The more that the tech monoculture remakes San Francisco, the more I've come to appreciate the Haight. Museum-of-itself though it is, the psychedelic grunginess of its cafes is still an indelible part of S.F. food history. And even though BeBeBar has opened just off of Dolores Park's northwest corner, it feels like a warp zone straight to Masonic. There are freaking "Burning Man service animal" tickets embedded under the table glass!
At first glance, this mother-daughter juice and smoothie bar doesn't seem to offer much else beyond empanadas -- which, oddly, you can also get right next door at Cerveceria de Mateveza -- but the juices and smoothies are great, if a tad pricey. The Lila (pear, apple, spinach and mint) balances healthfulness with something you might actually want to drink -- say, in the park, while your friends are throwing back Tecates. Feeling a mite puckish? How about a Brazilian acai bowl, with organic bananas, organic granola and chia? That is as literally and figuratively crunchy as it gets. (Just don't confuse BeBeBar the juice shop with BeBeBar the defunct neonatal protein bar company).
It's no People's Café in there, either. BeBeBar is the Haight of yesteryear refracted through the Mission of today. The wood is clean and fresh. The (genuinely excellent) neo-psychedelic art on the walls is going to upward of $2000 a pop. The light fixtures are translucent, rainbow-colored plastic rings. And there's lots of cheery flowers like daffodils. It's one big blond dreadlock of love, slightly anachronistic, but more than deserving.
BeBeBar, 3809 18th St., (415) 203-8406.