560 Divisadero Street (at Hayes)
San Francisco, CA 94117
NOPA is a “neighborhood based restaurant designed to attract and comfort those from all over the Bay Area.” They serve “simple, rustic food created with seasonal ingredients sourced from local purveyors.” The restaurant has redefined the north of panhandle (NOPA) area since 2006 and has been packing them in. We did not have reservations, so we can in early and put our name on the list, otherwise you can eat at the bar or communal table.
Decor, Vibe – A converted bank, it has high ceilings, a massive bar, communal table, and a small dining area on the 2nd floor. Energetic atmosphere with mostly folks in their 30’s to 40’s, many casually dressed nearby local foodies.
Menu Pictures (Click to zoom into any picture)
Roasted Calamari, Garlic Croutons, and Meyer Lemon ($4) was an awesome snack. The Calamari was fresh and marinated with the lemon emulsion. Crunchy croutons were delicious.
Sherry Shrub Cocktail ($6) Fino Sherry, Housemade Huckleberry shurb was small little lite cocktail. A nice start before dinner.
Old Cuban ($9) Flor de cana rum, mint, sugar, lime juice, cava. A green colored mojito with sparkling wine instead of soda water. Strong and good.
Wood baked Giant Lima Beans ($9) with tomato, feta, oregano and breadcrumbs was a delicious casserole. The beans were fresh and tender. The combination had just enough tomato accent.
Flatbread ($14) of spicy fennel sausage, ramps, and sweet cream was almost like a pizza, albeit a very good one. Thin and crispy crust and very garlicky toppings made for a wonderful signature appetizer.
House made Tagliatelle pasta ($18) english peas, nepitella mint and goat cheese was a distinguished fresh hand made egg fettuccine shaped pasta. Very good cheese. Clearly this dish was geared towards vegetearians but should be satisfying to all.
Country pork chop ($23) Roasted asparagus, fingerling potatoes, snow peas and carrots is a specialty. The pork is brined in a brown sugar dip for hours and gained a carmelized crust after cooking. It was a healthy bone in portion. Could have used more veggies and potatoes.
Cider Braised pork Osso Buco ($25) Toasted Barley, Garlic confit and chard was very tender and fell off the bone. The barley was more like risotto, with a robust meat flavor.
Roasted Cauliflower and Artichokes ($6) were fresh, crunchy, and cooked in a healthy manner. Nice quantities for this price.
Trio of sorbets and ice cream ($8) with an almond cookie had strawberry cava sorbet, white wine sorbet, and a rose flavored ice cream. All had subtle flavors, just enough sweetness, and were a nice palate cleansing dessert.
Crispy Spiced Chickpeas ($3) are crunchy and a little spicy. Healthier than most snacks.
Vahrona Hot Chocolate ($3.50) was fairly thick and creamy.
NOPA had very good service, with the server passing by a lot. Water was always filled, tables cleaned, they asked if we wanted bread during wait, etc. This place is popular because the comfort food, drinks, and service are all good. While not as fancy as places like Zuni Cafe, NOPA fills the bill for delicious high end everyday American cuisine. $20 corkage, Glasses from $7, bottles from $28.
Their sister restaurant Nopalito is 3 blocks away and serves informal Mexican cuisine.