San Francisco Restaurant: State Bird Provisions
I'm in San Francisco this week, visiting old favorites (Tartine Bakery, the Ferry Building and all its spoils, All Star Donuts, The Alembic, Mission Chinese Food—in SF, two years is "old") and the new. Of the new, State Bird Provisions shows that the blending of East and West cultures isn't confined to the plate. This restaurant takes the dim sum format of passing carts and trays to proffer Western-style small plates. The upside: you see the plate before committing. The downside: every dish looks delicious and we end up with everything anyways.
Favorites dishes: Dungeness crab and avocado mousse in a tangerine gelee, topped with fennel shavings; tender rabbit with coins of mochi (they call it rice pasta), fava bean leaves and smoked paprika in a mushroom broth. You can order off a short menu as well, though it changes frequently. Off this, items that kept our tastebuds buzzing were beef tongue pastrami accompanying pickles and potatoes; green garlic fry bread with burrata; trout with hazelnuts and brown butter, brightened by segments of kishu, sweet citrus the size of Clementines.
It's a bit spendy, especially in Honolulu portion-size-to-dollar ratios. For three, $115 for the bill, pre-tip. But I'd be hard-pressed to think of a more whimsical, delightful dining experience in my trip so far. In other exciting news on this area, the less gentrified side of Fillmore Street, Hapa Ramen (in which Susanna Ok, former chef de cuisine of Downtown at the HiSAM, will be partners) will be setting up shop next door sometime this year.
1529 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, statebirdsf.com