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Patricia Unterman's San Francisco Food Lover's Guide, 4th Edition 

The latest version is a wish book that reads like a novel

Wednesday, Apr 27 2005
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By Patricia Unterman

Ten Speed Press (2005), $18.95

If a guidebook introduces you to one new place that you love, it's worth the money you shelled out to buy it. The third edition of Patricia Unterman's San Francisco Food Lover's Guide, published two years ago, improved the hell out of my life in this town, then just beginning. Here is the rare guidebook that can be read straight through, like a novel: The main character is Unterman herself, a chef and a restaurateur and, more important, a mensch who likes to eat lots of different kinds of fare, lots of different ways, in lots of different neighborhoods. She's like a trustworthy friend, nudging you to try something you'll like. The new edition of this useful book (which covers food and cookware purveyors as well as restaurants) is about 30 pages longer than the last, but the first noticeable change is a reality check: The pricing categories for "moderate" and "expensive" have been moved up a $5 notch. Reading the two editions side by side to ferret out the new listings -- the Bodega Bistro, a Vietnamese place on Larkin near Eddy; numerous eateries in the Ferry Building; and Minako, a tiny organic Japanese spot on Mission between 17th and 18th streets, among others -- served to remind me of the many restaurants I intended to visit after my last read-through of the Guide that I still haven't gotten around to. It's a real wish book.

About The Author

Meredith Brody

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