Raising the Bar (Bar Crudo -- San Francisco, CA)
I am a sorry, sorry excuse for a human being. After enjoying Bar Crudo's delicacies for close to a year now, I am FINALLY writing about it. This has to do with nothing but laziness and busy-ness on my part as BC's vittles rock the house.
Bar Crudo is teeny. Two counters (one of which faces their Lilliputian kitchen) and a handful of tables upstairs. Still, I've never had to wait, even walking in. This could be because I eat at weird times, or it could be because the throngs of people in Union Square have no idea that this gem is just under their noses. I'm not complaining.
I heart this place so much because they know what they are good at and they stick to it. Prime example: they don't make dessert and don't employ a pastry chef so they simply offer some xox truffles at the end of the meal if you need a bit of sweetness. Now I love dessert, but I'd rather have no dessert at all if my only other option is shitty dessert. Kudos to the Crudos for recognizing that shit and not frontin'.
The stuff they ARE good at? Well, they are just slap your ass GREAT at it. In fact, on a recent visit with some sexy bitches that I know, I took one look at the menu and said, "yes." As in,"yes, I will eat everything here if you'll let me."
In addition to a beautiful variety of oysters and chilled seafood, BC provides several crudo preparations that are not only innovative, but also incredibly tasty and fresher than yo' mama. Plus, you can order a crudo platter that includes 4 of the 6 crudo offerings for the night. I almost always order the platter and then order the two that aren't included. Like I said, I just can't make choices when I'm hitting up the BC.
The Artic Char with horseradish, tobiko and dill is shockingly fresh, and the heat of the horseradish cuts the somewhat oily fish nicely. I'm also particularly partial to the Ono when they have it. Paired with chilies, yuzu and enoki mushrooms, this dish knows how to party like a rockstar. The raw scallops are so good that I bet I could even get my gastro-germaphobe mother-in-law to eat them.
Bar Crudo also has what Jon refers to as the "Joy salad." This is because it has two of my most favorite things in the world in it: Burrata and lobster. I know, right? They toss some cress on top and usually add one other thing (in the summer it was heirloom tomatoes, right now it is the sweetest beets you ever did eat). On my most recent visit sans Jon, I really had to control myself so I wouldn't scarf the whole thing down without sharing with my girlies.
There are also hot items such as a stunning seafood chowder and a New Orleans inspired fried oyster dish I tried recently. I like my oysters raw for the most part, but I could have eaten a hundred of those fried suckers.
I have not eaten a bad item at BC ever. I wasn't crazy about the Kampachi with figs and marscapone, but that's because the texture of figs makes me want to peel my skin off. Besides that, I have been enamored with every dish I've come into contact with at BC. But then, that's no surprise. We all know that I like it raw.
"To eat is a necessity. To eat intelligently is an art."
-- La Rochefoucauld