Abrazo

Abrazo translates to “hug” in Spanish, but the food here is a blend of Spanish and Mediterranean flavors. This place prides itself for being a cozy neighborhood restaurant; I think I’m the only person who biked up many steep streets in Russian Hill to dine here. 

The menu is full of seafood options with bites of chorizo seeming to sneak their way into many of the dishes. The chef also uses local ingredients, but these ingredients are generally hidden by the buttery sauces and aiolis. 

This is a perfect spot to come if you actually want to hear the person you are dining with–a rarity in the San Francisco dining scene. But the restaurant might have been a little too quiet: the place was nearly empty. With the cost of labor so high and hardly any turnaround for the evening, it’s then no surprise that the portions were tiny and so pricey.

Croquetas: Braised chicken, Serrano ham, Calabrian chilies, Mahon, black truffle aioli.

Croquetas: Braised chicken, Serrano ham, Calabrian chilies, Mahon, black truffle aioli.

Toritilla Española: Spanish omlette with charred onion, crème fraîche, chorizo aioli, and frisée.

Toritilla Española: Spanish omlette with charred onion, crème fraîche, chorizo aioli, and frisée.

Gulf prawns with Serrano ham, herbed butter, and breadcrumbs.

Gulf prawns with Serrano ham, herbed butter, and breadcrumbs.

Charred octopus with potatoes, kumquat, chorizo oil, shellfish jus, micro celery, and a grilled scallion vinaigrette.

Charred octopus with potatoes, kumquat, chorizo oil, shellfish jus, micro celery, and a grilled scallion vinaigrette.

Seafood paella with bomba rice, saffron, chorizo, prawns, mussels, squid, one scallop, spring garlic, aioli, and grilled lemon.

Seafood paella with bomba rice, saffron, chorizo, prawns, mussels, squid, one scallop, spring garlic, aioli, and grilled lemon.