Weekend brunch is a major event in San Francisco, with many popular spots crowded with people (some just waking up from a night out) standing in front waiting to get in.
Nopa, with its pedigree as one of the most buzz-worthy neighborhood restaurant since it opened its doors, could be considered a major player in weekend brunch in the city since it started offering a brunch menu more than a year ago.
I’ve been dying to try out Nopa’s weekend brunch because I’m a fan of the handsome dining room with rustic but delicious dishes that are simple but elevating. Dinner is a showcase of local ingredients often cooked in a wood-fire oven, and brunch continues that tradition.
Popular Day or Night
I checked out Sunday brunch today with my friend Kevin, and what’s nice about Nopa is it now accepts reservations (it had a no-reservations policy for the longest time), although it can be tough to grab a reservations if you don’t plan early. But with reservations, we walked up to the hostess and was seated immediately in one of the cozy wooden tables in the large dining room
Even on a Sunday afternoon, the long bar at the restaurant was packed as it often is in the evening. I tried a pomegranate cava ($9) that was brilliant red with freshly squeezed pomegranate juice while Kevin tried a very spicy bloody mary (served with a pickled beet).
As for the food, I was blown away by the goat cheese bread pudding with grapes and arugula ($9) that we shared as a starter. The dish came looking more like a piece of cornbread, but the texture was light and fluffy like a soufflé. It was nothing like bread pudding, but it was savory good and so unique.
I enjoyed my wood-grilled Italian sausage ($15) served with cream farro, cooked lacinato kale and two poached eggs. The sausage was nicely grilled and had a very spicy flavor, and the poached eggs added a nice creaminess but wasn’t super runny.
Kevin liked his soft scrambled eggs with tasso ham ($13), but he did feel the side of broccoli di ciccio, crispy potato and avocado was on the salty side.
The Last Bite
As I sipped my cup of macchiato after my meal, I reflected on a satisfying brunch in a lovely environment that’s bright and approachable. With reservations, brunch at Nopa can be a stress-free and tasty entry in the San Francisco weekend brunch game.
Nopa, 560 Divisadero (at Hayes), San Francisco. PH: 415.864.8643. Open daily for dinner, 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.; weekend brunch, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Reservations, major credit cards accepted. nopasf.com
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