El Buen Comer Is Now Open for Dinner (and It’s Amazing)


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

New Neighbor Lives Near Barebottle Brewing, Highly Recommends It


It’s here. The predicted Golden Age for Beer in Bernal Heights is here.

Barebottle Brewing Company at 1525 Cortland has been open now for about a month, and it’s an impressive addition to our local drinkosphere. Neighbor Todd H. is a new Bernal resident who lives very close to Barebottle, and he shared these impressions of the place with us:

A month ago we lived in SOMA — 440 feet away from the Cellermaker brewery. It was hard to leave SOMA. How would we live without our darling neighborhood brewery? Imagine our delight to discover that a new brewery, the Barebottle Brewing Company, was opening a mere 213 feet from our new house right in Bernal, right after we moved in! Only two questions remained: 1) is the beer going to be good, 2) will it be a nice place to hang out and socialize?

The answer to both questions: Yes.

The Beer
Katy had the California Cologne, a Kolsch-Style lager, and it was light, fragrant, and smooth. I had the Scurvy Fighter, a pale ale with strong citrus and lots of hops. A neighbor shared his C’s Bees Honey Brown, which is made with honey from one of the brewers own bees. Barebottle is adding more beers and a number of standards, each with an intriguing twist.


The Place
The sipping area is large and spacious, clean and bright. It’s dog- and kid-friendly, with games like cornhole and a side room where people were already playing board games. The brewing area is separated from the patrons by a small fence, perfect for who love gazing upon gleaming steel tanks and industrial equipment while sipping beer.


In addition to serving beer, Barebottle will teach you how to brew it. There will be regular lectures and classes on homebrewing. While they don’t serve food themselves, a rotating cast of food trucks will be parked in the driveway right outside, with gorgeous custom picnic-style tables inside. My wife and I are debating the merits of starting a small grill cheese cart to offset the substantial tab we’re going to invariably run up.

The beer is great, the atmosphere friendly and bright, and it’s close enough that we can still see our Wi-Fi signal.

PHOTOS: Courtesy of Todd Huffman

3300 Club Badly Damaged, But Owners Vow “We’ll Be Back”


Shukry Lama is a co-owner of the much-loved 3300 Club on the corner of Mission and 29th. The bar was heavily damaged during the June 18 Cole Hardware Fire, even though it managed to avoid the flames.  Inside, the water damage was extensive, but the good news is that the building — which also contains the Graywood Hotel SRO — has been deemed structurally sound, so it won’t require a teardown.

Shukry shared some thoughts with Bernalwood after visiting the 33 to assess the damage:

Going into the bar and seeing how much stuff was damaged, was very depressing

There was a lot of water bubbling all over the ceiling and walls. Cracks in anything plaster, and the drywall is still soaked. ABC says all of our booze is gone; we can’t resell it or return it. We have a lot of pictures from the 30s and 40s that were damaged, mostly of my grandfather who grew up in the neighborhood. We were able to save some of the old paintings we have from an old bartender who passed away a few years ago, but some were damaged. All the original art that we had on the walls from him is damaged and will have to be replaced

My jukebox guy came in, he thinks his jukebox is shot. Hopefully our insurance covers his stuff. Anything electronic is dead.

The building owner has been awesome, he and our building supervisor have been there every day and keep checking up on us. First thing he said, when the fire was still going. was, “tell your grandma not to worry, we can fix it.” He’s been sharing resources, giving advice, and generally helping talk us through the process.

It’s going to take a lot of work to come back, but we’re willing to do it and everyone has been offering their help. It will take a while, but we’ll be back.


PHOTO: Top, 3300 Club interior, photographed by Evan Sernoffsky on June 19. Below, Shukry Lama (right) with his Aunt Chris outside the 3300 Club, shortly after the fire.


ALERT! Special Sneak Peek Opening Party at Barebottle Brewing TONIGHT!




Bernalwood has been informed that there’s a special sneak peek opening party at the brand-new Barebottle Brewing Company happening TONIGHT, Wednesday June 15 from 4-6 pm at 1525 Cortland (@Peralta).

Michael Seitz from Barebottle says:

Howdy Neighbors!

We’ve been working on renovating the old granite cutting warehouse, which needed a lot of TLC, into a production brewery and tasting room. We (Mike, Lester, & Ben) started out as homebrewers & certified beer judges, and our specialty is making beers inspired by local places & ingredients and using a competitive process to brew the best beers.

