Comfort Me with Locavore
When I'm freezing, I don't venture very far for food. Fortunately, Locavore is two blocks away from my apartment in Bernal Heights. Though the exterior looks a bit like a dance club, the restaurant's chef Jason Moniz and partners Mario Duarte and Cesar Ascarrunz have lovingly crafted a sophisticated and welcoming space that's downright cozy. There's a wooden community table in the center, lots of candlelight, black and white photos of pigs, and chicken-wire light fixtures that could be hokey, only it's not. A gray concrete ceiling and floor adds a touch of modernity.
This week's menu was a standout: chicken leg confit, Dungeness crab to share, and lentils with brussels sprouts, romanesco, leeks, and a runny egg. The quick-fried baby artichokes with hollandaise were crunchy and delicate. The chunky fingerling potatoes with slivers of tart apple, bacon, chicory, and ricotta warmed me over. Dessert was an apple bread pudding with caramel sauce that was fluffy and surprisingly light.
My (second) favorite part of the meal was knowing that the vast majority of the ingredients came from local farms and purveyors like Marin Sun Farms, Happy Boy Farms, and Monterey Fish Market. So I could have my ethically-raised, sustainably-grown, ecologically-sound, whole-animal-cooked, world-peace making, cancer-curing cake, and eat it too.