838 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117
Great Eats in the City. Why did we dine here? – Che Fico (Kay-Feeco) means what a fig – is a new Jewish Italian restaurant in San Francisco that has garnered a lot of hype. There is a long line queuing up for unreserved tables everyday. It has fallen to 3.5 Yelp stars, but we still wanted to try it out. On our last visit in Winter 2019, there were still lines before it opened!
Insider Tip – Line up 30 minutes early
Cuisine – Italian
Location – Nopa district, San Francisco
Opened – 2018
Service – Che Fico has reasonable service with a knowledgeable waitress on both visits. Pacing was fine albeit a little slow.
Verdict – Che Fico lives up to its hype. The place is a loud scene and definitely very hot. The food surprised us by being equally compelling. Prices are not cheap, especially the big dishes. Loud and active restaurant. 6% Business mandate.
This reminds us a little about Israeli food expert Zahav in Philadelphia.
Is this restaurant worth a 5 minute drive? Yes. 30 minute? Yes. 1 Hour? Maybe.
Che Fico Signature Dishes – Pizza, Pasta
Che Fico’s Menu is pretty wide ranging with lots of starters, pasta, pizza, and some large dishes. Ample items for vegetarians.
Che Fico Food Picks:
Mojito ($14) was full of ice but extremely strong!
Suppli ($5) for one large deep fried risotto puff It is a decadent treat.
Grilled Chopped Duck Liver ($13) onion marmalatta, purple daikon, pickled onions, roman matzo is one of their signature dishes and is really done well.
wood fired octopus salad ($24) Fiddler’s Green Farm marbled potatoes, fennel, parsley & chili flake had lots of chopped up tender octobus. The greens seem reused in other dishes.
Chopped Salad ($11 for half) Star Route Farm little gem & escarole, heirloom squash, finocchiona salami, smoked provolone, castelvetrano olives, chickpeas, italian vinaigrette hit the mark. Not as special as the radicchio salad.
Radicchio Insalata ($19) was the better of our 2 salads. Apples helped balance out the bitterness, but its still pretty bitter!
Warm Beef Tongue ($14) salsa verde, crispy capers, celery, pickled mustard seeds was also well done and very tender. No scary textures.
Burrata ($19) was really good. Smooth cheese with pomegranates on top. Really nice grilled bread.
Smoked Paprika Strascinati ($28) lamb sugo, pepperonata, taggiasca olive, marjoram is a house made egg-less pasta that hits the mark. Strong flavor and very al dente.
Papparadelle Al Ragu ($28) bolognese, 48 month parmigiano reggiano is also stellar. Very expensive but worthwhile with lots of tender meat chunks.
Tagliatelle ($31) is expensive but replace the papparadelle. Same great sugo. Ample portion.
Pineapple Pizza ($22) is a signature dish. Its fairly spicy and fruity, making for a fun interesting combo.
Rancho Llano Seco Crispy Skin Porchetta ($49) market green salad, fennel pollen, arbequina olive oil is listed for 2 people but is huge, enough for 4. Awesome crispy skin and tender meat. Almost as good the next day as left overs. Reminds us of Chinese Crispy skin roast pork.
Nuvola Di Riso – Coconut Milk Rice Pudding, Ortiz Farms Raspberries, Caramelized Rice, Nectarine Syrup ($12) was a modern dessert with sweet/savory action. Also mild on both counts.
Bittersweet Chocolate Budino ($13) salted caramel gelato, olive oil, salt & pepper walnuts hits the mark for those chocoholics. Dark thick pudding and a Bi-ritesque gelato. They can also do it Vegan style.
Crostata ($14) was fine but not as special as the budino.
Orange Vanilla Sorbetto ($5) is definitely home made and nice and pure.
Complimentary Spiced nectarines are a bit odd.
OK: (Order if you like this dish)
San Francisco Margherita DOC ($20) is expensive and unique. A super thick edge envelopes a lot of the pizza and a ton of shaved cheese. Very cripsy, but too much cheese on top.
Pans: (We would not reorder these dishes)
Che Fico Sourdough ($5) wasn’t special.
Do you agree with our review? Have you found other similar restaurants that are better?