La Urbana

2 10 2013

La Urbana is the newest schmancy Mexican joint to open up in SF — it’s on Divis and Grove, right next to Bar Crudo and a skip away from Nopa. A friend of mine heard the buzz and made a reservation, and I was happy to check it out.

Quesadillas "Tijuana" - Smoked Goat Cheddar, Summer Vegetables - $8

Quesadillas “Tijuana” – Smoked Goat Cheddar, Summer Vegetables – $8

The space is really cool. It’s open and bright and sufficiently posh for upscale SF dining. It’s pretty loud, however, and toward the end of our meal, we were struggling to hear each other. Now, regarding everything else, apparently Eater SF has already got it covered. Though their article really does just quote Yelp reviews… so I’m going to one-up them and do my own drawn-out Yelp review on something called a blog. Read on!

The bottom line: the food was very good, but the portions were hopelessly tiny. If the price of each dish were half of what it was, then it might be ok (you would just order a bajillion items, which would be weird, but at least you’d be full). But, the prices were normal for far larger quantities of food at comparable restaurants. If they sort this out, which I hope they will since it seems to be a mantra on Yelp right now, then they’ll be GtG*. Until then, look at my pictures and eat a quesadilla or two beforehand if you go.

For starters, their margaritas were good. The La Urbana Margarita comes in a silly glass, but it packs a punch and is very tasty.

Violet Flower Margarita - $11

Violet Flower Margarita – $11

La Urbana Margarita - $9

La Urbana Margarita – $9

The rest of the food comes in tiny, beautiful portions. I could have eaten all of these dishes myself and been content. We were sharing between four people. We were all hungry when we left. And the bill was not under $200 (with tax and tip).

Huevos con Chorizo - $6

Huevos con Chorizo – Potato Puree, Lime Crema, Nasturtium Leaf – $6

Ceviche de Pescado - $11

Ceviche de Pescado – $11

Ensalada Verde - $12

Ensalada Verde – $12

Coctel de Callos de Hacha - Diver Scallop, Tomato Gelée, Avocado, Cilantro - $6

Coctel de Callos de Hacha – Diver Scallop, Tomato Gelée, Avocado, Cilantro – $6

This brings up another point — there were MANY things on this menu that none of us could decipher. The titles of each dish are in Spanish. This is fine for your standard pollo, ceviche, chorizo, and I even know what cebolla means. But we literally had to have the waiter stand there and translate a good handful of dishes so that we even knew what they were. Not a great choice, in my opinion. Continuing:

Betabeles y Chayote – Roasted Beets, Smoked Almonds, Habanero - $11

Betabeles y Chayote – Roasted Beets, Smoked Almonds, Habanero – $11

The mains were particularly overpriced for the quantity; they were more like appetizers.

Calabacitas - Baby Summer Squash, Wheat Berries, Poached Egg - $19

Calabacitas – Baby Summer Squash, Wheat Berries, Poached Egg – $19

Huachinango al Huitlacoche - Red Snapper, Cauliflower, Radish - $26

Huachinango al Huitlacoche – Red Snapper, Cauliflower, Radish – $26

We tried a dessert, though we had no idea that this description meant “chocolate pudding”. It was very good. The worm-looking things were crunchy and surprisingly delicious. I could have eaten seven of these tiny bowls.

Chocolate Crémeux Oaxacan Chocolate, Canela Tuile,  Mezcal Gelée - $9

Chocolate Crémeux Oaxacan Chocolate, Canela Tuile,
Mezcal Gelée – $9

*GtG = good to go.

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4 responses

3 10 2013
Diane Williams

And you are not one to need large portions! If you say they were small…they must have been teeny tiny! They looked small.

3 10 2013
Alicia

you make me giggle so much. “Though their article really does just quote Yelp reviews… so I’m going to one-up them and do my own drawn-out Yelp review on something called a blog. Read on!”

15 10 2013
Corinne

this is the second entry i’ve seen with goat cheese involved– clearly i’m missing it in my life. & that violet flower margarita is downright pretty. & yay for blogging it out!
– Corinne @ Munch Ado

19 10 2013
Tara

I also had the pleasure of checking them out a few weeks ago. Your review was spot on: food was delicious but I had to order a pizza after.

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