My love of all things Spanish ebbs and flows. Right now, on a scale of 1 to 10, I'm about a 6 on the language-learning but a big 9 on food. I've been to three Spanish places recently and each one had something outstanding. Overall, I like Picaro the best. It's in a neighborhood full of fun bars for some post-sangria imbibing, the restaurant is cute and the albondigas are out-of-this-world good.

Zarzuela, on the top of Russian Hill, has a small, adorable dining room and serves phenomenal chorizo. The sangria is smooth -- oustanding. And Alegrias in the Marina has the best patatas bravas I've ever had. And really good pork skewers. Like, amazingly good. Good enough to make you put up with being in (and getting to) the Marina.

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