Nopa is one of the hardest places to get reservations in San Francisco. It seriously could rival the French Laundry in terms of difficulty and reservations are usually made months in advance. However, unlike the French Laundry, Nopa provides online reservations through OpenTable, which definitely makes getting a table a lot easier than the French Laundry. Nopa San Francisco
Nopa is like many of the San Francisco’s restaurants in that it’s farm to table serving Californian food and emphasing on quality ingredients. It’s not too surprising in a health conscious city since San Francisco is touted as one of the healthiest cities in the United States. The restaurant has a communal table in the front, a large bar and seatings on two floors. The decor is industrial yet rustic and very inviting even though it screams over-priced pretentiousness and hipster gentrification.
The service was wonderful as I sat at the Chef’s counter and had a whole conversation with the chef/owner, Laurence Jossel. We spoke about everything from Michelin rated restaurants, their chefs and local San Francisco restaurants. He came off as a really nice and down to earth guy who enjoys having a beer on the weekend if he had it off. He mentioned he hasn’t had a day off since he started Nopa cause he loves what he does and doesn’t consider it work. I really admire his attitude and perspective in life.
What makes Nopa special? They has menu that consistently changes on a daily basis and they may bring back items if they are wildly popular. It’s a great restaurant concept to mix things up and keep the creative juices boiling. Pun intended. Now, the food.
- Chili Braised Pork Shoulder – The chili braised pork shoulder was smothered by the creamy polenta, roasted peppers, blue cheese and pistachios. The red peppers gave a kick to the dish. The greens and pistachios gave the dish an earthy element to it. It meshed well with the tender pieces of braised pork; the braised pork tore apart very well. I usually dislike blue cheese cause it overpowers the other ingredients but Nopa did a great job with portion control on this dish.
- Fried Farm Egg – The fried farm egg came with king trumpet mushrooms, chervil, and sherry vinagrette. It was laid on top of the other ingredients and had a seared bottom provide a crispy texture to it. The yolk was in tact and oozed all over the rest of the ingredients as you cut through it. It was a good addition to the egg and bread.
Overall, Nopa is a wonderful restaurant in Alamo Square. The farm to table and ingredients focused restaurant lives up to its hype and I can see why there’s a buzz about it. The relatively decent prices in addition to the efficent service makes it a great stop in the city. I would definitely make a detour to eat here again.
- Service - 8.5/108.5/10
- Presentation - 7/107/10
- Flavors - 8/108/10
- Decor - 8.5/108.5/10
- Ambiance - 8/108/10
Nopa is a fantastic restaurant focusing on farm to table with a menu that changes on a daily basis. The wildly popular restaurant is a must stop while in San Francisco and makes the perfect location for brunch with its rustic decor. The service is great and efficent.