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This month we bring you an array of Asian flavors, plus a casual Mexican concept with small plates and sangria. It’s all happening right here, right now. Here’s our official list of the five places where you should be eating. Now get on OpenTable, stat.


Itani Ramen

Inspired by chef Kyle Itani’s travels to Japan, this quick-service spot dishes out steaming bowls of house-made noodles that highlight styles from different regions of the Land of the Rising Sun. Don’t expect the usual salt bomb here--Itani’s broth skims the fat and uses ingredients like fennel oil for earthier, more nuanced flavors. It’s even open until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, making it perfect for late-night Uptown bar crawls.

1736 Telegraph Ave., Oakland; 510-788-7489 or

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Miminashi Napa

Oenotri vet Curtis Di Fede has finally opened the doors to his zen-like homage to Japanese cuisine with a decidedly California bent. Expect izakaya-style fare, plus a binchotan grill for yakitori skewers and an omakase chef’s counter. Order the chicken tonkatsu with an Asahi  and save room for dessert--in the form of black sesame soft-serve in a house-made waffle cone.

821 Coombs St., Napa; 707-254-9464 or



Like a phoenix risen up from the ashes (literally--it replaces TBD, the open-fire cooking concept, which ironically burned down), this restaurant has been reborn as Fénix, a colorful Mexican spot serving up small plates, large plates, ?little tastes? and plenty of seasonal sangria (think rosé, strawberry and mint). Order a carafe and munch on grilled pineapple adobo, queso fundido and grilled flank steak.

1077 Mission St.; 415-431-1826 or


Sushi Hashiri

Just when you thought living in this city couldn’t get more expensive, in walks Sushi Hashiri. With a kaiseki-style menu (a set multicourse meal) going for $250 a head, $300 spots at the sushi counter and a $500 omakase menu, this place takes the prize for most expensive sushi restaurant in town. But hey, what do you expect for fresh fish delivered straight from Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji Market? A girl can dream (of seared wagyu and silver shad nigiri).

4 Mint Plaza; 415-908-1919 or


Everything Hapa

Din Tai Fung

We bet you’d never guess that we’d send you to a mall for dinner. The new Din Tai Fung is the one exception. The dumpling mecca’s first Bay Area location has been so popular since opening (we’re talking a four-hour wait) that the restaurant had to start a reservations-only policy to accommodate hangry patrons demanding their share of xiao long bao.

2855 Stevens Creek Blvd., Santa Clara; 408-248-1688 or

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