Few tourists, with the ambience of a local charmer, Luella is an excellent establishment serving superb food and providing exemplary service. Staying with friends in the city, we were able to walk to the restaurant, eliminating one of the major annoyances of patronizing restaurants on Russian Hill. We were seated promptly at 8 PM, the time of our reservation. Overwhelming number of appetizers/ first courses, we had the warm roasted beets and buratta on flavorful toasted bread and an excellent crispy pizza topped by a variety of different types of mushrooms, including crimini. I don't ordinarily order chicken at a restaurant, but made an exception here, and what distinguishes a a great restaurant from the rest is to take the ordinary and turn it into something special, crispy on the outside, moist and tender on the inside. My wife had the lasagna prepared with shredded shortrib meat, superb. I tasted my friend's braised lamb shank, with meat so tender it fell off the bone. We were taken aback by $25/btl corkage, especially since we called and told it would be $20/btl. Our server did reduce it to $20 when asked. Our only criticism was the noise level created by some young people at at an adjacent table, but restaurants have little control over the behavior of their patrons, so we wouldn't hold this against Luella. We will certainly be back and recommend Luella to others without reservation.
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