Basque cuisine is all the rage these days, and you can experience it in San Francisco  at Iluna Basque (701 Union St., 415/402-0011, www.ilunabasque.com , Sun.–Thurs. 5:30–11 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 5:30 p.m.–midnight, $9–15). Start your meal with tapas (which come from this region) so you can linger over drinks before indulging in a flavorful main course, and finishing up with a fruity Mediterranean dessert. In Basque country, dinner traditionally starts late and goes on for hours; to mimic this charming custom in the New World, Iluna Basque is open late, even on weeknights.
With a culinary style perhaps best described as European fusion, Luella (1896 Hyde St., 415/674-4343, www.luellasf.com , Mon.–Sat. 5:30–10 p.m., Sun. 5–9 p.m., $17–28) brings the flavors of Italy, France, and Spain to the City. The tasty original dishes, most with a distinctive splash of California style that complements the European roots, are best enjoyed with a glass of wine from the extensive wine bar. If you’re out late or on the run, dinner is served at the wine bar, and a bar menu offers tasty treats after the dining room closes.