For the past three years, Brussels sprouts have been trending on menus across the Bay. California is the only significant producer of Brussels sprouts, so chefs in the Bay Area give these cruciferous vegetables a lot of play in various dishes. Roasted, sautéed, caramelized, fried, shaved, or paired with bacon, butter, or anchovies, the earthy, slightly bitter flavor of Brussels sprouts complements almost any dish. These veggies thrive in San Francisco's foggy, coastal climate, but are out of season after this month, so hurry to try these dishes around the city:
1. Chambers Eat + Drink: 601 Eddy St.
Chambers Eat + Drink, located in the iconic rock n’ roll Phoenix Hotel, serves California seasonal, market-driven dishes. They sautée their Brussels leaves with braised ham hock, shiitake mushrooms, and preserved Meyer lemon. The richness of the ham hock and mushrooms are mellowed out by the bite of lemon. This is a perfect side to their lamb shank, duck breast, or paired with a few of their small plates.
2. Luella: 1896 Hyde St.
Brussels sprouts are the perfect addition to any tapas meal. Luella, a Spanish tapas bar, serves their Brussels sautéed with capers and brown butter. The sweet brown butter removes some of the bitterness of the vegetable, making it a luxurious and rich side dish.
3. Marlowe: 330 Townsend St. (pictured)
Marlowe shows off the vegetable in two variations. For an appetizer, they serve crispy Brussels sprouts chips with lemon zest and sea salt—a crunchy and salty start to your meal. They also offer a side of Brussels sprouts sautéed in brown butter with lemon and sea salt.
Photo via Yelp user Cherylynn N.
4. Hi-Lo BBQ: 3416 19th St.
Hi-Lo BBQ serves a plethora of barbecued meats, but every good barbecue of ribs, brisket, and pork belly requires a few vegetable sides to even things out. Hi-Lo takes it one step further with their fried Brussels sprouts with pineapple chili glaze and shallot crisps. The sweet and spicy sprouts complement a rich, meaty meal perfectly.
Park Tavern photo via Yelp user Cherylynn N.
5. Park Tavern: 1652 Stockton St.
Like Marlowe, Park Tavern knows that the infinite variety of preparations of Brussels sprouts means that one dish won’t suffice on their menu. They too are famous for their crispy Brussels sprouts chips, and also serve a side of rich, buttered sprouts with carrots and cipollini onions.
6. Barbacco: 220 California St.
For a sinful side dish, try Barbacco’s Brussels fried in duck fat and served with capers, anchovies, and red wine vinaigrette. This rich, salty side may not totally fill your vegetable quota for dinner, but it can’t be missed.
Pizza Antica photo via foodspotting user Laura P
7. Pizza Antica: 800 Redwood Hwy Rd., Mill Valley and 3600 Mt Diablo Blvd., Lafayette
Up for an adventure to Lafayette or Mill Valley? Pizza Antica’s hands down best selling dish is their warm Brussels sprouts salad. They get calls weeks in advance, asking when the dish will be back on their menu. Warm Brussels sprouts are served with bacon, hard-boiled egg, caramelized onions, and croutons. Chicken or piadini can also be added.
8. Lolo: 3230 22nd St.
This charming tapas restaurant in the Mission serves seafood and beef carpaccio, tacos, and sliders. The small, fairly light dishes pair nicely with crispy fried Brussels sprouts with shallots, hazelnuts, and late-harvest zinfandel vinaigrette.