1701 Octavia St., Lower Haight
Chef Melissa Perello's first San Francisco restaurant, Frances, earned a Michelin star for its refined, uncomplicated dishes, so everyone's expecting great things from her next spot, just-opened Octavia. The entire operation, from the speckled pottery dishes to the wooden tables to the meal, is rustic with a modern bend, and the space is light and airy with Scandinavian furniture. Like most Bay Area chefs, Perello changes her menu with the seasons, but recent favorites include a little gem salad with persimmon, a pork chop with escarole and mushrooms. The private dining space in an attached converted bakery is a great space for an event that's special without feeling too fancy.
306 Broderick St., Lower Haight
Come here for sustainable, organic, and healthy Mexican food, best enjoyed on the succulent-studded patio at their 9th Avenue location. Their simple cocktail list offers a straightforward margarita and paloma, plus blue-bottle coffee for abstainers.
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