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Travel to San Francisco: Choosing a San Francisco Mexican Restaurant

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Asia de Cuba
495 Geary (at Taylor),
San Francisco
CA 94102 (Downtown/Union Square)

Though its food doesn't live up to that at similarly priced restaurants, Asia de Cuba offers tremendous portions and funky, elegant decor that make it worth a visit nonetheless. Among the starters, try the hulking oxtail spring rolls or the exquisite lobster pot stickers with lobster roe and vanilla-spiced rum sauces. Entrees are large enough to feed two and are meant to be shared; they include a garlicky palomillo of lamb and a good Hunan-style wok-crisped fish stuffed with crab. Pricey drinks, full bar.

1815 Market St.,
San Francisco
CA 94103 (Castro/Noe Valley)

An ultra-sylish and ornately colonial San Francisco Mexican restaurant serving authentic and inventive Nuevo Latinio cuisine at affordable, tapa-sized prives. The wine list includes Riojas and the food, ever since its recent opening, have kept San Francisco diners loyal with tapas, seafood dishes and creative Latino fusion desserts.

2080 Van Ness Ave.,
San Francisco
CA (Russian Hill)

The casual take on the tastes, scents and sights of Cuba in San Francisco 's Russian Hill that's a worthy argument against embargo. The decor is rustic with earth tones, murals and a ceviche bar while the bar scene is lively with San Franciscans looking for some of the best Mojitos in town (and other hand-crafted Cuban cocktails).

El Toro
This taqueria boasts "authentic freshly made with no MSG, lard, or preservatives" and they have great food.  For a quick bite, this is a great stop for a take-out atmosphere meal.   Be warned - English skills here are in short supply but it makes ordering exciting.   Burrito prices average around $5 with meat choices including Carne Asada, Chicken Asada, Cranitas, Spicy Chicken, Tofu Ranchero, Chile Verde Chicken, Al Pastor BBQ Pork, Chile Verde Pork, and Sweet and Mild Mole Chicken.  El Toro also has  combo dinners that average around $8.  Underground Rating for El Toro is "A-".   (Reviewed December 2000)

598 Valencia @ 17th Street  431-3351  Open Daily 10-10

La Cumbre
This San Francisco Mexican restaurant has excellent burrito's and cheap prices located in a really cool part of the Mission District. Also known for its weird paintings and cool clients. 515 Valencia 863-8205

La Rondalla
This San Francicsco Mexican restaurant is a step up in the Mexican world from La Cumbre as they are a sit-down place, rather than a "taqueria" take-out. Lots of fun and cool decor in the Mission District @ 901 Valencia / 647-7474. Very cheap at under $10 each with enough margaritas to make you silly.

Travel to the Mikey D's of Mexican, this San Francisco Mexican restaurant is under your feet everywhere you go. Good Mexican, but never great. Very fast and efficient service. This is a chain and it shows-- consistent, but too boring for around $15/person. 150 4th St @ Howard 543-8060 and at Embarcadero Center and everywhere else you look.

303 Second St. (at Harrison),
San Francisco
CA 94107 (South of Market)

At this branch of his Manhattan restaurant, Acapulco-born chef Richard Sandoval serves elaborate Mexican-inspired cuisine fit for a deluxe seaside resort. Expect seafood and subtle vinaigrettes at this San Francisco Mexican restaurant, not burritos or hot sauce. Wheelchair accessible.

3295 22nd Street (Between Mission and Valencia )

This San Francisco Mexican restaurant is one of the rare places that can be both romantic and fun. This is a SPANISH restaurant and not technically a San Francisco Mexican Restaurant. The look and feel of the restaurant is colorful, playful, and exuberant. The bright walls are alive with matador and bullfight posters, fringe shawls, painted plates, and a clock set to the Spanish hour. Expect to be serenaded by a trio of Spanish singers with guitars. The house specialty is the Paella. The wait is long (35-40 minutes), but well worth it! Purists will savor the saffron-laced rice simmered and baked with generous portions of fresh prawns, mussels, and other seasonal seafood. But the wait is more than tolerable if you munch on some delectable tapas (appetizers). The Patata Brava is wonderful -- oven-roasted potatoes drizzled with a smoothly spicy and intriguing sauce. Cost is about $15/person.


San Francisco hotels

The Argent Hotel San Francisco Argonaut Hotel Chancellor Hotel on Union Square Comfort Suites San Francisco Airport Commodore Hotel, a Joie de Vivre Boutique Hotel Hotel Cosmo, A Kimpton Boutique Hotel Courtyard by Marriott Fishermans Wharf Dakota Hotel Hotel Diva Embassy Hotel