Paella in San Francisco

So, when it's raining in San Francisco, what else is one to do but wander the city looking for Spanish / Catalan / Basque joints to eat? That's what I did. Here is my review:

1) Bocadillos: A -
Bocadillos is a great little hideaway in the financial district. It had a Basque flavor more than Spanish, but the menu covers regions all across Spain. Definitely worth the effort to get there.
By and large, we liked this place so much that we went there twice. I had two bocadillos (one of jamon serrano, and one of butifarra (which is a Catalan sausage), both of which were great). We also had maple glazed butternut squash, patatas bravas, sardines and olives, brussell sprouts with pears and jamon, all of which were perfect. My only complaint was some undercooked chorizo . . . but if that's all, then I can't complain.

2) B44: A +

B44 is located down a little alley in the financial district as well. Every restaurant around it was abandoned when we went on a Monday evening, but B44 was jammed. Inside, the decor is "modern catalan," to the extent that I can identify decor.
The highlight of B44: a Paella Cacadora (chicken, rabbit, pancetta, mushrooms, rosemary, and parsley picada) which was unlike any paella I had ever had. It definitely didn't taste "traditional," but it was really really good. I loved this place.

3). Esperpento: B
Esperpento was less "hip" and more "south of spain" than the other two places I have mentioned. It's located in the Mission, sort of out-of-the-way if you are downtown.
We had all kinds of tapas at Esperpento, all of which were good, but let's get to the real situation: The Paella. I had the Paella "Matanza" which has chicken, pork ribs, chorizo, morcilla (blood sausage) and butifarra (catalan sausage). In short, the Paella was pretty good, but a bit oily for my liking. I would have liked to have seen some crust on the bottom, but there was just oil. What's more, blood sausage doesn't belong in a Paella. But, the tapas at Esperpento saved the rest of the meal . . . fun place to be.
So, if I had to recommend one of the three, I would choose B44 (but maybe that's because I am biased toward Catalan fare). But in any event, San Francisco is full of corner bistros full of Spanish food, from tapas to paella. I loved it.


  1. I never knew that there are paella serve in san francisco coz im only visited there once a year. Maybe i should try to go there one after the vacation.

  2. This is really terrific! I never thought that Paella is also served in San Francisco's restaurants. Paella is a really gorgeous meal and it makes me want to find some restaurants that offers it. But I think I should make one myself before getting my Food Handler Certification.

  3. I found a cool Paella Party offer on Groupon: