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Friday, April 13, 2012

Un Poquito de América Latina en Dogpatch

From SFGate,
Photo: John Storey, SF Chronicle
Latin American tapas and cocktails are front and center at this Dogpatch delight. Owner Richard Vila's spilt-level restaurant features the bar and all its associated trimmings up front and the main dining room up a short flight of stairs. Sit high or low, and indulge in food and drinks that hail from Ecuador to Peru.

The vibe: Festive and casual. This isn't a place for dressing to the nines, but rather to unwind after that 9-to-5 workday. Meet friends for happy hour or get a group together to properly sample the long list of finger foods, hand foods and, if you're really hungry, dinner-size plates.

The crowd: Expect a mostly local crew, as with most Dogpatch establishments.

Best seat: Grab one of the spacious high tables on the upper level for a bird's-eye view of the bar.

Killer app: Too many to count, but we especially loved the crispy and creamy patatas bravas ($5) and the shrimp tacos ($9), light and refreshing thanks to its ingenious jicama wrapper. If you're a burger type, the chorizo sliders ($7), with gorgonzola cheese and caramelized onions, are a must.

Signature drink: Get your dose of holiday cheer year-round with the Calabasa Spice cocktail ($9) - reposado Tequila with pumpkin, lemon, maple syrup and cinnamon. Not your thing? There are about 15 inventive cocktails to choose from, as well as the trusty Poquito's Signature Margarita ($7).

Also on tap: Red and white sangria, both by the glass ($5-$6) or pitcher ($18-$21). Plenty of wine and beer. On the non-alcoholic front, a dozen fruit smoothies and juices, including the hard-to-find but oh-so-good Lucuma smoothie.

Bonus: Happy hour runs every night from 4 to 7 p.m. and features a $4 draft beer and $5 cocktail. Food specials include arepas ($2) and llapingachos ($2), which are cheesy Ecuadoran potato pancakes.

Poquito: 2368 Third St., S.F. (415) 643-3900. www.poquitosf.com. 4-10 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fri., 4-11 p.m. Sat.
More pictures at SFGate

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