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Monday, June 23, 2014

Two Affordable Lunch Spots in Not-Always-Affordable Pacific Heights

Posted By on Mon, Jun 23, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Jane's exemplary nicoise salad. - JULIE KRAMER
  • Julie Kramer
  • Jane's exemplary nicoise salad.

Upper Fillmore is not a place to pinch your pennies. Clothing and furniture shops offer an abundance of pricey treasures, and a fortune could easily be spent on skincare and cosmetics, if that's your thing. But let's say you've gone for a soak at the Kabuki Spa, or just caught a film at the Clay Theatre, and you want something filling, tasty, and not too spendy. Two places on either side of Fillmore fill that need quite nicely.

At Jane (2123 Fillmore; 931-5263), a hip little café with a modern design, house-baked goodies (many vegan or gluten-free) and Stumptown coffee, the food is reliably fresh and appealing. There are breakfast options and soup and panini for lunch, but the stars of the menu are their salads. While the usual suspects -- kale, arugula, quinoa, farro -- are featured alongside a Caesar and a Cobb, the Nicoise really hits it out of the park.

For $12 (and a bit of change for the tip jar when you order at the counter), you will be rewarded with a huge pile of greens topped with veggies, flaked white tuna and a hard-boiled egg. There are sliced grape tomatoes, perfectly blanched green beans, tiny rainbow potatoes and kalamata olives; the tuna is dotted with capers, and all is enhanced by a balanced lemony vinaigrette.

The open kitchen in back makes all the food, and they clearly care about presentation; they also don't use a too-heavy hand with the dressing. This salad will truly fill you up, although you might want to grab a vegan snickerdoodle for later (it's big enough to share).

Glaze teriyaki makes a healthy, satisfying lunch. - JULIE KRAMER
  • Julie Kramer
  • Glaze teriyaki makes a healthy, satisfying lunch.

Down and across the street is the newish Glaze (1946 Fillmore), touted as Seattle-style teriyaki. This chain from New York took over the old Johnny Rocket's space, and they strive to keep it real with organic, locally-sourced food and environmentally-friendly containers. A lot of the food can be ordered gluten-free, as well (which is unexpected for teriyaki sauce, but no doubt welcome in these parts). You choose a protein and either a rice plate or a salad, and sides like edamame and gyoza if you're real hungry.

The rice plate, though, is a satisfying lunch option on its own. Try the salmon -- you get two tender pieces coated in a medium-sweet sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds, plus two scoops of rice (brown or white) and baby greens topped with your choice of dressing (highly recommended: carrot-ginger). You'll spend about $12 total, and you can sit at the counter and watch the Fillmore scene go by.

No fancy décor here, and bussing your dishes is appreciated, but you may find yourself thinking how great it is the San Francisco now has a teriyaki place that's affordable, quick, and healthy. Which is good, because that argyle dog sweater at George doesn't come cheap.

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Julie Kramer

Julie Kramer


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