My father and I used to joke that the corner of 26th and Valencia was a cursed corner because of the high rate of restaurant turnover. When a bright blue restaurant called "Al's Place" moved in, I assumed it would meet the same fate as all of its antecedents. However, walking past this corner on my way home from Bart every day, I started to notice something unusual. This restaurant was not only packed, but there was always a long lines of eager eaters in front of the restaurant every day, hours before it even opened for dinner! Curious, I tried to make a reservation only to realize that such efforts were futile. I you want to eat here, and don't want to spend hours standing in line with just the hope of being one of the few walk-ins that the restaurant saves space for, then plan on making a reservation here well in advance. When I finally made such a commitment, I made a one-month in advance reservation and got the only spot available for 2 people, which was at 5:45pm. Now a Michelin star restaurant, Al's Place is here to stay and a welcome addition to the neighborhood.
The outside is not a shy color of blue.
The menu is simple and highlights vegetarian and seafood dishes. The meaty dishes are downplayed and can be found in the "sides" section.
This bright and beautiful dish consists of lightly cured trout, crispy potatoes, smashed turnip, and bagna cauda.
This dish radiates the bounty of springtime produce with its bright pink, yellow, and viridescent colors. On a bed of "brocamole" lies the blistered and smoked brassicas, burrata, and quince vinegar.
Peppery-tasting olive oil on Josey Baker bread.
This yellow eye and bean stew with torn sourdough bread is perfect comfort food for a future stormy San Francisco day.
Jason savoring the smell of the sunchoke curry with black lime-cod, citrus jewels, and tangelo. This is the quintessential San Francisco dish because it uses local ingredients and bright, acidic flavors.
Paydal-filled brownie sundae- a sweet finish to a wonderful meal just blocks from my home!