SANF May 2013 : Page 112

weighty cargo of avocado, gruyère, and truffled parmesan potatoes. The turkey is lean, the beef grass-fed, and the bison tinged with the gaminess of the range, but the flavors often get lost beneath an avalanche of stuff. (J.S.) 1785 union st. (at oCtaVia st.), 415-440-7626 $ W (10/10) umami Burger To the obscure lingo in your culinary lex-icon, you should now add umami, the Japanese term for “the fifth taste.” As gimmicks go, it’s darn good. Against a blond-wood backdrop where fine draft beers flow freely, the burgers here, ground hourly, arrive as juicy as celeb-rity gossip. Their wardrobes are elabo-rate, as with the truffle burger, dressed in truffle cheese and a truffle glaze. This chain now has seven outposts in Califor-nia and one planned for Manhattan. What’s Japanese for IPO? (J.S.) 2184 union st. (at FiLLMoRe st.), 415-440-8626 $ (2/12) saVe the date When a team of the country’s best pastry chefs assembles to put on a charity bake sale, don’t bank on cookies and brownies. On May 11, killed by Dessert proves this point. Absinthe’s Bill Corbett (pictured) and Momofuku Milk Bar’s Christina Tosi are among the founders of the event, wrangling A-list pastry chefs to sell their delicacies for the good of Share Our Strength. Look for Culinary Institute of America instructor Corbett’s flaky pretzel croissant, Francisco Migoya’s milk chocolate slab riddled with bananas and candied hazelnuts, Tosi’s widely celebrated crack pie, and scores of other desserts from star pastry chefs. Everything will cost between $2 and $6 (a bargain compared to restaurant prices). Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., but you’d be wise to arrive on the early side. san FRanCisCo CookinG sChooL, 690 Van ness aVe. (at tuRk st.), 415-346-2665 Financial District, Jackson Square, and Union Square Cotogna ★★ ½ This offshoot of Quince is casual and homespun but well bred. From pizza and pappardelle to salads and roasts, the food is a match for its surroundings, and at its best makes you wonder why you ever eat any other way. A savory cus-tard of English peas is a sweet expres-sion of the peas’ garden-y essence, and the pastas, such as pappardelle with braised rabbit ragù and delicate beet-and-chard tortelloni, span the earthy and the artful. Lamb chops with black olives leave you gnawing at the bones like a wolf. Count on attentive service and a superb wine list: All bottles are $40 and all glasses are $10. (J.S.) 490 PaCiFiC aVe. (at MontGoMeRy st.), 415-775-8508 $$$ RvW (5/11) “ GREAT FOOD, GREAT WINE AND GREAT NEW FRIENDS ... WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO DOING THIS AGAIN” “THE PERFECT BLEND OF A RELAXING VACATION COMBINED WITH AS MUCH EXCITEMENT AS I WANTED...” NEW hakkasan ★★ CRAFT BEER TASTING | WINE ON THE RIVER | CULINARY ADVENTURES Join O.A.R.S. for a culinary experience like no other. Spend 2 or more days rafting a Wild & Scenic river featuring chef-prepared meals and award-winning wines and micro brews presented by knowledgeable stewards. With its touch of Kardashian appeal, Hakkasan is a big production that calls for your cocktail-hour finest. Let’s call the aesthetic “designed exoticism”: There are mirrored walls, calacatta mar-ble tables, and silk embroidered dragons on the white leather banquettes. Chef Ho Chee Boon earned a Michelin star at Hakkasan in New York, an accolade that makes sense when you taste his dim sum. At $28 for eight pieces, the assorted platter is still worth the price. Hak-kasan’s prices might not attract such notice if the portions weren’t often so comically small. The pipa duck— its crisp, malty skin the perfect comple-ment to the rich, juicy layers of meat— comes in very modest rations, and whether it warrants $36 depends on how you feel about the spectacle and its oomp-oomp sound track—which is what you’re buying when you book at Hak-kasan. It’s a restaurant that celebrates conspicuous consumption: gastronomy done Gangnam style. (J.S.) 1 keaRny st. (at MaRket st.), 415-829-8148 $$$$ RVW (2/13) Machka “...nothing short of perfection.” EXPLORE MORE: taste for adventure ĪĪ 800-346-6277 Award-winning nature-based adventures since 1969 Seeing its brick wall, communal table, long bar, and flat-screen showing vin-tage films, you might be surprised to know that this is the latest Turkish res-taurant to hit the city. Order a glass of 112 San Francisco | May 2013


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