Dinner with My Brother


My brother swept into town the other day for dinner. He lives on the East Coast and was in Sacramento on business, so he drove over to SF to visit. Actually, it was the first time he’s come over since I moved here just about nine years ago. Needless to say, I was excited—if a bit daunted—by how to show off my adopted city.

The main event was dinner, and the pressure was on. My brother is a meat and potatoes guy, so I thought he might like the lomo saltado at Limon, or perhaps the shaking beef at Slanted Door, or maybe plain-old standard American fare like they serve at the Presidio Social Club. I thought briefly about Zuni Café’s roasted chicken, but figured that the two of us would’ve fought over the white meat like we did when our grandmother made her famous fried chicken.

We walked around Crissy Field, shopped at Sports Basement and settled on the Presidio Social Club—since parking would be easy and it required the least amount of driving. I hadn’t been to this renovated army barracks of a restaurant since the opening party last December, when all I sampled were the crab cakes, so I was curious about the menu.

We breezed in and snagged two spots at the marble-topped bar. Andrew spotted the flat iron steak, and I spied the fire-roasted chicken. He doesn’t pretend like he hails from Hawaii like I do, so he humored me and agreed to share the tuna poke to start. Being from Maryland, we thought that the spicy homemade potato chips were sprinkled with Old Bay, but it turns out that the spice was togarashi—a Japanese seven-spice blend—that added just the right kick to the tuna, mango and cucumber combo.

I’m glad we splurged for dessert because it was probably the best part of the meal. We super-sized our sweets by mix-and-matching a dessert (baked-to-order chocolate cupcakes) and a dessert side (cookie plate). The cupcakes were moist on the inside with a crispy, crunchy cocoa-Krispy-like topping. The cookie plate didn’t stand a chance.

PSC’s a good hangout—I’m especially fond of the bar, the salvaged-wood communal table and the slow-turning fans. And there’s always Mai Tai Sundays—a pitcher of Tim Stookey’s mai tais and pua-pua platter for $20. It’s on my list.

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