SoMa Italian joint has become a go-to lunch spot..
With the former tenant's giant red tomato sculpture sadly missing from this SoMa restaurant's façade, La Briciola looks like any other upscale Italian eatery. But a closer inspection at the menu shows that the white napkins, elegant wood finish and politely professional wait staff are deceiving--prices, particularly at lunch, are cheaper than you'd expect at first glance. Four choices of paninis are available mid-day for just $7-$8.50, including fries and salad; dinner-size plates of pasta hover around $15, while grilled meats and fishes range from $16 to $28. Don't let the minimally crowded dining room fool you: it's not that this place isn't busy, it's that the lunch crowd (predominantly groups of guys from the local start-ups who can't bear to leave their desks for a full hour) knows that they can get their orders to go.