A unique alternative for late-night cravings in the Outer Sunset, Golden Island Café serves a variety of traditional Hong Kong-style desserts. The specialty here is sago, tiny translucent tapioca pearls served with shaved ice and fresh fruit. There's a variety of options -- strawberry, mango, kiwi, lychee, cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew -- and you can order with our without coconut milk. We suggest ordering with
, since the taste can be fairly bland otherwise (sago's pretty neutral on its own). The version with shaved ice, fresh fruit, and coconut milk is light, fresh, and sweet -- mango's our personal favorite. If you can't decide, a sampler platter comes with sago with coconut milk, mango sago, ice cream, and mixed fruit, all for $5. There are other tasty desserts here, too, like red bean or sesame paste with sweet tofu, and black rice with coconut milk. Nothing's overly sweet the way ice cream can be, just an appealing sweetness that leaves you feeling satisfied rather than regretful. Cash only, but most items can be had for under $5. The place stays open daily till midnight.
Golden Island Café 1300 Noriega (at 20th Ave.), 759-9118