A few weeks ago we ate at what could currently be argued as San Francisco's hippest restaurant. Does that make up hip? Haha, I think it takes more than that. It's called State Bird Provisions and it's right between Western Addition and Japantown. It was on our 16 in 16 list so we were bound and determined to go. About 6 weeks ago Xan drove me to the airport for a really early flight and when we got up at 3:30 am we made the reservation. You make them on Open Table and they can only be made a certain number of days out. 30 I think. And people literally wake up at midnight (or in most people's cases they just don't go to bed until midnight) to get a reservation. But, that's just how it is here. San Francisco is a reservation city. We pretty much don't go anywhere without one. We were just excited that 30 days after the day we had to get up at the crack of dawn anyway was a Friday! I mean seriously, it doesn't get much better than a 7:30 reservation at an awesome restaurant on a Friday night, does it? Okay, I’m probably a bit skewed from living in a city where eating is one of the best things you can do.
After the hoops we had to jump through and the insane amount of hype we'd heard about the restaurant I was a little unsure. It never fails that when the bar is set too high you get let down. So I was tempering my excitement with a bit of a reality check that there was no way it could live up. But I was wrong. It was so good! It's a dim sum style restaurant with a lot of passed carts and trays to order off of. I have to say, dim sum is a really fun way to eat. I don't know why but it's a lot more exciting when you see something that looks delicious wandering around and get to pick it right away. Maybe it's the immediate gratification? Anyway, they also have several items you can order a la minute from the kitchen. We did a bit of both and it was dellllicious. My favorites were the duck liver mouse with almond financiers and the “allium fried rice a la plancha with smoked ham and shrimp louie.” Both sound a little unusual and duck liver anything is not something I would ever have imagined could be my favorite. But it was so amazing, I actually ordered a second. And I really never do that. But thinking about it I should. If something is so delicious WHY NOT order it again? Okay, that was a bit of a tangent. The other thing I have to say about State Bird is that their drink list was on point. At first I was skeptical because they don't have cocktails. And I love starting a nice meal with a cocktail before-hand. But they had some of the best beer I've had in a while. It's a small but mighty list made up of mostly things from Germany. Man. So good! And actually kind of a refreshing change to eat out at a nice restaurant without spending an arm and a leg on drinks alone.
So, take a look at my few (crummy iPhone) snaps.
The mousse. Yuuuum.
This is the aforementioned allium (fancy word for scallion) fried rice with smoked ham and shrimp louie. It doesn't look like too much but it's really great.
This is what their known for: the State Bird. It's quail. It was good, but not my favorite thing we ate.
These were the yeasted poppyseed pancakes with smoke black cod - I really liked them as well.
Those potatoes chips were amazing! So thin and crispy and salty.
Garlic knot with burrata. Good not great.