With a minimal lighting, close proximity seating, loud music, and Mexican-American eats, Don Pistos creates a contemporary food experience that draws neighbors and foodies alike, despite having no sign or name on the restaurant.
Normally solely found at taquerias, Don Pistos brings Mexican-inspired food to a sit-down and comfortable setting. From tacos to tortilla soup, the menu covers a range of Mexican dishes.
The ultimate choice is the 22-ounce Pork Chop ($32). Grilled, slightly charred and served with a cucumber salad resembling coleslaw, the seared pork and refreshing taste from the cucumbers perfectly contrast each other.
Another shareable dish, for possibly three, is the Puerto Nuevo Lobster (price changes) served with rice, beans, and tortillas. While it requires the use of a lobster cracker tool, the tender and fresh, not fishy, seafood taste is worth the extra work.
The Mexican Salmon Sashimi ($15) — while a simple dish — oozes with citrus flavor from the lemony ponzu sauce ending in a slight kick from the chile pepper, cilantro and onion topping.
Served in a cast-iron skillet, the corn tortillas, beans, cheese, and choice of meat in the Enchiladas ($18) come melted together with a slightly spicy enchilada sauce that is made with chili powder, yet balanced by the dollop of sour cream.
The Mussels and Chorizo ($13), while a starter, is an ideal, filling dish for one person. Diners enjoy delicate mussels with a flavorful garlic, white wine broth that the mussels soak and are prepared in, which is accompanied by toasted and charred bread for dipping purposes.
Don Pistos also has a weekend brunch menu that includes a Breakfast Burrito ($13), Pork Tamale & Eggs ($14) and the Taco Sonora ($13). Containing beans, cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo and a choice of meat wrapped by a flour tortilla, the Taco Sonora combines the best aspects of both a burrito and a taco.
Located in North Beach on Union and Grant streets, Don Pistos opens at 5:30 p.m. every weekday for dinner and closes at 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 11 p.m. Friday. Don Pistos is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturdays and from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m on Sundays for brunch.