Restaurant Review: Three-fer Thursday

First, I want to say that this post is dedicated to Mary-Knight Etzel. She was my Grandma-in-law, who loved me like her own, and she was also my most loyal reader. Today would’ve been her 87th birthday and I am writing this one especially for her.

I have three restaurants to review for you today! Roxanne’s Cafe, Little Star Pizza, and Amber.

Roxanne’s Cafe

You don’t have to wear that dress tonight. Sorry, I had to do it. Roxanne’s is on the corner of Powell and Bush (www.nobhilldining.com/roxannecafe). I went there with a friend after the Chinese New Year Parade. It was one of those nights that was a little too chilly to stand and watch a parade, so about halfway through we ducked into the cafe for coffee. As we stood there waiting for our hot drinks, I saw a waitress deliver Pasta a la Roxanne to a customer. It looked so creamy and delicious. We had to come back for dinner! When we came back, I had the Ravioli al Funghi and she got the Pollo Basillico. Both amazing! Plus it’s this quaint little restaurant that feels comfortable and casual. There have a million things on the menu from Italian to breakfast, to burgers. And the coffee is good too!

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Little Star Pizza

Little Star serves the deep dish pizzas like Patxi’s. It’s on the corner of 15th and Valencia (and two other locations www.littlestarpizza.com). The night I visited this joint, I enjoyed appetizers of caprese salad and garlic bread. The garlic bread comes as plain bread, a container of butter, and a whole head of garlic that’s been roasted. Spreading the soft creamy garlic on my bread was really fun and  unique and I applaud them for their creativity. The pizza I ate was deep dish Mediterranean with artichokes, feta, chicken, and basil. It was delicious and hearty! If I had to compare the two pizza places, I would say the crust is better at Little Star, but the wait is better at Patxi’s (we waited 1.5 hours at Little Star!).

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Amber

Amber is an Indian restaurant that is hidden in this little alley behind St Patricks Cathedral (25 Yerba Buena lane www.amber-india.com). My friend and I wanted to go to Tropisueno that night but the wait was too long. So  we went next door and hoped for the best. Amber is a really nice place. I felt outta place in my jeans and sneakers. We sat at one of the bar tables for quicker service, and we were thankful to find that the whole menu was available at the bar. This Indian restaurant does not have Tika Masala, Tandori chicken, etc on the menu. I got the impression that the chef invented all the food he served. I ordered an dish that was a whole chicken leg and thigh submerged in red creamy sauce. With rice. It was outstanding. The chicken was so tender and the sauce had that cooked-all-day taste. I also enjoyed naan with cheese in it and I learned that naan is tasty when it’s warm and fresh!

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