Media Noche

Cuban
excellent
Worth a detour
Jess Dawson | July 01, 2019
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A Cuban restaurant in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission district is not that surprising. But Media Noche finds a perfect middle ground between fast-and-easy, pleasing-to-the-eye, and novel. Pops of turquoise abound. The floor is lined with custom tiles. Mismatched lanterns hang from the ceiling. In the bathroom, images of bright yellow bananas line the walls.

The menu is small, so we get a bit of everything, starting with crisp plantain chips that come with a silver dish of Media Noche’s green sauce, which is chimichurri-like, but a little lighter. 

The Verde salad is huge — piled high with fresh cabbage, baby kale, chunks of avocado, shredded manchego, and an addicting mojo vinaigrette. A scattering of spiced pepitas add nutty crunch. If you want it to be more of a meal, you can add roasted squash, chicken, or lechón (pork). 

My hands-down favorite is the Celia. It’s as if the Cubano went to the islands and came back a whole new sandwich. Juicy fried chicken has a slightly sweet, crunchy crust that’s balanced by a coconut slaw that has big slices of green pepper, avocado, and a touch of that green sauce. The textures and flavors just really work. 

The Cubano is well done, with a huge pile of roasted mojo pork, slices of smoked ham, Swiss cheese, pickles made right in the back, and a thin layer of mustard. 

Finally we get a Picadillo bowl, which arrives as four neat piles: black beans, white rice, coconut slaw, and spiced ground beef with olives and raisins. You mix it all together and it eat it with a touch of the green sauce. 

Media Noche’s two owners are no strangers to the San Franciscorestaurant scene, and have spent enough time in Cuba and Miami to fuse the right flavors with Bay Area ingredients. It’s easy, delicious, and wallet-friendly.

What to Eat
Media Noche, Cubano
Cubano
Must-Try
The Cubano: roasted mojo pork shoulder, smoked ham, Swiss, pickles, and mustard
Media Noche, The Celia
The Celia
Must-Try
The Celia is island-fried chicken, coconut slaw, avocado, and Media Noche's famous green sauce.
Media Noche, Plantain Chips
Plantain Chips
Must-Try
Crisp plantain chips (mariquitas) with green sauce
Media Noche, Verde Salad
Verde Salad
Must-Try
Verde salad with cabbage, young kale, avocado, manchego, spiced pepitos, and delicious mojo vinaigrette
Media Noche, Picadillo Bowl
Picadillo Bowl
Must-Try
Picadillo bowl: spiced ground beef, olives, raisins, black beans, rice, and coconut slaw
Information
Price
$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner, Dessert
Credit Cards Accepted
Yes
Alcohol Served
Yes
Outdoor Seating
Yes
Website

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