There aren't many superlative lunch options around Levi's Plaza at the tip of North Beach, but now there's Parlor 1255. The "creamery and eatery" opened a few weeks ago under the helm of Culinary Institute of America-trained Bungalow 44 sous chef Kait Bauman, and offers an ambitious list of sandwiches and salads along with smoothies and fresh ice cream and frozen yogurt. After perusing the sandwich options, including a seared tuna niçoise ($11), a lobster roll ($12), a Parmesan-crusted Gouda grilled cheese with poached figs ($8), and a chicken banh mi ($8.50), we settled on the pork belly with cucumber kimchi and 4505 chicharones ($8.50).
The sandwich was on a fresh Acme loaf and contained two generous hunks of fatty pork belly along with the kimchi and a tangy, mayo-based sauce. It was super-satisfying, if a bit heavy (then again, what did we expect?). Its spice was nicely tempered by the fat-free pumpkin yogurt we got on the side, which was so creamy we didn't miss the fat and tasted faintly of real pumpkin along with the requisite autumnal spices.
We're also excited about the menu of smoothies and breakfast sandwiches, including one featuring homemade bacon. Plus there's Sightglass coffee. With its commitment to local ingredients, seasonal menu options, and "deliciousness," according to the menu, we'll be back for many more lunches and mid-morning breaks.
The tiny sandwichery is little more than a storefront with no inside seating, but right out the door there's a fairly adorable area set aside for sandwich-and-fro-yo eating. Or you can head into the sun of Levi's Plaza and feel superior to everyone who doesn't have a delicious sandwich for lunch today.