ONE of the great pleasures of reviewing restaurants is finding largely undiscovered gems. We hit wonderful Capannina on opening night. Found Brenda’s on a stroll through the Tenderloin. Lime Tree is where I take my Writing For Real students after a class at the Richmond Library. We came across Persian Alborz on a rainy movie night. And discovered Progress when the line for State Bird was too long to wait.
Last night, we added Boho to the gem list. It’s a newish, smallish and easy-to-overlook restaurant in one of San Francisco’s Food Zones—Steiner Street between Chestnut and Lombard.
While Executive Chef Andrei Bushuev describes the menu as “creative New American cuisine with contemporary European influences served at friendly prices,” I’d say, “Perfectly cooked, carefully chosen menu items, regardless of origin.” And add, “Great variety of varietals at unusually reasonable prices.” And toss in, “Among the few San Francisco restaurants quiet enough for romance.”
By whatever descriptives, Boho is a gem. The scallops (MP) — plump, moist and cooked to perfection. Beet salad ($14) — enhanced with citrus and pistachio to brighten the beets’ essential bland. Roasted whole branzino (MP) — classic Mediterranean fish, served tip to tail, and again, cooked to perfection. Braised short ribs ($36) — served with lightly cooked baby carrots, lightly charred Brussel sprouts and polenta. Desserts ($12-14) — delightful mixes of tastes and textures; the Chocolate Yuzu Mousse gives your tongue its favorite flavors — orange, almond, hazelnut and, of course, chocolate.
Boho’s wines, by the glass and bottle, come from France and Italy and, also, Suisun Valley, Santa Rita Hills and El Dorado, California. And Mexico.
But here’s a warning about the weekend brunch. Unless you’re Mr. Creosote, order the Breakfast Board for two. Or three. The serving platter groans under two eggs, two patties of Boho’s homemade sausage, a lotta crisp bacon, a pile of prosciutto, mixed greens, roast spuds, and a generous helping of freshest fruit ($27). And if that doesn’t leave you feeling full, end the meal with either the brioche-based French Quarter bread pudding ($13) or one of the three sweet crepes ($10). You’ll leave with a smile.
Boho: 3321 Steiner Street. Dinner served Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday from 5:30 to 10; Friday and Saturday from 5:30 to 11. Brunch is offered on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (415) 374-7518 and www.bohosf.com.