When friends visiting San Francisco ask me for restaurant recommendations, Lolinda is always one of the first restaurants I send them to. An Argentinian steakhouse in the middle of the Mission district, it’s well worth a visit for the food, the drinks and to check-out the neighborhood’s street art.
This little strip on Mission Street is always buzzing. Lolinda is flanked between the popular Foreign Cinema restaurant (also a must!) and its sister restaurant, El Techo de Lolinda. It’s a great spot for group dinners, a date or even with colleagues if you’re in the city for business – the Silicon Valley tech scene loves the Mission.
Start your evening up at the El Techo rooftop bar. Rooftop bars are pretty scarce in San Francisco, so this is a great spot to admire the cityscape over a few capriosca’s. If you’re a seasoned SF goer, you’ll be in the know about the mild breeze often swallowing the city – fortunately they have outdoor heaters for the cooler nights and this area is one of the least prone to the fog, so watching the sun go down isn’t a far-fetched idea. Enjoy a few small plates, maybe some ceviche or a quesadilla and then make your way down to Lolinda for dinner.
First thing to remember about dinner in San Francisco, is you’ll pretty much always need to book in advance – usually weeks, and sometimes months before. Lolinda is no exception, particularly on weekends – while the space is large, there’s rarely a spare seat on either of the two floors. The ceilings are high, the lighting is dim and tables and booths are dotted all-over.
This restaurant does a great job of combining Latin American flavours with California sensibilities. They offer a wide range of meats cooked over the wood-fired asador (grill), and many other specialty dishes.
If you’re into steak, then this is your place. As you’d expect, there’s a decent variety on the menu and they are cooked to perfection and packed with flavour. They also do a great pork chop. Other options not to be missed: empanadas with spinach, mushroom and brie cheese,; Vigorón pork belly with cabbage, jalapeño and lime; and the Spanish octopus with potatoes, salsa verde and aioli.
Ensalada de Quinoa $8/$14
frisée, grilled persimmon, pepita, cotija cheese, mint vinaigrette
Tartar de Carne $12
beef tartare, pickles, olives, horseradish aioli, toast
lentil stew, chorizo, root vegetables, tomato relish
roasted cauliflower, almonds, raisins, raisin vinaigrette, arugula
Pastel de Jaiba $21
blue crab, potato, cream, bread crumbs, pickled jalapeño, manchego cheese
malbec braise, chayote picadillo, slasa verde
tomato braised beef cheeks, polenta, root vegetables
A LA VARA
chicken, corn, onion, aji amarillo
white shrimp, potatoes, salsa criolla
onion, zucchini, eggplant, corn
skirt steak 6oz
Ojo de Bife $44
ribeye steak 18oz
prime bone-in ribeye steak 26oz