Welcome to 7x7’s new Eat+Drink blog. Every week, I’ll be writing a little something about restaurants around town, whether it’s a great new space or a tip about an old classic.
In the past few weeks, I’ve tried all three restaurants in the Westfield Centre SF’s fourth-floor “Restaurant Collection.” No, I’m not talking about the food court (though I have hit that a few times for lunch). The Collection consists of uber-chef and restaurateur Bradley Ogden’s LarkCreekSteak, an modern update of Chris Yeo’s Singaporean Straits Restaurant and Zazil, serving “coastal Mexican” from the owners of Colibri, for those who haven’t wandered through the new shopping emporium yet.
I’m surprised by my favorite of the three: LarkCreekSteak. Steakhouses just usually aren’t my thing (ask my boyfriend, whose idea of heaven is a slab of filet and some creamed spinach).
Not only was the food at LarkCreekSteak much lighter and more innovative than your average red-meat mecca (think gazpacho gelee with mini Mt. Tam grilled-cheese sandwiches and seasonal sides such as beer-braised Brussels sprouts), but there was one special touch that really stood out. Before we started our meal, chef Jeremy Bearman sent out a palette cleanser: a shot glass of lemon, grapefruit and orange juices heightened with fresh mint and sparkling soda. It was bracing and not sickly-sweet, and best of all, completely geared me up for great fried Ipswich clams and a well-executed filet. I’m used to palette cleansers when I’m hunkered down for an eight-course French tasting menu, so Bearman’s special delivery stood out because it was unexpected, much like the rest of the super-fresh meal.
Because the menu changes often, the palate cleanser I so enjoyed has since been replaced by an apple-and-pomegranate version, which I’ve pictured here. Lightly spiced and just a tad tart, it’s reminiscent of the holidays.