? If you answered “yes” to any of the first three questions, or “no” to the last two, this is the place for you."
“If your out-of-towners are from Australia or Europe, any Super Duper or In ’n’ Out will do. If they’re New Yorkers, Koi Palace dim sum will tickle their pickles. If they’re from anywhere else besides Los Angeles or Mexico, a super al pastor quesadilla from Cancún will bring delight to their Mexican-food-deprived souls. Most everybody else will find their zen at Bar Tartine.”