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Beso, Bisou's Take on Spanish Flavors in the Castro

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[Photos: Patricia Chang]

Their first restaurant, Bisou, is French for "kiss," so when it came time to name their second restaurant, the choice was obvious for Nick Ronan and Damien Chabaud-Arnault: it's called Beso, Spanish for "kiss," and appropriately, serves Spanish food. The idea was inspired by chef Ronan's stages throughout Spain; Chabaud-Arnault grew up in France on the Spanish border, and spent a lot of time there, so he agreed it's a natural fit. Partner Anthony Lemortellec also joined in for the second restaurant. And with a new farm and "bistronomy center" in Napa under their belts, the duo have access to seriously fresh produce for both of their restaurants.

Lemortellec, a friend of Ronan's who works at NYC Spanish spot Boqueria, consulted on the menu. It covers all the bases of classic Spanish tapas, with padron peppers, patatas bravas, boquerones, and paella (veggie or shrimp and squid) all making appearances. But many of the dishes also have quirky NorCal touches, like crispy pork belly in a Serrano ham jus with mashed potatoes, or seared chorizo with sunchoke puree. There's a full selection of cheese and charcuterie as well; think jamón serrano, various sausages, iberico, and Manchego. Here's the full menu.

Unlike Bisou, 54-seat Beso doesn't have a full bar, but there is a wide selection of mostly Spanish wines offered. Designed by Tecta Associates, the space features a lot of exposed brick, metalwork, and a marble tapas bar. The kitchen is glass-enclosed, and there's a big communal table in the center. Hours are daily from 5 pm onwards; brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays, 10 am-3 pm.

· Bisou Team Opening a Castro Spanish Restaurant [~ ESF ~]
· All Eater Insides [~ ESF ~]