Long a staple of izakayas and taquerias in San Francisco, tongue meat has started to break ethnic barriers, slipping its way onto California-influenced menus of every stripe. Chefs adore its flavor and its texture. Diners fall into one or two camps: "Why not?" or just "Why?" Love it or hate it, menu sightings of animal tongue are becoming almost common at popular restaurants around town. Over the course of interviewing several chefs about it, descriptors like "melt in your mouth," "unctuous" and "delicate" were each dropped on several occasions. Naysayers, are you ready to be convinced? Take a look at what chefs are doing with it around town these days. Maybe it'll get you to watch your mouth.
Who knows exactly why things suddenly become popular. You could blame it on the media (although, as of now, there's a one less media outlet to blame), or you could blame it on the power of suggestion—a chef sees something on a menu someplace, it lodges in his or her consciousness, and before you know it they've put it on the menu at their restaurant without even realizing. Think of it like seeds scattered in the wind, trends moving from coast to coast.
Pretty soon, we suspect, news of KitchenetteSF will be appearing on every blog in town. After all, is there anything this town loves more than ad hoc pop-up restaurants with a DIY edge? Judging by the lines outside of Mission Street Food last Thursday night, we think not. KitchenetteSF is a Monday through Friday lunch-only grab-and-go operation that by the Living Room Events chefs, run out of the LRE's Dogpatch loading dock. They're making one or two options a day which are, mais oui, sustainable, seasonal and local.