R√°pido y Delicioso
The knock on Mexican food in American restaurants is that every dish tastes the same. Tostados, burritos, tacos ‚Äî the texture is different, but your taste buds will strain to tell one from the other.
That’s not the case at Papito Hayes, a small, skinny place in the culinary free-fire zone of Hayes Valley, close to the opera, ballet and symphony. Each dish here tastes distinctly different which may be the beneficial effect of a French chef-co-owner designing Mexican meals.
Ingredients are seasonal, local and organic ‚Äî that‚Äôs become the norm in San Francisco, though not yet in many Mexican restaurants.
The sangria is moreish, the portions are generous, the price is reasonable. Service ranges from fast-but-pleasant to the Whatever Shrug.
Let‚Äôs run through those tastes‚Ä¶
Homemade guacamole: fresh, bold, a bit oniony. Beet salad: pomegranate, jicama, cantaloupe add distinctive flavors. Ceviche Papito: Best in San Francisco‚Äîroasted pineapple lifts it above the others. Tacos: Each one distinctly different from the others. Don’t miss the shrimp tempura taco. Arroz con leche: rice pudding made zesty with fruit.
425A Hayes Street (near Gough)¬†415.554.0541; Monday-Friday 11:30am-10pm. Saturday & Sunday 11am-10pm;¬†http://www.papitohayessf.com