Delfina review image




open table

The time has come to admit it: Delfina is a little boring.

Look, we know these guys were at the vanguard. They were deep in the Mission before it was gritty-cool (back when it was just gritty). The seasonal California-style Italian food served at 60% of new restaurants has Delfina DNA.

But it's hard to get up for basic spaghetti and tomatoes these days unless it's "holy-sh*t-this-is-amazing" al dente homemade pasta or some mind-boggling amalgam of flavors we've never contemplated. Delfina's is neither. It tastes like good pasta with a nice tomato sauce. It's solid.

In fact, "solid" is probably the best word to describe most dishes at Delfina. Chicken? Solid. Pappardelle Pork Sugo? Solid. Tripe in a pot? Somewhat weird, still pretty solid. Delfina won't let you down, so maybe we're being harsh. But it won't let you UP, either. That doesn't make grammatical sense, but it's how we feel.

Going to Delfina is like buying someone exactly what they wanted for Christmas. They're pleased, but a little sad. Because that tiny chance that you would surprise them — and that the surprise would be even BETTER — is sometimes more exciting than the sure thing. Delfina is the sure thing.

Food Rundown


Some nice grilled squidlings. We'd support a wholesale move to grilling instead of frying these things.

Chicory Salad

What's the best thing to do with some bitter greens? Throw an egg on em!


Good but not inspirational.

Pappardelle Pork Sugo

We like the big floppy pastas, but the porky bits were the killer here. Coulda used three times as many.

Tripe Alla Fiorentina

A big vat of tripe in sauce. We like to try tripe any time it's on a menu because restaurants seem to have a fascination with it. Every time, it tastes fine (not revolting, as some people seem to find it), but not very flavorful. Pretty sure intestine doesn't really carry flavor like meat does. We should probably just go back to pure meat-eating.

Roast Chicken

About the 8th best roast chicken in the toughest city in the U.S. for roast chicken culinary competitors.

Panna Cotta

We respect the game in making this jasmine-flavored, but if Bi-Rite is still open, recommend walking across the street and doing that.

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