Pipe Dream

by Nicole Desuasido


JCREW hat, XXI dress, Zara belt, Sam Edelman shoes, Michael Kors watch, Public bike

I am obsessed with Sol Food's Coconut Milk French Toast. Despite it being a 30 minute drive away, I've eaten this every Saturday and Sunday for the last 2 months or so. There are plenty of other restaurants I would go the distance to eat, but for convenience I really wish a few were based here in San Francisco. As I was biking the other day I couldn't help but notice all the empty commercial spaces on Union Street. Perfect locations for my favorite restaurants! Here are my top 10 that I wish would set up shop here in SF:

1) Sol Food: This Puerto Rican restaurant is located in San Rafael and it's a nice drive over the Golden Gate Bridge. It is consistently the best meal I've had by far. I order the Vegetarian Combination with Black Beans, Garlic Plantains, a Limeaid, Cafe Rico, and of course my Coconut Milk French Toast. For all you carnivores, the Pollo al Horno and Bistec are the way to go. If you're like me and love spicy food, load up on the Pique hot sauce. I could drink it like water. 

2) Joni's Cafe: During my summer in Montauk, I had their breakfast wrap, smoothie and blueberry muffin every single day. I have yet to find something like this in the Bay Area…it's almost a combination of The Plant and Blue Barn mixed together with a much cooler vibe. With all the healthy options, you really can't go wrong.

3) ABC Kitchen: Every time I visit New York, I try to make it a point to come here. This is my ideal restaurant. It wins on food, decor, service and ambiance, not to mention a haven for people watching. Also, it has the best veggie burger I've ever had (which speaks mountains!).

4) Lotus Cafe: When I visited Jackson Hole last month, I wish I had more days to try everything on the menu at this little nondescript cafe in town. It has great variety and a ton of healthy options, which are two things key for me as a vegetarian. 

5) Ramen Dojo: I go back and forth to the Peninsula and this tiny gem in San Mateo is probably one of the few places I will brave the cold for and arrive an hour early to wait in line. I look past the fact that the broth isn't vegetarian and get the Regular Spicy Miso without any meat. The noodles are perfection and it is hands down the best ramen house in the Bay.

6) Sushi Ran: You wouldn't think that the best Japanese restaurant in the Bay Area is actually on a back street in Sausalito, but it is. Nestled just off the 101 highway from the GG Bridge, Sushi Ran's food is delicious and creative and if you check it out, the vegetable tasting is a must! 

7) Joan's on Third: There are so many options to choose from in LA, but I really like this one just because it's a classic and Alex loves it too. Any marketplace-style with specialty or gourmet food is our cup of tea.

8) China Poblano in Las Vegas: I ate here for lunch on my birthday and it exceeded my expectations. The fact that it's just an elevator ride down if you're staying in the Cosmopolitan is an added bonus. I'm not big when it comes to Chinese food, though technically this is Mexican fusion. I love that I can have guacamole with chips to start then have the Twenty-Vegetable Fried Rice as my main course. Would have much rather have this replaced Betelnut instead of the new Hutong.

9) Surf Lodge: My absolute favorite atmosphere of all time. The beachy setting makes me feel like I'm in Hawaii but with an East Coast flare. When it comes to style, it almost reminds me of Nettie's Crabshack, except imagine a more vibrant version. It's located along the water and always has good music — making for a fun, hip social scene. We came here for dinner and drinks when we visited The Hamptons last summer and had such a good time, I dream of coming back.

10) Beretta: Ok so I'm being greedy because this is just a cab drive away to the Mission. I can eat their mushroom risotto like it's my job and if it were only a few steps away, I'd have a solid dinner plan every night. With 4 stars and over 2000 reviews on Yelp, you will see why you'd wish this restaurant was right next door.