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TBD restaurant
Trust us, order the grilled bread, butter and seaweed. Photo courtesy of Julia Spiess.

Things we love about camping: Sitting around a roaring fire. Toasty wool blankets. Oil lamps. Smoked pork andouille. Juniper-infused cocktails...

Oh wait, never mind... Those are the things we love about the new TBD restaurant.

The old-school camp-themed eatery is just the ticket for those of us who prefer to bring the great outdoors indoors--and eat insanely good food there. Opened by the same folks who run the acclaimed AQ (just a few doors down on Mission Street), TBD has a seasonally determined menu that revolves around the massive live-fire grill and custom hearth that crackles in its center. And every seat in the house has a prime view of the action.

On a recent visit, we took a seat at the bar to see the smoking and roasting up close. Between sips of a "nogroni" ($11) made with sweet vermouth, juniper-infused sherry and a hearty dose of bitters, we devoured the smoked cauliflower in a decadent gribiche sauce ($6) and tender lamb shoulder ($18) with a kick from Turkish chile pepper. We ended the meal on a sweet note with the pumpkin-spice soft-serve ice cream topped with preserved persimmons ($6).

A word to the wise: Wear short sleeves if you plan to sit at the bar, otherwise you?ll roast too.

1077 Mission St.; 415-431-1826 or

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