Annals of gentrification: new restaurant on a sketchy block
I was getting my car washed this afternoon at the big car wash on 16th and SVN and decided to find someplace to have a late lunch. When I walked past a brand new luxe restaurant on 16th St., I did a double-take. Here was a prettily designed bistro with tasteful lighting on one of the sketchiest corners in the Mission — just off Capp, across 16th St. from Theatre Rhinocerous — for the first time I can remember in my 25-plus years in the city, a decent restaurant on the block.
The place was called Bar Bambino. It was bereft of customers at 1:30 pm, but a friendly waiter named Jeremy invited me in, showed me around, and got me some lunch. My lunch was simple so I don’t have a big gourmet review to give, but the bruschetta was exquisite, and the pasta was perfectly cooked. The place is nice — just opened a few days ago.
Judging by this excited blog entry on snooty city site 7×7, the bourgeoisie has been salivating about the place. And since I’m usually too intimidated to go into trendy restaurants — I’ve never had the nerve to go into Zuni, for example — I might never have stopped in if the waiter hadn’t invited me in.
So, they’re friendly. The owner’s dad was in there doing handyman work. I’m going back.