Bright Mission tapas house slings small plates with style..
The large, cheery yellow room of this self-proclaimed first tapas restaurant in San Francisco is often jam packed with bar hoppers and neighborhood locals digging into Spanish-style eats and swilling huge pitchers of fruit-packed sangria. Attentive servers bustle by with traditional small plates like spicy potatoes or mussels in garlic sauce and mains like the seafood paella. The short but selective wine list focuses on Spanish whites and reds. While larger parties push tables together to gab over their grub, a more intimate experience, and far better people watching, can be found at the few tables on the patio that spills into busy 16th Street. And there's always a spot at the bar for those who just come for the sangria.
"They had the sangria flowing the whole time, food came out quickly, and prices were excellent." (yinnie919, Citysearch user)
"If you want the kind of tapas that came before "small plates" were all the rage, Picaro is your place." (FoodLusty, Citysearch user)
"Great atmosphere, wonderful tapas and sangria! Would gladly go back and perfect for large groups!" (daisy14, Citysearch user)
"I love the Tortilla de Patatas and Sangria, but be prepared for major Garlic breath well into the next day." (frepter, Citysearch user)
"This place had very little light towards the end of the restaurant and since we were seated there, I could hardly see what was on my plate." (lizahazarika, Citysearch user)
"Paella came out extremely dry, not surprising since it takes 30 minutes to make..." (clui, Citysearch user)
WORST service, okay food. We went here because the wait at Andalu was 2 hours and we were starving. We were seated by a nice hostess, and within 1 minute, our waitress came over to see if we were ready. Of course we werent, but we quickly ordered a few small tapas plates. We then ordered drinks, and within about 4 minutes we ordered the paella, which said that it would take at least 30 min. Our server, after taking our order, NEVER appeared agian. We got the tapas right away. The busser was great, but NOBODY checked on us, not even once. About 50 minutes after we had FINISHED our tapas and our plates were cleared, we were stil waiting on our paella. I had to flag down the hostess to get served! I even had to walk up to the front to go and get my check and sign it. They even made us pack our own leftovers! WORST SERVICE EVER!
Sangria and Garlic, Yum!. I first tried Picaro when I saw the big Sangria sign in the window while waiting in line at the Roxie. I love the Tortilla de Patatas and Sangria, but be prepared for major Garlic breath well into the next day. This is a great place to take visitors on the weekend so they can get a taste of the Mission. The service is always very good and I have never had to wait for a table. The place is huge and can be very noisy. It looks like a good place for groups, but I've always gone with four or less.
Great food and service. This was a great dining experience. However, the noise level can be pretty high. Good place for birthdays/celebrations.
9.2 rating?!?!?! Far from it!. This was one of the most horrible tapas restaurants I have ever been to. On Friday nite we were craving tapas. But because we did not make reservations we could not find a good place with a wait shorter that an hour and a half. Then we came across Picaro. Descent size crowd and only a 15 min wait. So we decided to try it. Ordered the seafood paella ($30 for 2 person order) - rice was under cooked yet burnt on the bottom, seafood was over-cooked & dried out and it took longer that the 30 mins stated. We told the waiter and even showed him all the burnt rice and he had no response. Sangria was watered down and then compensated with sugar syrup? Bread was stale. I am bewildered as to why anyone would give this restaurant a high rating or even return. Highly NOT recommended.
Made my birthday special!. Thanks to Picaro for making my first birthday in San Francisco so great! They accommodated my table of 15 people, yet it didnt feel cramped or crowded. The service was great. They had the sangria flowing the whole time, food came out quickly, and prices were excellent. The food is delicious and the sangria will have you wanting more. We had a ton of food, and yet the bill came out to less than $25 per person, most of the cost covering 10 pitchers of sangria. Paella is yummy. It's loud and not romantic, but it's great fun place for groups
Paella muy rica!. They serve one of the best paellas I ever had - after those I cook myself because it's one of my specialies. As one of the other reviewers noted, it's the dry kind of paella - not wet and mushy - because they broil it a bit in the oven. The result: yummy! and really loaded with seafood. The calamari and the huge garlic shrimps were also finger-licking good. Sidewalk tables and patio outback are nice in hot summer days, and their house sangria is well-worth it. Excellent overall experience. Reminded me of Spain.
The tapas is good!.
We were in San Francisco on the 4th of July weekend and were mainly looking for a new tapas place to eat in, which landed us in Picaro Tapas. I loved the sangria and found it very similar to 'ChaChaCha' in SF itself. The tapas were good- specially the garlic shrimp. The price was reasonable and the amount served was also good.
However this place had very little light towards the end of the restaurant and since we were seated there, I could hardly see what was on my plate...definitely not for people with bad eyesight. Saturday night was busy with people bustling around, and live Spanish/Mexican music. The crowd was descent and people from all age groups were there.
Picaro has really gone downhill. Picaro used to be a good spot for authentic Spanish tapas: tasty Serrano ham over pan con tomate, chipirones a la plancha, gambas and champiniones al ajillo. But when we recently returned to Picaro for the first time in a couple years, we discovered that the quality of the food has seriously deteriorated. The mushrooms had lost all of their character and bite, arriving at our table limp and bland. The pisto de calabadio was also tasteless (although, granted, its not tomato season), and the boquerones fritos were dry and unappetizing. The only thing I really enjoyed were the albondigas (meatball stew). Its always sad to see good restaurants slowly fizzle out, and I really hope that Picaro can revive their once great reputation.
not worth the hassle. I used to love this restaurant. However, last time I went I was seated 20 minutes late with a reservation. Then, another FORTY minutes went past before we could even get a drink, despite numerous complaints to the host. They offered to comp the drinks, and then charged us for them anyhow. There is no reason for such poor service, ever, especially with so many good restaurants in SF.
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