It's been a solid two months since the foie gras ban set in, and San Francisco is starting to feel the void. Some chefs and entrepreneurs are finding ways to dodge the ban. Take Txoko. This North Beach Basque-Californian restaurant capitalizes on the fact that it's still legal to give away foie, handing out free foie gras snacks on Wednesdays to show their continued love for the liver. The delicacy has also surfaced at charity events and underground dinners. Meanwhile, a few chefs are filling the void with dishes that are super rich, or similar in flavor. Here's a look at what to try.
I talked to Michael Black, owner of acclaimed sushi restaurant Sebo in Hayes Valley about what’s in store for his customers tonight, not to mention the trials and tribulations of running a sustainably-driven sushi restaurant.
They’re called Kegani. I just got two in for tonight. They come in about 1–2 pounds in size and are really prized in Japan for their sweet meat. They come from Hokkaido, an island in the Northwest of Japan.
How will you be preparing them?
They’ll be on the sushi menu and a couple of salads.
Do you ever serve them raw?
No, but one of my favorite dishes is kimchee-pickled raw crab.
This is the time of year when I start thinking about all the bests of the year—my favorite meals, the chefs I hope to see more of in the New Year, the best newcomers, restaurants I’m sad to see close. Melissa Perello is one of the young chefs I’m keeping my fingers crossed for in 2009. I finally got over to Sebo last Monday, where Perello’s been guest-cheffing periodically (her boyfriend, Danny Dunham, is one of Sebo’s chef-owners and was in the kitchen to help). The $45 four-course meal was a well-executed Cal-French mid-winter treat, featuring a caramelized scallop salad with celery root puree, kale-and-chanterelle risotto, and fork-tender Cabernet-braised pork cheeks.
You want to have the best experience at a restaurant in San Francisco?
Don’t go on a Friday or Saturday. Really. Because you know what? Those
are the same nights that everyone wants to dine out, and the crush of
humanity would really like to be seated at 7:30, thank you very much.
Valentine’s Day is often referred to by the industry as “amateur night”
and I’m betting Friday and Saturdays are considered “amateurish” too.
I know how this will sound, but it’s true—I read Details for the articles. I don’t always agree with their take on food in San Francisco, but it’s always interesting to see what the editors have to say. However, this story, about the best sushi joints in America, got it exactly right, naming some of my favorite places.