The small size of tapas makes them ideal for passing, sampling, and catapulting across the room into the open mouths of fellow diners. Fling your favorites with today's Groupon: for $30, you get $60 worth of genuine Basque tapas and other Euskalicious fare at Iluna Basque.
Helmed by Top Chef Las Vegas contestant and culinary cosmopolitan Mattin Nobila, Iluna dishes out a menu of Pyrenees-proven, flavorful Basque fare (and wines, naturally) complemented by locally sourced seafood. Split mini-plates such as baby shrimp and potato croquettes ($4.75), peppers stuffed with salt cod ($5.75), bacon-wrapped plums (5.75), or serrano ham with cured pork tenderloin and chorizo ($8.75). Fill all three stomachs with some heartier Basque entrees such as stuffed squids in their own ink ($15.75), steak bavette ($16.75), and seafood paella ($17.75) with that beautiful saffron rice.
Unlike the typical Basque chain restaurants, such as Euska Burger and In-N-Out Tapas, Iluna focuses on cultivating an atmosphere as modern and sophisticated as its fare, favoring simple wood tables and tall, light-luring windows. Conclude the elegance with a sweet goodbye from chestnut crème brûlée ($6.75) or Basque cake with cherry jam ($6.75).
Reservations required. Not valid for happy-hour specials.
Iluna Basque has received positive local press, including two reviews in the San Francisco Chronicle. The former Top Chef contestant's restaurant was also awarded a Citysearch award in 2007 for Best North Beach Restaurant. Citysearchers give Iluna Basque an average of four stars, and nearly 350 Yelpers give it an average of three.
- Yet the informal nature of the staff meshes with the style of the restaurant and the party atmosphere that builds as the night stretches on. Iluna Basque is one of the few restaurants that serves until midnight and appeals to the chef's contemporaries. – Michael Bauer, San Francisco Chronicle
- Overall, this was a great dining out experience. Fun to try several different small plates, good service, lovely calm, quiet ambience. – Mary S., Yelp
- What do want from a restaurant? Friendly, helpful service? Excellent food? Great location? Good prices? Fun menu choices? This is the place to experience all of that. – theseyb, Citysearch