Spending your evening in a garage conjures memories of underage drinking, devouring shitty pizza, and listening to mediocre bands with people who had yet to discover the art of showering. La Urbana, the posh Divisadero Street mecca for mezcal and upscale Mexican food, turns this notion on its unattractive head.
The restaurant's casual annex is where we wish we'd spent all those wasted nights of our youth. White card tables flanked with folding chairs are topped with card decks and dominoes, and walls display the work of famed local painter Zio Ziegler. A limited but well-crafted menu features a selection of appetizers including huevo con chorizo ($5), chicharon de arroz ($2.50), and bacon-wrapped shrimp ($6), as well as a tasty selection of tacos.
Come on Taco Tuesday when two tacos and a bottled beer will set you back only $7 (or $10 if you opt for a shot of mezcal); or simply snack on the complimentary chile lime popcorn. For all you cocktail cravers, a full bar is available, but those seeking something a little less potent and choose from a selection of beers, and a not-to-be-missed sangria.
If you can't battle the nighttime crowd but crave some of the restaurant's comida, stop by on Sundays during the Divisadero farmer's market. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the garage transforms into a Mercado selling fall-apart carnitas and piquant salsas by the pound.
El Garage Urbano at La Urbana: 661 Divisadero Street; 415-440-4500