Digesting The Reviews: YucateCAN!

With MB on the sidelines, Tara Duggan took the reins in this week’s Chronicle Food Section and headed straight to the Mission’s Popul Vuh to indulge in the latest mini-trend to hit the ‘hood: Yucatecan food. There was a time when Mi Lindo Yucatan and run-of-the-mill taquerias were the lone options, but Roger Magana’s little gem has clearly broken away from the pack:

Popol Vuh stands out for its freshly made food and friendly service. Those unfamiliar with Mayan cuisine might take a while to warm up to some of the specialties, but they are almost uniformly delicious…The moody, darkly lit room isn’t precious at all, but has much more atmosphere than most budget-minded Mexican restaurants nearby. And the food is definitely several steps above what most of them have to offer.

Popul Vuh embraces many iconic Mayan dishes–panuchos and calabaza are among the highlights–while offering individual $3 tacos during lunchtime. Some dishes did fizzle during Duggan’s visits, namely the overcooked fish, but on the whole, a very impressive–and slightly surprising–2.5 stars for the casual Yucatecan newcomer. [SFGate]

After the jump, we’ve got (separate) ruminations on steak and cafe culture, so jump along.

At the Bay Guardian, Meredith Brody waxes poetic on the nationwide renaissance of steak (“Steak is having one of its moments right now”) in her visit to Boboquivari’s, but then wonders why San Francisco is slow to hop on the red
meat beefwagon. Her questions might have been partly answered with the, um, curious atmosphere at one of the city’s finest steakhouses:

Acting on a tip about their dry-aged prime meat, I showed up late one night, alone, at a steakhouse called Bobo’s on Lombard. It occupies a small stand-alone building in front of a Travelodge, with the welcome and infrequent offer of free valet parking. The entrance was in the throes of renovation: I stepped through a frame of raw wood into a crowded little foyer, with a confusion of awkward rooms beyond it. The fussy décor was vaguely Venetian, vaguely reddish whorehouse, with tacky puppets that turned out to be boboquivaris — court jesters. I was led to a singularly uncomfortable, high little table tucked in what little space was left over from a U-shaped bar. I felt close enough to touch the bar’s noisy patrons, and I was more than close enough to be party to their every verbal sally. The view across the street was of another uninspiring motel.

The thing is, once her rare bone-in filet mignon arrived (“the best steak I’d had in a long time”), all was forgiven. [SF Weekly]

Around the rest of the interwebs, Paul Reidinger likes what he sees at Elisa’s Cafe and L’s Caffe, despite his confusion over the various spellings of “cafe.” Meanwhile, the Chowhounds are lukewarm on Boulevard, Miriam Morgan has nothing but nice things to say about San Mateo classic Ristorante Capellini and The Tablehopper opts for a literary review instead of a gastronomic one.

[Photo courtesy: Yelp/Nicole N.]

Digesting The Reviews: YucateCAN!