Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Interesting, Well-Conceived Small Plates at Orson, San Francisco, CA

Orson is Elizabeth Faulker's (of Citizen Cake) new non-dessert restaurant and it's close to both our house and Alexis' office. The interior was large and lofty, yet still intimate. They did a good job of making distinct sections of the restaurant. There is the main dining area, a large lounge (towards the back), an upstairs loft and a very large, white marble oval bar in the center. It is modern, yet friendly. The service was also great. They were attentive, friendly and knowledgeable. And the food was also very good. The food was eclectic and interesting and overall, very tasty.

Chicarrones with BBQ Sauce $5
The chicharones (fried pig skin) were light and not at all greasy. The BBQ sauce was refreshingly lacking in cloying sweetness. This was a great way to start the meal.

Smoked Tempura Egg $8
Sounded better than it tasted, but still good.

Oysters $5 for 2
Classic and good.

Tongue Croquette with Cherries $5
I think tongue is this season's IT ingredient. It is surprisingly tender. The cherries, I think, would have been a better addition if they had been a little less sweet and a little more sour.

Duck Fat Fries with Aioli $7
Duck fat fries are also showing up on menus all over the place. I'm not complaining though.

Foie Gras Bon Bon $5
This was very weird, but actually worked. It was cold torchon of foie gras dipped in dark, bitter chocolate. Our friend and dining companion, L, didn't like it at all, but we thought it was great.

Fried Tofu $5
This was good, if a little bland.

Bone Marrow with Roasted Garlic and Crusty Bread $12
The garlic overpowered the marrow, but on their own, spread on the hearty, sour bread, both were unctuous.

Greens, Beets, Grapefruit, Pine Nuts, Ricotta Salata $9
This was a surprisingly delicious salad. The grapefruit was key and the potato chips added a nice contrast.

Pork Buns $7
These were better than your standard dim sum pork buns, but we don't really like pork buns all that much. The acidic sauce added a nice kick though, however.

Charred Hamachi Tartare $11
It was agreed that this was just a little too charred--the flavor overpowered the delicate flavor of the fish.

Shortribs with Espresso Sauce $15
The espresso sauce was oddly tasted and the bitterness matched the fattiness of the shortrib well.

Roasted Pig, 5 Ways $17
Delicious, in all 5 ways.

Sausage, Asparagus, Fennel and Pecorino Pizza $15
We are getting a little sick of the no-sauce pizzas that keep appearing on menus, but the flavor was good here, and the crust was as good as any I've had on the West Coast.

Food: 2
Decor: 2
Service: 2

508 4TH ST
San Francisco, CA 94107

Health Code Violations

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