The food here will help absorb the alcohol, there's an excellent selection of margaritas and tequila.
If you love Valentina hot sauce as much as I do, you can never have enough. Get yourself to Velvet Cantina for their Valentina-marinated chicken tacos, then die happy. While you wait for your food, munch on some chips and above average queso or sip on a very decent margarita. And if you really like to geek out on Mexican food, you'll love the "repollo" that comes with almost every dish: it's their answer to Mexico's answer to kim-chee.
Best Margarita's. The foods a little over powered by the heat but not bad. The margarita's are the best I've had in the city.
Now my favorite place for dining. Amazing food and staff is more then nice. Margaritas are highly recommended (started doing the pitcher, bit much for 2 but really tasty) and the times we've been there the music has been pretty decent as well. Love the booths for a private date feel and again... great food. Expect to have a small wait for a table (you can hang out at their bar) if it's prime dinner time...
Freakin Awesome Mexican Food--Cool Place!. Best chips and salsa ever, seriously! I went there because of the good reviews I read here. Small but cozy, casual. Steak tacos were great and the chicken-avocado enchiladas were even better. AND..the BEANS! I never even care about the beans but both the refried and the pintos were out of this world. The rice was pretty basic and not noteworthy unless you spiced it up with salsa. Get a pitcher of house margaritas with salt and you're all set. Great bookstore on 23rd nearby too!
Down to earth Cantina....... My best friend and I went to the Velvet Cantina for the first time recently - at first, when we entered the restaurant -we weren't quite sure if we were at the right place, or if it was open as of yet (we went early around 5pm). We came to find out there are two entrances to the restaurant - for the record, don't enter the door on the corner of 23rd/Bartlett - you may get the wrong impression. Once we looped around to the front entrance (on 23rd) where the bar resides - our experience began to blossom. The staff was down to earth - social - and accommodating (cute too!). Before we knew it, we knew everyone by name - and had enjoyable conversations. The environment was warm, cozy and inviting. The food most importantly was good overall. We enjoyed the flavors and textures. You must get the sopas dish - it's delightful! I would also highly recommend the tortilla soup. As far as the margaritas - they were OK - I would suggest you ask for grand marinier as a topper. To conclude - my best friend and I walked away thinking we had such a great experience, felt we made new friends - and will definitely come back to introduce more of our friends and family to this super chill cantina. Great local / neighborhood spot.
average food. nothing special. If you are 22 or on a budget this may be ok, but the food is avareage at best and the margaritas were inconsistent, service slow. Our bartender didn't know that a cabernet was a red wine and for a table of 12 they only came back enough to serve 2 pitchers of margartas...if they had been ablet o come back we would have easily ordered 5 or 6. I won't go back.
Good Margaritas. I ate here a few nights ago and I wasnt really blown away. The food and the service were fine. I'd go back for margaritas with friends.
Great food, Great Drinks, and an Even Better Atmosphere!. Put this spot on your "to do list". The atmosphere is great, the bartenders are fun, and the food is tasty. I recently visited the Cantina on a Friday, just to get a quick meal and a Margarita. Well, let me tell you it turned in to great night of mingling, shots of Tequila, and a bunch a laughs. The Bar scene is ideal, it's small enough to chat with people around you but not to small where you feel crowded. If you're in the mood for a quite dinner or you're on a date there is also a dinning room away from the bar in a seperate room. The staff is quite accomadating and the drinks are stiff. Another huge plus is the music, I don't know who created the playlist on their IPod but it rocks. Don't miss out on the best new Mexican Restaurant in the City.
Avoid at all costs.
This was the worst experience I've had at a restaurant in a very long time! Service was very slow at the bar, it really wasn't that busy and there were 2 bartenders. Do not order the "Perfect Margarita" it was anything but Perfect. It was very, very sour; nothing special and definitely not worth the price. We had to ask for chips and salsa while waiting for our table, it wasn't offered. We were finally seated and the experience kept going downhill. Service was very, very slow. Food was over salted, cold and the rice on all of our plates were cold, as if it just came out of the refrigerator. We were at the end of dinner when the waitress realized a beer didn't come to the table.
I don't know what clientele they're trying to attract but its definitely not people from the neighborhood. No warm welcomes or goodbyes. Kind of stuck up attitude for a place that's trying to be Divey/Mission trendy. I've been to upscale places in the Mission that were a lot more appealing with a very gracious staff. There's a lot of potential with the location and the concept but it needs a lot of TWEEKING!!! You can get the same food at a tacqueria, better tasting, better quality, hot and CHEAP.
Hip spot, decent food.
I live a block away from Velvet Cantina, and I stumble in there from time to time. Usually, it's to get a drink and eat some pub-quality fare with pub-quality service. I'm not saying that the food is terrible, it's just not very elegant. I enjoy their imaginative dishes, but I'm not really sure they pull them off all of the time. To prove my point, I'll give two examples. First, the tortilla crusted chicken strips. I loved the idea, using tortilla instead of bread crumbs. When I got them, they were over-cooked, under-seasoned, and I'm not sure tortilla chips can take the extra frying. Then, I got this mental image of the cook taking all of the uneaten tortilla chips from and grinding them up...not appealing. Another example of a lack of execution was the peanut butter tamale dessert. This was served with a mexican chocolate sauce, vanilla sour cream, and chocolate sour cream. Basically, this tasted like the inside of a reces, and let me just tell you, a whole family shouldn't eat that much peanut butter, chocolate, and sour cream. Great idea, but it was just over the top.
This place is a great spot for mingling with the off-the-beaten-path mission night-lifers. At night they have a happy hour from like 10-11 or 11-12, and it gets real busy there, but this certainly effects the service.
We liked it. I went here recently with two picky people who eat out a lot in SF, and we all liked the Velvet Cantina. It feels like a group of friends who love food & fun opened up the place. The waitstaff was friendly, and the service was great. Best of all... the food was very good. Refined & fresh flavors. I had tri-tip that was nicely marinated - the creme fraiche was a great addition. The sides were a little boring & a little bland. We had the S'mores Nachos for dessert & the server toasted the marshmellows at the table with a torch. A very fun place!
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