Noriega Cafe [SF, Sunset]

We got some stuff to-go from the fairly new Noriega Cafe (between 19th and 20th).
This place has a very large menu for such a small restaurant so I’m not sure if they’ll be able to keep up that variety once they’ve fully settled.
Notes: no pictures sorry
The gai lan was in a ginger sauce, not just garlic, but gingery. This was a nice change of pace, and the pieces of gai lan were on the smaller and therefor tender end of the spectrum. Very pleased with this. Tired off tough old giant randomly chopped gai lan.
Fish Cakes with Lotus Roots. 2 things we love combined. Is there another restaurant that does this combo?
Xiangshan spareribs. Not sure what makes these “xiangshan” or which “xiangshan” they are even referring to (doubt it’s the one in Taiwan that I’m familiar with). These were tiny little fried nuggets of bone in ribs and matchsticks of taro. I couldn’t place the flavor on this. It was quite sweet, but maybe also black vinegar? I was a fan.
Got some others but they were highlights.
Anyway, I hope they succeed. The main guy was also particularly nice.

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Some of the chef’s special looks interesting:

I’d love to try the Zhongshan fish head clay pot and the chicken & pig stomach strips

Are they Cantonese?

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Good question. Since I’m white as can be the conversation was in English and I didn’t hang around inside so I never heard them talking to each other. I kind of assumed they were. The menu seems like a combo.
I just realized that Zongshan and Xiangshan are the same place in this context.

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Definitely Cantonese and likely from Guangzhou or Taishan instead of Hong Kong, based on the menu.

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Good find! Is the chef from recently closed Zhong Shan Hakka Restaurant or its predecessor Zhong Shan Restaurant?

There doesn’t seem a lot of hakka food on the menu though.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold