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The fish taco ($4.75) served at Traci des Jardins' Mijita (Monday-Wednesday 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Thursday-Friday 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 399-0814) is exemplary — nothing but moist, crunchy, lightly battered rock cod stuffed in a soft corn tortilla with shredded cabbage and a touch of cilantro. At the adjacent Delica rf1 Japanese deli (weekdays 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m., 834-0344) you can feast on an almost overwhelming kaki-age ($3.75), a big spiky globe of white prawns and shredded edamame, carrots, burdock, and onions wrapped in crunchy tempura, but the Meyer Ranch roast beef sushi ($2 a piece) is a nice, lusty change of pace. Even better is the porcheta di testa sandwich ($8) from Boccalone (weekdays 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturdays 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m.-5 p.m., 433-6500), shards of fat-streaked, garlicky, peppery pig's head with pungent greens and creamy provolone served piping hot from the panini press.
At the Imperial Tea Court (Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m., 544-9830), a wood-paneled oasis of relative quietude, you can sip a cup of Imperial White Peony while nibbling on a platter of almond cookies, ginger almonds, spiced raisins, and green tea pumpkin seeds ($7.50). Across the concourse at Recchiuti Confections (weekdays 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 834-9494), beautifully rendered chocolates of great imagination are displayed like baubles at Tiffany. The fleur de sel caramel, bergamot tea, and lemon verbena ($1.25 each) are as mind-expanding as any good narcotic and are especially recommended.
San Francisco, CA 94110
Region: Mission/ Bernal Heights
With only a few more venues to explore, it's time to amp up your energy level with a bomboloni from I Preferiti di Boriana (weekdays 8 a.m.-8 p.m., weekends 8 a.m.-6 p.m., 402-0421), which is like the best jelly doughnut you've ever tasted, a cloud of fried dough sprinkled with sugar and filled with sweet-tart raspberry jam. The fudgy, bittersweet chocolate-filled variety is good, too. Next up: Mastrelli's Delicatessen (weekdays 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m., 397-3354), home of the turkey basil special sandwich ($9), an earthy taste of the Mediterranean packed with mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, sweet peppers, and housemade pesto. Grab a delicate peach button cookie ($1.25) and a ridiculously sweet and juicy August Fire nectarine ($3.90/lb.) at Frog Hollow Farm (weekdays 7 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., 445-0990), then sit yourself down at the long communal table in Boulettes Larder (weekdays 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; no sit-down meals served Saturday or weekdays 10:30-11:30 a.m. or after 2:30 p.m., 399-1155) and feast on a succulent, fat-ribboned inch-thick filet of braised pork belly limned with thyme, carrots, and onions ($12.50) with walnut sourdough toast and blackberry jam on the side ($5.50).
The Ferry Building's southwest anchor is the casually elegant MarketBar saloon and restaurant (weekdays from 11:30 a.m., weekends from 9 a.m., 434-1100). On a sunny Saturday, it's nice to sit at one of the sidewalk tables, noshing on poached eggs, sweet tomatoes, Swiss chard, and soft polenta ($13.75), watching the streetcars and strollers and tourists off the ferryboats, listening to the steel band and the clinking of glassware and the chimes of the clock towering above. And wondering if there's room for one more scoop of gelato.
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