NOPA

Last night I went to NOPA which is located at 560 Divisadero in San Francisco.  It was Daniel’s choice based on recommendations from his classmates in culinary school.  We were a party of seven and had reservations at 9:00 PM.  Daniel has a friend who works there so we were in luck so we had great personal service, special treatment, and perhaps a nice little discount on the bill.

This is the front of the restaurant so you guys will know what to look for.

I guess they change a few things here and there on the menu so I thought it was really unique that they date their menu.  I don’t know why that impressed me so much.  I guess it was because I have never seen anyone else do that before (or I may just have never noticed if they did).

Here is the group of foodies.  From left to right: Daniel, Aldrin, Alan, Tiffany, Sharon, and Paul.

We started off with marinated zucchini’s.  There was only enough for each person and it was compliments of the house.  I would think it was a palate cleanser because it was pickled a little bit.  I dipped it in the salt, but I guess I put too much and it up being too salty.

This are the fried anchovies.  I didn’t try it because I don’t like tiny fish so I won’t be able to describe it for you.  I can say that I bet they were crispy.

This is the flatbread with a garlic spread, bacon, and cheese.  Just look at the fat on that piece of bacon, just glistening under the light.  Fat never looked so sexy.  I loved this dish very much.  I love garlic.  I love bacon.  And I love cheese.  Put them all together and what do you get? Pure heaven (starts to drool).

The progression of Paul’s herb roasted chicken.  He got half of a chicken and man did he clean his plate.  Looking at the bones, I’m thinking you could use that to make your own chicken stock.

This is Sharon’s parpadelle with a Bolognese sauce.  I didn’t try this, but I bet it was good because she ended up cleaning her plate entirely.

Look how long that noodle was!  I kept laughing because Sharon kept playing with it.  I wanted to take a nice, classy picture, but she kept trying to stick out her tongue to play with it.  I jokingly told her that she needed to act her age and be ladylike about it.  Well that lasted only a few seconds and this is what I was able to capture before it got wild again.

I decided that I would go for the pork chop because I wanted to see how it would compare to The House’s pork chop.  This one was good, succulent, and tender, but I have to say that The House still wins me over because I liked their currant and blueberry sauce more than I liked the olive sauce.  I did enjoy the nectarines that came with it though. Personally, I thought my piece of meat was cut too thick for my liking and it took a little effort to slice through it.  Also, call me crazy, but I would probably would have liked my pork chop a little more rare than medium.

Daniel was definitely enjoying that pork chop.  He was having his Meg Ryan moment in the movie, When Harry Met Sally.  You know the scene I’m taking about -when she was at the diner and the food the was having brought her to . . . you know . . . come on, don’t make me say it.  It starts with an “O” and that’s all I’m saying.

Now it’s time for the best part of a meal!

This is what NOPA calls a sopaipilla.  I call this the love child of a churro and a beignet.  It was accompanied by a honey-butter sauce.  The outside was crispy and the inside was a little doughy and I enjoyed it very much.

This was the butterscotch icebox tart.  I only had one bite of it because I’m not a butterscotch fan.  It wasn’t as sweet as I expected it to be and it was actually frozen.  I was not expecting the filling to be like ice cream, but it was a pleasant surprise.

This is the chocolate soufflé.  It was topped with bits of lavender which I thought was a weird combination.  Tiffany did all of the ordering for the desserts and left this one out, but I was craving chocolate so I ordered an extra dessert.  Surprisingly, this had to be my least favorite one because I did not care for the lavender.  I felt like I was chewing on potpourri.

If I could award any dish I tried throughout the night, I would give it to this one.  This was my “moment”.  The trio of sorbets with the shortbread cookie stole the show.  I can only remember two of the flavors, which were the nectarine and the boysenberry ones.  The boysenberry was the best of the three.  The cookie was amazing.  Ironically, it had lavender in it too, but somehow I didn’t feel like it was overwhelming my taste buds.  There was also a hint of salt on the cookies which made for a sweet and savory dessert.  Let me tell you, I would drive all the way back here and go insane trying to find parking just for this dessert.  That’s how much I loved it.  I guess I loved it more than anyone else because I savored every drop of it and ended up finishing it.

This is what the restaurant looked like when we left . . . at 11:30PM.  People were still being seated at that time.  I never realized how late city people hang out on Thursday nights.  I’m usually in bed by that time ready to fall asleep.  I really like the decor and the set up of the restaurant, especially the lighting.  I didn’t have to worry too much about the pictures coming out too bad.

I bet the tables around us were rejoicing that we were heading out because we were such a loud party.  I don’t think there was a single minute that went by without someone laughing.  I laughed so much that night that my cheeks were in pain, but I’m sure I had a good workout just from that.

As we went out separate ways, I had to take a picture with Sharon, whom I’ve known since elementary school.  I really think that it’s been about a year since I last saw her which is ridiculously too long, but I love how every time we see each other, there is nothing but jokes and laughter.

I would definitely recommend this place to anyone.  It’s a place where locals hang out and I will guarantee you will enjoy your food.  The service is very good.  They waiters and waitresses were attentive, but not overbearing.  Water was always refilled quickly and our table was always wiped clean before the next course is served.  I also really like the people who eat here too, as weird as it sounds.  The people are fresh and sophisticated, but not pretentious in any way.  They are just there for some good food and good company, not to mention there were a lot of good looking people eating there, so that’s a plus . . . I guess.

Good choice, Daniel!

My ratings:

Food: 4.56 / 5

Service: 4.67 / 5

Atmosphere: 4.89 / 5

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About ajsrichantra

Simple things make me happy.
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