We've likely all dabbled in a pop-up meal or two—trying to find something new and unusual, on the quest for a hidden gem. Maybe you signed up through an app for a one-time dinner at a unique location or with a potentially up-and-coming chef, or perhaps followed the advice of a foodie friend who passed along a hot tip.
One thing's for certain: Anypop-up that can make the leap from one-off to establishment has some magic in the sauce. Welcome to Sorrel, the newest restaurant to go from pop-up to permanent, now open in Presidio Heights.
But first, let's back up a bit.
After honing his skills at San Francisco's Quince and New York's Jean Georges, chef Alex Hong partnered with Colby Heiman (now director of operations) to launch a series of tasting menu dinners that would showcase Hong's insanely precise style of seasonal Californian cuisine. Three years and 135 sold-out suppers later, you could say they excelled.
With the transition into a fully operational restaurant on Sacramento Street, a new a la carte menu takes the place of the pop-up's pre-fixe, allowing guests choose their own dining adventure. And it's quite an experience.
Chef Hong's greatest skill is utilizing the best of what's in season to artfully mastermind dishes around primo local ingredients that change regularly, if not daily. The style is clever and complex, yet casual and approachable—think illuminating pastas, the lightest crudo and tartare, refined meats, and an out-of-this-world homemade bread. Everything—right down to the herbs sourced from the restaurant's rooftop garden—fits into a singular theme: fresh.
Hong learned a thing or two about pasta while working at Quince, and it shows. Few things could be more comforting than his juicy smoked-duck-filled tortellini in brodo with sliced fava beans and crispy cracklings.
// Sorrel, 3228 Sacramento Street (Presidio Heights), sorrelrestaurant.com