Last week, your Bernalwood editor visited El Buen Comer, the much-acclaimed new restaurant at 3435 Mission Street (@Kingston) in the La Lengua Autonomous Zone. El Buen Comer is now open for dinner, and our meal there sent us into a state of guisado-induced rapture.
What’s a guisado? Well, think of it sort of like a Mexican version of a Thai or Indian curry. Anna Roth from the San Francisco Chronicle had a similar moment of guisado rapture at El Buen Comer recently, and she explains:
The plate arrived with six pieces of stewed pork in a sea of green sauce. I’ve never been one to forgo pork products, but the mole verde, not the meat, wholly captivated my attention. It was richly layered and bright-tasting from fresh cilantro and epazote, with just a whisper of heat from green chiles. As I sopped up the last of the sauce with a house-made tortilla, I realized that I’d be doing the same thing with naan at an Indian restaurant; mole, like curry, is just a complicated stew.
Puerco en mole verde is just one of several remarkable dishes being turned out by Isabel Caudillo at her 6-week-old Bernal Heights restaurant, El Buen Comer. The daily changing menu centers on guisados — stews from Caudillo’s native Mexico City, where they can be served at home for weekday dinner or spooned into tacos for workers on the go.
Guisados have recently become trendy in food circles north of the border, but Caudillo has been serving them in San Francisco for more than a decade. She began selling comida corrida, simple fixed-price lunches of soup, tortillas, rice, beans and guisados, out of her Tenderloin apartment in 2001.
Bernalwood ate at El Buen Comer a few days after Anna Roth’s article was published, and the resulting crush of customers who flocked to the restaurant threatened to overwhelm the staff, which is largely comprised of chef Isabel Caudillo’s family. But we hardly cared, because teething pains are to be expected, and everyone was friendly, charming, and attentive.
Most of all, the food was revelatory and delicious.
Welcome to Bernal, El Buen Comer! We’re very lucky to have you here.
PHOTO: Puerco en mole verde at El Buen Comer, by Bernalwood