518 Mission St., SF, CA 94110 | 415.550.6970 | website
I met some friends for happy hour recently at El Techo as it was easy to get to and has a lovely heated patio with expansive views of the city. They serve Latin American street food dishes that are meant to be shared while quaffing glasses of refreshing cerveza, and classic Latino cocktails such as caipirinhas and piña coladas. El Techo (translates to the roof of), is an offshoot of Lolinda, which is an Argentinean steakhouse that combines latin american flavors with a California sensibility next door, run by the same group that operates Beretta, Starbelly and Super Duper. The entrance is easy to miss in an unassuming hallway off to the side of Lolinda restaurant, and you can either take the elevator or walk up the five floors to the magical rooftop location.
We noshed on fresh and flavorful Guacamole ($7) topped with pungent cotija cheese, flecked with tomato, onion and cilantro, served with thick crunchy tortilla chips while enjoying the city lights and refreshing beverages.
We swooned over the Chicharrones de Carne, (one pound $19), a pile of gigantic roasted then fried chunks of pork-shoulder dusted with sugar, salt and cayenne, served with house made tortillas, lime wedges, salsa, a bowl of black beans, a bowl of pickled vegetables along with a thick crunchy fried puffy shell that was made from ground corn (or some kind of flour) that resembled cracklings or chicharrones. This was a feast in itself, quite a lot of food and really very fabulous.
We ordered 6 skewers for $35, three Camarones (+ $1 per stick) tender white shrimp, aji amarillo glaze, salsa criolla,and three Vegetales (- $1 per stick) chunks of zucchini, eggplant, onion, pepper, aji amarillo along with a pile of the pickled vegetables. This took forever to arrive, which was just as well, because we cleaned up the plates we had…
Our server brought us pots of hot chocolate and some cookies to make up for the extra long wait for the skewers on the house! On the menu, you can order them Alfajores ($6), house-made cookies, dulce de leche, which includes the hot chocolate. I love these buttery cookies that are filled with the thick, silky sweet buttery toffee flavored confection, and the mexican hot chocolate is made extra delicious flavored with cinnamon and milk, plus vanilla and sugar.
The views are lovely and it’s protected from the winds and made cozy from heating lamps, making it an altogether awesome spot to hang out. Next time I want to check out their brunch menu, which I just love to enjoy while dining alfresco.