Why is it that, when restaurants open in out-of-the-way places, folks arch their eyebrows so? SOMA's new Garaje -- located cheek-by-jowl with a certain interstate that goes to New Jersey -- is not more than 150 feet from the outstanding RayKo Photo Center, but nobody seems compelled to mention the location when reviewing photographic exhibits.
Well, skeptics, hold your tongues! Or, rather, maybe use them for eating instead of talking smack.
An Asian-inflected sports bar-taco joint with Edison bulbs and a montage of every state's license plate, Garaje is bound to draw ravenous techies from Mission Bay to Twitter HQ. Its witty, unpretentious menu claims that the burger is "endorsed by Travis" and rechristens the "Apps" category as "Goes w/ Beer." (Try the mortaditas, a generous pile of beef taquitos with pico and guac that manages to be light in spite of all the melted cheese.)
For something more meal-like, check out the Grilled Fish and Guac taco, which features tilapia at its most elegant and a perfect combination of textures. Adventurous eaters can gravitate toward the Como Se Llama? ("What's It Called?") a mega-taco with the refritos that the menu warns are delicious because they're made with lard.
Under the Ducati and Goodyear signs, Garaje has window stools, tables for three, booths for four, tables for five, and a communal table with cushioned benches. For emergency overflow situations, there are also a couple of old-school children's desks (but these last may be mostly decorative).
Still, this place is going to fill up very fast, very often.
Garaje, 475 Third St., 664-0838.
Follow Pete Kane at @wannacyber