We’ll have a Bernal Saison free fermented at Bernal Heights temperatures, a Muir Woods-inspired IPA, a Honey Brown using 120-lbs of our head brewer’s wildflower honey (he’s also a local beekeeper), and many more.

Please stop by for a pint tonight! (We’re also hiring bartenders!)


Wednesday: A Special Hillside Supper for Fans of Fungi


Chef (and glamorous Bernal neighbor) Tony Ferrari from the Hillside Supper Club on Precita Park is spreading the word about a special dinner series he’s hosting at the restaurant, with the next installment happening tomorrow, on Wednesday, June 15:

So every third Wednesday of the month, we;ve started doing producer dinners. Its 68 dollars for a set four course meal, with optional wine pairing at 39. Every course will be highlighted and include the product from the producer.

We did the first one last month, with a duck dinner with Liberty Farms. The producers are always part of each dinner, walking around meeting people and talking about the product etc. Its fun to meet them and for us to play around with different ingredients and menu changes. Its been going great and turns into a fun time.

Next, on Wednesday, June 15th, we’ll have a mushroom dinner with King of Mushrooms.

King of Mushrooms is a huge supplier for us, as mushrooms are almost always on on of our items at Hillside. Todd Spanier founded King of Mushrooms in 1996, and has been providing the entire Bay area with some of the best supply of mushrooms since. We will be serving a four course tasting (with an obvious highlight on ‘mushrooms’), plus an optional beverage pairing.

Reservations are normal though Open Table or call-in. Next month, on July 20, we’ll have a wine dinner with Bro Cellars

Hillside Supper Club has been going on for three and half years now. Things have been great, and we love our ‘hood!

PHOTOS: Chefs Tony Ferrari (left) and Jonathan Sutton, Courtesy of Hillside Supper Club

Finally! El Buen Comer Now Open for Lunch, with Dinner Coming Soon


It’s been an intense journey for Isabel Caudillo, the founder of the new (and long-awaited) El Buen Comer restaurant at 3435 Mission St. (@Kingston). After years of cooking up her signature guisados in her home kitchen, she got a boost from the fabulous La Cocina incubator to begin the process of opening her own restaurant. Then came the fundraising, and the build-out, and the navigating of our City’s maddening permits and bureaucracy. And now, at last, El Buen Comer is open for business.

Our friends at EaterSF map out the opening schedule:

To start out, El Buen Comer will be serving lunch only for the month of June, relying on the daily-changing comidas corridas which include a beverage, appetizer, and guisado, or a bigger entree with a guisado. When dinner starts in July, it will be family style with guisados, tortillas, and entrees like mole, albondigas (meatballs), and chiles rellenos. Eventually Caudillo will start a Sunday buffet, too.

For now, El Buen Comer is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Starting July 1, hours will include dinner Tuesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

You can check out the menu, right here.

PHOTO: Grand Opening party at El Buen Comer, by Stefanie Tuder of EaterSF


Sunday: Eat Bagels to Benefit San Jose Ave. Fire Victims


Ellen Black from Shegetz Bagels invites you to a bagel benefit this Sunday morning, June 5 to benefit local residents displaced by fire:

Eat bagels, drink coffee, help victims of last April’s San Jose Ave. apartment fire.

This Sunday, June 5th, Saint Frank Coffee and Shegetz Bagels will be participating in an event to raise funds for the victims of the apartment fire in the Mission that displaced more than 20 residents. All proceeds will go directly to those who lost their homes.

Stop by PizzaHacker on Mission for freshly boiled and baked bagels (and cream cheese) by the Shegetz crew and coffee from Saint Frank, available for $5-$10 (or more!) donation. Some of the residents displaced by the fire will be helping to bake and serve.


  • What: Fresh bagels and coffee to benefit displaced residents of the San Jose Ave fire
  • Where: PizzaHacker 3299 Mission Street
  • When: Sunday, June 5th 10am – sold out (probably about 1pm)
  • Why: Because you want to help out your fellow neighbor during a tough time.

The beneficiaries of this fundraiser will be helping out and working with us on Sunday. If you can’t make it, you can still donate here:

One note: This is not a full Shegetz pop-up, as we will be offering a simpler menu of bagels/cream cheese and coffee instead of the additional smoked fish and veggies.

PHOTO: Courtesy of Shegetz Bagels