Early Bird Special: Nombe

  • By John Birdsall, SFoodie Editor
  • Tue Dec 29th, 2009 11:51am
  • DiningSFoodie
Skewered: Izakaya-style grilled meats at Nombe.

An early nibble from the Weekly's Wednesday food review.

Big duh: Street food was huger than Jesus in San Francisco this year, which is why the November launch of Mission District izakaya joint Nombe (2491 Mission at 21st St.) made total sense. A collaboration by ex-O Izakaya chef Nick Balla and Sozai proprietors Gil Payne and Mari Takahashi, Nombe tries to fuse table food and pavement food, via late-night weekend street eats. Though the effort is still no more than a gesture, it's perfectly fitting for a place that's probing the snarly, sometimes gritty cooking of Japan's bar-food genre, with a sprawling sake menu and notable Cali twists. The kitchen's aspirations sometimes outpace its abilities, but it's unlikely you'll come away from Nombe ― either the restaurant part or the after-hours street-y part ― not feeling satisfied. Read the full review by John Birdsall later today at SFWeekly.com; as a preview, read SFoodie's extended excerpt (after the jump).

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