A neighborhood gathering place. Serving urban-rustic woodfire cuisine.

"We will begin accepting reservations on December 1st up to one month in advance" -- Jeff @ Nopa

Since opening in April 2006, NOPA has been slammed every night, often with people waiting outside. This could partly be due to the restaurant's current no reservation policy, but after some recent visits it's quite possible that the hordes descending on the establishment -- from all over the Bay Area -- sense that a new restaurant destination is seriously in the works.

Upon entering, there's an immediate sense of liveliness, not just from the bustling tables but the very active bar scene as well. The space used to be a Bank of Italy years ago and more recently housed a laundromat, but the interior -- from the stylized bar to the faded windows to the vibrant art -- all reflect a determinedly upbeat style. -- Nish Nadaraja

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