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The first time I heard "kali orexi" was when I went to Greece for my first time. "Kali" means "good" and "orexi" means "appetite." Before every meal in Greece, they say "kali orexi", just as they say "bon appetit" in France and "boun appetito" in Italy. The point is to wish all diners a good meal and that is exactly what was had at the aptly named Orexi in San Francisco. Located in the West Portal area of San Francisco, Oreki has been open for five years. Chef-owner John Loufas and his wife, Effie, along with their friendly staff, run this family-run neighborhood restaurant. The space is warm and inviting with honeycomb artwork along one wall and a large communal table down the center of the room. As tasty as Greek food is, there are not many wonderful examples available in the U.S. There are many quick-serve Mediterranean spots and also those old-school Greek restaurants where the dishes error on the side of a bit too greasy. But at Orexi, traditional dishes are served with fresh, seasonal ingredients and clean flavors.
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