La Urbana

Review by

  • La Urbana
  • La Urbana
  • La Urbana
  • La Urbana
  • La Urbana
  • La Urbana
  • La Urbana
  • La Urbana

Contact Info

Address: 661 Divisadero St. (Map) Neighborhood: NoPa Cuisine: Mexican Websitelaurbanasf.com Phone(415) 440-4500 Price: $$$

NoBread Facts

Gluten Free Menu: Yes

Cross Contamination: No

Malted Rice: N/A

Gluten Free Pasta: N/A

Gluten Free Bread: N/A

Gluten Free Taco Shells: Yes

So here's what we think...

La Urbana has some of the better upscale Mexican food I've tasted in SF thus far. I often find there is little benefit to paying extra for fancy Mexican, because the inexpensive and authentic stuff in this city often cannot be beat. With higher end Mexican, it has to be special to be worth it, and La Urbana really delivers on this principle. With it's chic interior, skillfully crafted cocktails, and exciting menu, you'll leave here feeling like your dollar was very well spent ...

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You have to start with the quesadillas Tijuana (which are fried in separate oil, to keep them safe from cross contamination). These little pockets of cheesy goodness are not your typical quesadillas, but that's the point of coming here after all. The ceviche is served in a mason jar that's been filled with smoke, which your server will un-cap after it arrives at your table, a stream of smoke escaping as the fish inside is unveiled. The grilled octopus is another standout from the small plates section, and was definitely the most beautiful dish on our table. Served with baby marble potato, pickled nopales, morita aioli, orange segments and garlic chips, this is exactly what I want my non-traditional Mexican food to look and taste like. For larger plates, the barbacoa beef short ribs were rich and delicious, served with a sunchoke puree, beets, baby carrots and fried leeks. My favorite dish though was the shrimp tacos, which are covered in a delicious spicy sauce and topped with a generous amount of finely shaved red onions. The asparagus with cotija cheese (order without fried shallots) and the esquites (roasted corn with garlic butter, epazote, meyer lemon aioli and manchego cheese) were awesome side dishes, both full of flavor. The staff here know their menu very well, and are more than happy to guide you on the few things that need modifying, but most of the menu is GF already, without requesting any changes. Directly across the street from The Independent, this will be my new go-to for pre-show eats. Lively, fun, and with just the right amount of refinement, you should make it your go-to for upscale Mexican as well.