Californian. A spot of artsy urban chic in the Mission District, Foreign Cinema is an industrial space with exposed brick walls and high iron-beam ceilings, perfect for projecting the night's foreign film. With fresh oysters from the Oyster Bar and an international menu of approachable new favorites, Foreign Cinema is one of San Francisco's most beloved restaurants. The adjoining Laszlo Bar is a hip spot for a Brazilian caipirinha.
To the surprise of many, Foreign Cinema not only survived the dot-com era but has actually, having shed some of its pretentiousness, thrived to become a staple of the Mission District nightlife scene. And the food's not so bad either.
After undergoing a change in management, Foreign Cinema replaced Chef Laurent Katgely, now of Chez Spencer fame, with Gayle Pirie and John Clark, both Zuni and Chez Panisse alums. The menu, once traditional French, now shines with a style that can best be described as New Californian. Look for such appetizers as grilled Monterey calamari with charmoula breadcrumbs and hot chili oil, and chilled Sonoma foie gras crostini, not to mention one of the freshest oyster selections in town.
- Excerpt from Foreign Cinema Still Rather Delightful by Nish Nadaraja