These dishes have lots of homely appeal, but you come away from Nombe's izakaya noshes with the impression that the food is more gutsy gesture than nuanced delivery. That's the case with grilled ribeye ($14), pinkish fanned slices and a nugget of well-done cap served over a plouf of starchy grated nagaimo (Japanese mountain yam) mixed with wholegrain mustard. The meat isn't quite juicy or succulent enough to make the dish work. And hunks of long-cooked pork belly ($11) are as dry and charmless as three-day leftovers, despite the deliciousness of the accompanying shoyu tamago (a jelly-yolked egg simmered with soy sauce).

The skewered and barbecued meats are an example of Japanese pub food.
Lara Hata
The skewered and barbecued meats are an example of Japanese pub food.

Location Info

Map

Nombe

2491 Mission
San Francisco, CA 94110

Category: Restaurant > California

Region: Mission/ Bernal Heights

Details

681-7150, www.nombesf.com. Izakaya menu 6-11 p.m. Sun.- Mon., Wed.-Sat. Street-food menu 11 p.m.-2 a.m. Fri.-Sat. Closed Tue. Wheelchair accessible. Muni: 14, 14L, 49. Noise level: moderate.
2491 Mission (at 21st St.)

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All the same, there's something about Nombe's ambition to spark a hybrid of street and restaurant that makes you want to see it thrive. Even if, like some 2 a.m. bar hookup driven more by need than attraction, you have to strap on beer goggles first.

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