Bon Appetit names San Francisco's AL's Place nation's top new restaurant

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Bon Appetit magazine named AL's Place in the San Francisco the nation's top new restaurant.

The magazine also named San Francisco the Best Food City, which isn't surprising considering two Mission District eateries made the magazine's top 10 new restaurant list.

Early Tuesday morning, chef Aaron London was waiting for the call that would change his life.

"5:30 a.m., this morning it was a huge surprise. I was waiting by the phone for it to post in New York," London said.

Bon Appetite Magazine named AL's Place, the top new restaurant in the country.

The 31-year-old Sonoma County native decided to settle in an area of the Mission District away from the populated Valencia corridor. The restaurant is known for its innovative vegetarian dishes and heavenly French fries. He had already been named a rising star.

"I don't know, I'm kind of wrapping my head around it," he said. "I still have my restaurant. This is my baby. I'm going to wake up every day and cook the best food I can for people."

On the other end of the Mission District, Izakaya Rintaro, a Japanese restaurant on 14th and Folsom streets also made the top 10 list. It's owner, says it's a nice way to acknowledge his work.

"For me, it's a little validation of the insane hours and difficult times it's been for everyone to get to the place where we are," said Sylvan Mishima Brackett, owner of Izakaya Rintaro.

The Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) has helped local businesses deal with the ongoing changes in the neighborhood brought on by gentrification. The organization says this recognition is good for the local economy.

"As they come in and become more educated about what's here, definitely would advocate that we continue to respect what's here, and help continue to support what is here," said Lucy Arellano of MEDA.

MEDA says there are plenty of hidden gems in the Mission.






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