Just ONE DAY left in our list of lists known as 100 Favorite Dishes (INSERT YEAR), which means that very, very soon, you'll be able to run to one of the awesome businesses who loan us a few square feet of space and pick up a copy of our annual Best Of issue. YEAH!!! Enjoy!
Café Hiro was included in this list last year, this year, and our Best of Issue many times before that. Its window still boasts one of our Best Of stickers it earned in 2005, one of the first accolades it garnered. Zagat, TripAdvisor and Yelp followed. Even today, us Weeklings continue to be ardent and loyal fans of Hiro Ohiwa's Franco-Italian-Japanese cooking, but especially me.
Café Hiro is on a short list of restaurants I can call myself a regular for most of the eleven or so years it has been in business. I've outlasted at least four different rounds of servers. But the entrees remain consistent and great, still served with a simple side salad of lettuce doused with a house-made miso-ginger dressing and a soup of the day that warms the soul.
But the one entree that I order more than the others is the sauteed chicken, and it is simplicity at its most delicious. Two thick pieces of chicken thigh are seared on a pan, with the skin on, until it attains a sort of crispiness just short of a chicharron, then glazed in something sticky/sweet/spicy before being piled on top of a mess of vegetables and a thin pan sauce that's as rich as consomme.
When I order this dish, it's because I need something comforting, unfussy--the kind of meal that represents Cafe Hiro as a restaurant and why it will continue to top lists like this.
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3. Pizza di Salsiccia e Friarielli at Fuoco Pizzeria Napoletana 4. Prime Gastro Burger at Dublin 4 5A. Lamb Tenderloin at Medii Kitchen 5B. Apple Pie Cookie at XA Sweet & Savory Cafe 6. Charcuterie at Little Sparrow 7. Ají Verde at Inka Mama 8. Frittata at Crave 9. Pickled Egg at C4 Deli: Cure for the Common 10. Fugazza at Pasta Connection 11. Cheese & Soujouk Manakeesh at Al Wadee Bakery & Restaurant 12. Salpicon at Nancy's Pupuseria 13. Soulrito at Papa's Fish & Soul Food 14. Combination Grill Plate at Kareem's Restaurant 15. Ta Pin Lu at Pagolac 16. The Chicken at XA Sweet & Savory Cafe 17. Mashed Potatoes at Tender Greens 18. Twice-Baked Potato Purée at James Republic 19. Salmon at Tavern On The Coast 20. Omakase at Sushi Noguchi 21. Pescado Zarandeado at Mariscos Los Primos 22. Sausage Anything from Sabatino's 23. Cemita Poblana from El Camino Real Market 24. Champurrado and Pan Dulce from Las Tres Princesas 25. Grilled Watermelon Salad At XA Sweet & Savory Cafe 26. Beer Brat At LinX 27. Bloody Mary Brunch at Charlie Palmer 28. Pork Belly Slider From The Golden Truffle 29. Hot Chocolate at The Catch 30. 95% of the Menu at Confetti Italian Ice 31. Hu Tieu at Hu Tieu Thanh Xuan 32. Beef Salad (aka "The Bobby Special") at Sophy's Fine Thai & Cambodian Cuisine 33. "No Soup" Ramen at Santouka Ramen 34. Wild Mushroom Taco at Taco Asylum 35. Chivito at Puerto Madero/El Gaucho #2 36. Lamb Burger at Haven Gastropub 37. Breakfast Tacos at Chelas Mexican Grill 38. Grilled Brie With Apples And Fig Jam at Boudin SF 39. Fried Almond Shrimp Balls at Capital Seafood 40. Tulsa Potatoes At Tulsa Rib Company 41. Tiropites from Kentro Greek Kitchen 42. Pasta Salad from Crave 43. Chicken Plate at Surfin' Chicken 44. Rosemary Madeleine from Little Sparrow 45. Umeboshi Ochazuke at Kappo Suzumaru 46. Soft Tofu Soup at DooRei 47. Hitsumabushi at Sagami 48. The Fireball at Cortina's 49. Paint It Black Pie at Rebel Bite 50. Pidan Doufu at I-Tea Cafe 51. The Happy Hour Specials at Ahi Ahi Sushi Bar & Grill 52. Free Happy Hour Food at Gulliver's 53. Banh Tom at Van's Restaurant 54. Dinner at Marrakesh 55. Congee at Capital Seafood 56. Taquito Burrito at Cuca's Mexican Food 57. Clam Chowder at Billy's at the Beach 58. Volcan at Tacos Ruben y Mulitas 59. The Burger at ARC 60. Chocolate Chip Cookie at Crave 61. Lime Curd At Playground 62. Every Damn Thing at Mochi Cream 63. Most Things at Devilicious Donuts 64. Robiola Bosina at Provisions Market 65. Bite-Sized Stinky Tofu at Tofu King 66. Tacos Dorados at Tortas Ahogadas Los Primos 67. Tlacoyo at El Rincon Chilango 68. Whole Pig Roast at Haven Gastropub 69. Chingaderas at Smoqued BBQ 70. The Continuous Ramen Chronicles at The Playground 71. Shrimp & Grits at Slapfish 72. Bacon Cotton Candy at Biggy's Meat Market 73. Urban 3b at Urban Seoul 74. Waffles & Chicken from The Slummin' Gourmet & Waffles de Liege 75. Ahi Tuna Tartar at Nieuport 17 76. Chicken Wings at Hashigo Korean Kitchen 77. Brussels Sprouts Pizza at Pizzeria Mozza 78. Breakfast Sausage Hash at Thasos Greek Island Grille 79. Chocolate Doughnut with Jacobsen Sea Salt at Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee 80. Loco Moco Dog at Dogzilla 81. Fruit Tart at Le Croissant Dore 82. Daing Na Bangus (Marinated Milkfish) Silog Breakfast at Chowking 83. Strawberry Basil Lemonade at Mick's Karma Bar 84. Lemongrass Chicken Salad at Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop 85. Tofu Soup at Tasty Thai 86. Take-Out Dim Sum at Capital B.B.Q. and Dim Sum Express 87. Hodo Gwaja at Cocohodo 88. Popcorn Chicken Salad at Guppy House 89. Fried Okra at Memphis Soul Cafe & Bar 90. Salted Egg With Bitter Melon & Scrambled Egg at Tasty Noodle House 91. Boysenberry Lemonade from Bautista Creek Local Produce at SOCO Farmers' Market 92. Scallop Carpaccio with Curry Oil and Yuzu Vinaigrette from Cafe Hiro 93. White Board Specials at Taco Adobe 94. Coney Dog at LinX 95. Halal Pizzas from San Giovanni Pizzas 96. Clayuda at El Fortín 97. Lunch Buffet at Dosa Express 98. The Meats at Darya in Orange 99. Panocha at Taquería Zamora 100. Bean-and-Cheese Burrito from Del Taco