I’ve tasted tapas in many restaurants around the world, but today’s lunch at Fresca Restaurant in San Francisco topped them all. Tapas means “small plates” and usually, a few bites and $5-7 later, you’re still hungry for more. Not here. Their portions are huge. Their presentations are amazing. Their foods are fabulous. Their Ceviche Bar is unique. And you get more flavors per bite than you ever thought possible. In fact, in “Diner,” a guy ordered the left side of the menu. I could have done that here!
We started with the Ceviche ‘5 Elementos’ that mixed five ingredients in a traditional Peruvian Ceviche: big chucks of tender halibut, lime juice, red onion, sea salt and Rocoto Aji. Every bite was a wow!
Then we shared a few tapas: the Papas A La Huancaina featured thick slices of Yukon Gold pototoes, spicy aji amarillo cream sauce, Botija olives and hard boiled eggs. Again, it was delicious and filling. Next, we tried the Cangredchoclo: a tall stack of two Maryland Blue Crab and Corn Cakes, coconut-tarragon crema batida, with mango-ginger-lime salsa. Best crab cakes I’ve had in years.
We finished with a gaping bowl of Espinacas — Baby Spinach with roasted peppers, red onions, crumbled feta, and creamy lemon tarrgon vinaigrette (we opted out on the bacon).
We actually ordered another tapas plate but the waitress warned us that the portions were large and we couldn’t finish it all. Kudos for their candor.
Fresca has three locations throughout San Francisco. You can walk in and sit down at the Ceviche Bar or a table at lunch but I highly recommend dinner reservations. Check out their menus at Fresca Restaurant, or drop by their venues: 3945 Fillmore Street at California (415.447.2668); 3924 24th Street (415.695.0549); and 24 West Portal Avenue (415.759.8087).