Locanda Restaurant Review, San Francisco

Reviewer: Foodnut.com


557 Valencia St. (between 16th and 17th St.)

San Francisco, CA 94110


Locanda Website

Locanda San Francisco exterior decor

Locanda is a new Roman style Italian restaurant from the Delfina crew. This restaurant is one of the major openings this year. We patiently waited approximately 3 weeks for them to iron out any kinks.

Why did we dine here? – We love Delfina and could not wait for this place to open.

Summary – Locanda serves up solid Italian food in a cutting-edge energized setting. We found the meat dishes stronger than the pasta. The appetizers are excellent but the prices are higher than expected.
Insider Tip – Make reservations or wait for the communal table

Cuisine – Italian Roman
Chef – Anthony Strong (Delfina)
Location – Mission District
Opened – April 2011

Locanda San Francisco interior decor

Decor, Vibe – Locanda is a modern restaurant with an elaborate tiled ceiling, 3-D tile on the wall, cool retro lighting and stools, and a special wood burning oven called Dante, of which only one other is located in the USA. The place was packed and loud, of course there was a line before they opened.


Menu includes 12 different starters, 10 different pastas, 5 charcoal grill dishes, and 5 side dishes. The menu changes often.

Signature Dishes – To be determined

Website Locanda Menu

Full Locanda image set

SMOKE & SPICE ($10) Gin, Antica, a float of Islay, served on Rock with Citrus Peel was a beautiful looking and potent cocktail.

Locanda San Francisco Jerusalem artichoke

JEWISH STYLE ARTICHOKE ($6/ea.) Was excellent. A deep fried one battered crispy thing of goodness.

Locanda San Francisco egg

FRIED MURDOCK’S DUCK EGG – guanciale, dandelion ($11) is their tribute to the soft cooked egg. This egg had a nice soft runny center.

Locanda San Francisco mortadella pizza

PIZZA BIANCA- w/ Fra Mani Mortadella ($7) focaccia-like Roman-style flatbread and not really a pizza as most people know what, had some very crunchy bread along with high-quality mortadella. This is more of a mini sandwich.
Frankly they give you this type of flat bread for free, so you really don’t need to order this dish.

Locanda San Francisco fried lamb brains

Deep fried lamb brains and artichokes ($12) was more deep fried goodness. We worried about getting mad cow disease, but what the heck. The brains taste just like sweetbreads.

Locanda San Francisco pasta

Radiatore “Pecora E Pecorino” lamb ragu, pecorino, mint ($17) was a very good circular pasta with balanced flavors. The mint was not overpowering thankfully.

Locanda San Francisco Guinea hen

GUINEA HEN LEG al SPIEDO ($21) was roasted on the rotisserie and very tender. Portion size was on the small side though.

Locanda San Francisco steak

BAVETTE STEAK – radicchio trevisano ($25) was cooked to our desired level of doneness and a tender tasty, well portioned piece of meat.

Locanda San Francisco lamb

Lamb Scottaditto anchovy & coriander ($26) were 2 excellent lamb chops, but way too tiny! We could have used to more at this price. The waiter did a good job explaining how the name came from burnt fingers.

Snap peas ($8) with mint, spring onion was fresh, crisp, and delectable.

Erbette ($8) chard with garum, pine nuts was overly lemony, but that was okay with us. They need to tone this down.

OK: (Order if you like this dish)
Mojito ($10) was excellent and well balanced, but filled with so much crushed ice that we should have sent it back!

TONNARELLI CACIO e PEPE – pecorino, black pepper, basta ($14) was a peppery pasta which was just too cheesy.

Bucatini All’amatriciana guanciale, tomato, pepperoncini, pecorino ($17) was okay, also pretty peppery, with a sour tomato sauce that tilted the dishes’ balance.

Pans: (We would not reorder these dishes)

Service – Service was reasonable, with a very knowledgeable waiter.

Value – Prices are on the high side, we expected them to be slightly lower than we encountered. The prices are about the same as Delfina, and one step away from fine dining.

Alternatives – Nearby restaurants include Delfina, Tartine, Arinell pizza, Frjtz.

Verdict – Locanda is a slight twist from Delfina, serving up Roman style Italian food in a contemporary environment. We found the grilled items unexpectedly stronger than the pastas, although the appetizers were quite solid.
Locanda had 4 wines on tap, we tried two of them ($9) and found that they tasted just fine. This is an welcome trend. We did not try any desserts because nearby Bi rite creamery was one of our agenda.

Locanda on Urbanspoon

Locanda Overall Rating: (Very Good 2.5)

Come Back?

Food Rating: (Very Good)
Service Rating: (Very Good)
Atmosphere Rating: (Very Good)
Value Rating: (Average)

Guide: 0 = poor, 1 = Below/Average, 2 = Good, 2.5 = Very Good, 3 = Excellent , 4 = Extraordinary

Alcohol:Full bar
Hours:Daily 5:30 PM - Midnight
Prices:$14 - $26

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1 Comment

  • Delfina, San Francisco | Foodnut.com
    July 15, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    […] Since 1998, Delfina, a bustling neighborhood Italian trattoria has been packing them in. The menu changes daily and they use organic produce and sustainably-raised meats and fish whenever possible. It is a popular place that requires advanced booking for a reservation or showing up at 530pm for a table at the counter or bar. Our last visit was in July 2012. If you cannot find parking, try the valet at sister restaurant Locanda. […]

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