Goosefoot, El Ideas and Schwa. I decided on El Ideas because I was looking for something a little less pretentious than Goosefoot and Schwa is impossible to get a reservation. I had heard that El Ideas was in the middle of nowhere and while it is on the south side at the end of a dead end street next to a rail yard off Western, it's only about 4 blocks from Lagunitas Brewing and wouldn't be a long bike ride for me. Looking at Google Maps ahead of time, though, I didn't see any good places to park that were close, so I decided to take public transportation. The fact that it started raining as I started my trip also convinced me that this was a good idea. Not only is El Ideas at the end of a dead end road, it is also unmarked on the outside. It is noticeably a restaurant from the window and there is a sign on the inner door that says, "Get the EL in here!" to indicate that you are in the right place. It is a small space seating about 20 people with a curved half-wall between the kitchen and the dining area. The coat rack is just inside the kitchen area and, as a matter of fact, diners are allowed to get up and explore the kitchen with the exception of the hot line at any time during the meal. It is a BYOB, so we brought a couple of bottles of wine, a Chablis and a Pinot Noir, which went well with the dinner. There is some graffiti style art on several walls and despite the fact that it's pretty casual, it still has white tablecloths.
I really enjoyed my dinner here as did my dining partner and friend, Julia, who deserves photo credit for many of the courses (1,2,3,6,7,10, 11, and 12). While it is off the beaten path, I highly recommend it. The food and service are excellent with a low key vibe. They seem to really enjoy what they are doing and do it well with a lot of humor.