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MOYA is a great place for drinks and Ethiopian food in SOMA. Try one of their specialty organic Ethiopian coffees or teas. If you are new to Ethiopian cuisine, you might be surprised to learn that no utensils are needed; eating is done with your right hand only. If you are an Ethiopian food lover, you will find this restaurant authentic, delicious and satisfying. Try ordering the Ingudai Tibs, which is a wonderfully made Ethiopian mushroom sautee, the Doro Tibs and traditional Ethiopian injera bread. The vegetarian foods are also delicious; the veggie sampler is amazing.
Visit this Moroccan restaurant located in San Francisco and prepare to taste a variety of cuisine that makes up one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world. Considered the bridge between European, Middle Eastern and African counties, Morocco's cuisine has been impacted by different cultures and civilizations throughout the centuries. At Aicha, patrons can taste authentic Moroccan flavors through dishes such as chicken tagine, lamb kabobs, vegetarian couscous and more. Takeout and catering are available to those who can't make it to the restaurant.
Established in 1906, Benkyodo is one of San Francisco's favorite sweet shops. Try their delicious Mochis (soft, sweet rice cakes) or their Manjus (mochi with bean paste filling). Both Mochis and Manjus are served in a number of flavors all of which can be seen on their website. They also feature a luncheonette that is a favorite among Japanese food lovers. If you want a real taste of Japanese deserts this is definitely the place to go. If the Mochis don't reveal this the lines of Japanese tourists waiting to get some will.
Le Colonial, the critically acclaimed Vietnamese restaurant, draws in crowds of people who crave their Bo Bia Choy (delicate, fresh salad rolls with spicy chile dipping sauce) and Tom Rang Me (sautéed giant black tiger prawns). You can find a variety of entertainment in the lounge, ranging from live jazz to hip-hop beats, depending on the day of the week. Try a specialty drink like honeydew- and pineapple-infused vodka, which is the perfect way to round out the evening.
If the thought of traveling through Mexico to get to Cuba seems excessive then simply have a drink at the alter-culture, Radio Habana Social Club. After walking through the doors of this Cuban Cafe you will be immersed in the ambiguous wall accessories and backwards service. Rubber chickens, dolls with anteater heads, and a crutch with a plastic foot hang from the ceiling. Do not be surprised if both Albert Einstein and a fake video camera stare at you as you choose between South American Wine, Mexican Beer or the fruitful house special, Sangria. The regulars are almost as colorful as the decor, belching Spanish, reading, and enjoying the wild Cuban music. There is a list of tapas and entrees, including Indian Samosas, Chicken Tamales and Chilean Emanadas. Most guests spend hours humming to Buena Vista Social Club, sipping to their freedom until the wall decorations begin to spin above them. Only cash accepted.
Contrary to its name, HRD Coffee Shop is not what you'd expect it to be. Combining Korean, Chinese, American and Mexican cuisine, HRD offers unique lunch and breakfast fare. One of the best-kept secrets of the SoMa area, the establishment is popular with fans headed to the ballpark as well as locals. Most patrons opt for take away, but the simple booths and a long communal table make for ample seating. Standout dishes include the Mongolian cheesesteak, kimchi burrito and the barbecue pork served over scrambled eggs and rice.
At Cha Cha Cha, do not be discouraged when the host announces it will be an hour for a table. It is worth the wait. Authentic Santeria altars and strange artifacts adorn the walls. World music transports you to a foreign land. The calamari with garlic aioli, spicy roasted potatoes, and grilled plantains are highly recommended.