23 Ave. A
The spiffing up of Avenue A takes a giant leap with Yerba Buena’s ambition. I’ll brave the street’s remnants of grunge for serious cocktails by a professional barman, grown-up impresarios determined to please, and fabulous Latino food, reasonably priced, by partner Julian Medina, whose cooking I loved at Toloache. I’m a pisco-sour fan, and I recommend this outsize version in a soup-bowl-size goblet with its froth of organic egg white ($11). The guacamole ($9) is good enough, the house-made chips are fantastic (though too salty), and we love the picada—a collection the table can share of yucca croquetas, tostones, chicharron, spicy rocotto, and chorizo chunks to dip in a spicy sauce. Except for cornmeal-crusted calamari and sweet plantains overwhelmed by sticky, sweet tamarind, our fussy foursome would be thumbs-up all night if we weren’t so busy eating. The ensalada of jícama, avocado, tomato, and baby greens in a sherry vinaigrette. Baja-style tilapia tacos with chipotle-mango slaw. Beef short ribs with hand-cut shoestring fries. And tonight’s special parrillada, sensational mixed grill with rib eye, chorizo, short ribs, bone marrow, and morcilla arepa. It’s all delicious. I’m not a churros hound, but the fanatics are devouring these.