For years, I've driven by Naples Pizzarella on Geneva, which has a banner proclaiming "Guatemalan Food," and promised myself to come back one day. Then last month I was walking by Stefano Restaurant, a neighborhood pizza-pasta place in Bernal Heights that never seemed to have enough customers, and noticed that the menu posted on the window now listed Guatemalan and Salvadoran dishes. Journalists like to joke that three's a trend, but I wasn't willing to wait for a third Guatemalan pizza place to open to write this week's full-length restaurant review in the SF Weekly.
Was the pizza good? Lord, no. Well, was the Guatemalan food good? Not always. But Stefano does serve some good dishes -- colorful enchiladas chapinas, fat little tamales called chuchitos, and a resonant pumpkin-seed stew called pepián, only served on weekends. For the full effect, make sure to eat it in the corner of the room by the vineyard-themed trellis, below the murals of Tuscan villas.