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BOTA

If you’re a theatergoer, you want a pre-show meal that’s tasty, not so filling you fall asleep in the second act, and, most important, fast. We missed one first act because the restaurant’s service was so damned slow.

So, what kind of restaurant meets those three requirements? It’s clearly not French. Nor an exquisite Japanese sushi-making performance. And not a heavy bean cuisine.

No, the ideal pre-show meal is probably Spanish tapas. Tapas: small portions, quick service, and, when done right, ever so tasty. For a tapas treat in the corazón of San Francisco’s theater district, Bota is a good choice.

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SCOMA’S

It was in Fort Bragg that I first heard about Scoma’s. A couple from even farther north was raving about this San Francisco seafood house.

A year passed before I tried it; I went there for lunch.

I was underwhelmed. The food was San Francisco-okay but nothing more. Since Scoma’s is in the middle of Fisherman’s Wharf, a.k.a. the Tourist Rez, despite those raves from the Mendocino County couple, it was pretty much what I expected.

That was probably 2015. Then, in mid-2019, I had my second Scoma’s lunch. This one blew me away.

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BOHO

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.

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