613 Faxon Ave., Ingleside
Phone: (415) 349-4186
The first San Francisco location of acclaimed East Bay Laotian restaurant Champa Garden is now open in a quiet corner off Ocean Avenue in Ingleside. Like the original, the menu is fairly expansive, but features all the favorites from the East Oakland branch, including fried rice ball salad, angel wings, Lao sausage, and beef larb. Prices remain reasonable, with most curries coming in at $8 or less, and a $7.95 weekday lunch special that includes a salad and soup.
The 2,000-square-foot restaurant is a converted former storage space, which required a full buildout (and was done in the face of NIMBYs, no less). According to the Business Times, Mayor Ed Lee personally shepherded the project through his Invest in Neighborhoods effort, which may explain why it triumphed. The space itself is a little bit fancified, with bamboo paneling, LED lighting embedded in the walls, and a faux-marble bar. There's no alcohol on offer as of yet, but the restaurant eventually plans to apply for a beer and wine license. Hours are daily from 11 am-3 pm for lunch and 5-9 pm for dinner.