The genius thing about state bird provions–San Francisco’s hottest new eatery–is their dim sum-style delivery of california cuisine. The open kitchen continually sends out trays and rolling carts of freshly prepared goodness to an intimate dining room of not more than 20 tables. With constant curiosity and the fear of missing something good, I practically gave myself whiplash everytime the cart rolled by. There is a short menu of house “commandables” — items that can always be ordered — but most of what you will see changes frequently and is not written down, adding an element of entertainment and excitement. When they pull up to your table, I dare you to look the waiter in the eye and turn them away after they reveal the newest dish.
We ordered one if everything on the menu….because that’s what you do after you get in line at 4:30pm and still wait two hours until you score a table…and it’s also what you do when you lack the ability to say no to someone’s face. Genius. And now for the highlights…
It’s a like a state fair treat for adults: garlic bread with burrata. — warm doughy goodness, rubbed in salt, plenty of pepper and garlicy oil and topped with a heaping dollop of creamy, gooey burrata. A must.
Demand the Commandables: sweet corn & garlic chive “shortstack” pancakes with a Mt. Tam cheese ooze. Heaven. I know why they have earned a spot on the short list of permanent menu items.
I’ll take a whole bowl: Shitake Mushrooms and Guinea Hen Dumplings with Preserved Lemon and an Aromatic Broth.
The namesake: CA State Bird with Provisions — crispy quail with sliced pecorino was a finger lickin’ good upgrade.
Do try this at home: buttermilk cracker with roasted chanterelles and pecorino — a rich, earthy spread that would make any happy hour happier.
Favorite of the night: king salmon 7-min deviled egg with pickled radish and horseradish creme fraiche — a slightly gooey egg served as the bed for sweet salmon, peppery creme fraiche and refreshingly crunchy radish strips. Everything was right in this bowl.
A fitting dish to enjoy with Chris Cosentino sitting two tables away: sweetbread polpette with fig jam — these sweet, rich bites were not your grandma’s meatballs. Another serious contender for favorite dish.
Just when you thought you couldn’t eat anymore: Duck liver and almond biscuits — our bellies were full, our curiosities were sated and then this rolled by. The almond biscuit was more like a sweet mini breakfast muffin and served as the perfect vehicle for the rich duck liver mousse. We called this dessert and gladly welcomed one more dish to round.
The Skim: I would stand in line everyday for this place. The novelty of the dim sum-style delivery provided continuous anticipation for a stream of surprises. And with a menu that constantly changes, the surprises will never die. If you plan ahead you *can* actually get a reservation, but if you decide to show up on a whim, plan to get there by 4:30 for a table around 6:30/7pm. The good news is there are plenty of local watering holes with the same amount of charm and a convenient text notification system that does not tether you to the restaurant walls. Only other advice, go hungry or with the confident conviction to turn away your waiter.
Map: 1529 Fillmore, SF, California
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Gone Fish. ‘in Sausalito
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