Friday, September 17, 2004

Medjool:Restaurant Review CLOSED

In the Mission district of San Francisco there is no shortage of good places to eat. Valencia street between 16th and 22nd in particular, is a culinary corridor. You can choose from Indian, Nuevo Latino, Italian, Vietnamese, Spanish, Mexican, American, Japanese, Chinese, Vegetarian, Vegan--you name it. Some of the City's most interesting restaurants are there, interspersed with hip boutiques, bars, cafes, music stores and furniture shops.

But Mission street is another story. Just two blocks away, Mission is still a street in transition, though there are a few gentrified spots, including Minako, Cha Cha Cha, Bruno's and one of my favorites, Foreign Cinema. And now there is Medjool. Medjool consists of a cafe, restaurant and bar. Just a couple of doors down from Foreign Cinema it is yet another "small plate" style place. But here the prices are reasonable, topping out at $12 for a fish or steak plate. The interior is kind of swinging 60's meets Middle Eastern--lots of rich orange and gold tones and Aladdin-style lamps.

This week Medjool hosted it's opening night party and it was full of politicos. Mayor Gavin Newsom, supervisor Tom Ammiano, and the gonzo political columnist Warren Hinckle along with his sad-faced basset hound were in attendance. But aside from the speeches and congratulations and even, would you believe ribbon cutting? there was food. Being passed around were deliciously soft mini pita pizzettas with olive, red pepper and feta, perfectly cooked harissa crusted hangar steak kebabs, and pita crisps with a black bean hummus. The least successful bites were the endive filled with tabouli salad and grilled shrimp and skewers of chicken with an almond pomegranate sauce. Also on hand were platters of hummus and baba gahnoush which were both quite tasty and tangy. While it's not fair to judge a place on opening night alone, it is a wonderful space and the food I tried would certainly encourage me to return.

CLOSED 2522 Mission Street (between 21st and 22nd Streets)
San Francisco
Phone: 415.550.9055

Cafe: Continuous Service
7am-6:30pm Monday- Friday,
8am-3pm Sat. & Sun.

Restaurant & Lounge:
6:30-10pm Monday- Friday,
until 10:30pm Fri. & Sat.

Bar Menu Served: 10pm-1:30am