3945 24th St at Noe, SF 94114
phone: 415-695-0549
hours: 11am-10pm Sun-Thurs, 11am-11pm Fri-Sat

Apparently, this hot Latin American restaurant opened in Noe Valley after triumphing with their first two Frescas (Pacific Heights and West Portal). One visit and you'll understand how they found such success.

The Ambience:
Jovial and warm. The decor is tasteful, the colors are energetic, and the place just has a good vibe. Bright yellow upholstery on one wall of booths beckons across the restaurant to the deep aqua behind two cozy alcoved tables. The bar sits under small, hanging, warm orange lamps, and stretched, arched ceilings. On the other side of the room, the open kitchen is unobtrusively situated. The music's chill groove of funky deep baselines and toe-tapping drum beats are equally subdued. It's a lively crowd, so it can be loud.

The Menu:
Peruvian, meaning a variety of ceviches, seared ahi, fried shrimp or plantains, grilled meats and of course Sangria! Small plates or entrees (which are pretty huge). Something for everyone. $15-$20 an entree.

The Food:
We were the last seating of the day and made a snap decision to go with the Peruvian rotisserie chicken. It was richly flavored with cumin and very tender, though a little on the dry side (Perhaps it had been roasting too long? Maybe it's an early-bird dish.). The garlic fries and house salad that came with it were surprisingly remarkable too. And the sangria was perfect: not too sweet or cloying.

I hear that their ceviches are outstanding, so check back here for that update. I'm ready for another round!

The Service:
We were there late on a Sunday night, and the place was bustling. Our waiter was entusiasitic, personable, prompt, accurate and attentive. I've read many reviews by people who've had problems with the service on crowded nights or with big groups, so I suggest you arrive with a chill attitude and give yourself over to the experience

Reservations: Strongly suggested.

Overall: A-
A warm, vibrant, fun, delicious experience.

Reviewed: Oct 2005

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