Friday, September 01, 2006

Bar Crudo, San Francisco

I think I'm in love. Cozy zinc bar where you can watch the chef shuck oysters and prepare fish? Tom Waits on the playlist? Ethereal jellyfish lamps in the back of the bar? And more importantly: food so far from the ordinary, with a comfy price tag and sparkling flavors.

halibut with watermelon, cucumber, orange, tangerine oil, mint and sezhuan pepper (whew!)

crudo sampler platter: yellowfin tuna with ginger, soy and srichacha; barramundi with lemon, lime and radish; arctic char cubes with creamy horseradish, tobiko, and dill; scallop with orange, fennel, olives and mint

I've done sushi, ceviche and tuna carpaccio but never crudo--Italian raw fish. Bar Crudo, a relatively new spot in San Francisco, serves--duh--crudo as well as a full raw bar and a few cooked pescatory plates. I found it via the San Francisco Chronicle's list of Top 100 Restaurants (with a handy neighborhood search feature), and after checking the opinion of prolific Bay Area foodblogger Sam of Becks and Posh (she's currently loving it) I knew I was good to go.

the tuna confit, my favorite

Bar Crudo's a great place to go as a single diner--grab a seat at the bar and watch the action in the kitchen or chat up your neighbor. Every dish I tried had a long list of adjectives/ingredients on the menu and most lived up to the description--though I'm not sure I picked out every flavor in every bite. My favorite was the San Sebastian--tuna confit with white asparagus, olives, caperberries, manchego, tomato bread and 1/2 a soft boiled egg. To confit is to preserve meat in fat--in this case the tuna was preserved in olive oil, creating a rich and tender texture. With a bit of the egg yolk dabbed on the fish, each bite was heaven.

The service is a bit slow (it's a small, popular space with a tiny staff)--a minor, minor glitch in an otherwise delightful evening, especially when you've got a great Spanish verdejo wine to savor.

Bar Crudo
603 Bush St
San Francisco


Kalyn said...

Erin, awesome photos. I want to go there right now!

PoetKitty said...

Oh.My.Crudo - this looks AMAZING. Grazie for the review and pics, I'm considering a trip to SF just to visit this hang. Yowsa.

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