By Eric Jordan (of the Ghetto Food Critics) & Photos by Matthew Santos (of the Ghetto Food Critics)
Feb 27, 2007 - 3:01 PM
Ramblas (Valencia St. @ 16th in SF's Mission Dist.)|
Ramblas (Valencia St. @ 16th in SF's Mission District):
"Ambiance promotes great conversation..." – Jason
Words to describe Ramblas: Explosion! Excitement! Ex-girlfriend? I wouldn’t suggest bringing any old baggage here. Save this one for your new/potential significant other in your life. Ramblas’ innovative culinary techniques on classic dishes are playful, yet maintain a stylish presence. Although the energy of this low key restaurant can inspire one to dapper up a bit, the rush of emotions as you enter suddenly begin to ease when you find yourself sitting comfortably at your fancy (but no too fancy) table.
Ramblas is the kind of spot where every table is the best table in the house. Every dish (if you eat meat) is a hit, and every bottle of wine is highly recommended.
Sangria? Yes, but not the best. The mango cosmopolitan is highly suggested and the price is right from 5 pm to 7 pm every day during happy hour. Beer? Well, they do brew their own. And it is definitely good, considering the fact that their micro-brews sparked the emergence of restaurants such as Thirsty Bear (Howard St.@ 5th).
Pricing is fair. You'll probably fish out around $25 or less a person, depending on drinks. Portions are small as tapas should be, however, the flavors will definitely compensate.
The fresh warm bread and complementary chili dipping sauce alone will impress your pallet. Remember: this is a Spanish tapas spot! It is not a restaurant where you and your homies can grub out. Merely drinks and tasty bites mixed in with friendly smiles and insightful conversation will complete your evening.
You just may forget that you are on Valencia and 16th after a couple glasses of the imported wine special and a few minutes of non-verbal communication with the very interesting person you came with. This is not a "whatever date" spot. This is THE date spot. If you want the high-endness of the Marina without the hassle of corny white dudes in striped button ups checkin’ out your date, Ramblas will match the city's northern end without putting a dent in your wallet. You can compare the quality of the food at Ramblas to the exclusive restaurants at the Embarcadero but still get that spice of the Mission in a happening part of the city. Ramblas will help you show that special someone a wonderful evening despite the location.
Ambiance is buttah! Clean, not too bright not to dim, soothing vibe and very colorful as far as people. Ramblas is definitely diverse and accommodates to everyone. After all, it's still the Mission. Don't let them white women fool you, when the restaurant closes, it turns back into the hood.
Most of the dishes on the menu are exceptionally appetizing but the Ghetto Food Critic’s top 5 picks are:
*Spanish Tortilla with potatoes and onions, lemon garlic aioli & salsa verde: $6.25
*Sauteed white shrimp with garlic, sherry & olive oil: $8.25
*Browned butter Brussel sprouts with golden raisins, walnuts and sherry: $7.25
*Grilled black sausage over winter vegetable slaw with Spanish cider syrup: $8.50
*Grilled pork loin with butternut squash puree, quince-date compote and sherry shallot: $10.50
3.5 Sporks *** Excellent eats, friendly service, perfect one-on-one ambiance. The VIBE is key!
Visit www.ramblastapas.com for more info.
The Ghetto Food Critics are a collection of young hip hop inspired food enthusiasts. Their purpose is to provide personal insight and opinion to readers on the dining experience within the Bay Area. Basically, they break down restaurants and let readers know what spots are cool or not, based on food quality, price, portion, ambiance and service. A high percentage of what they do come from outside references. Visit them at www.myspace.com/ghettofoodcritics and let them know where to go and they’ll give you the inside dish.