October 1, 2023


Be Inspired By Food

The greatest food items of the week from our Bay Place restaurant critic

In this weekly column, I’ll be sharing the greatest dishes I’ve eaten all around the San Francisco Bay Space recently. Though the record may well consist of Instagram-only bargains or seasonal tasting menu objects, I’ll be absolutely sure to include matters that you could reasonably get nowish.

This week’s version involves a fragrant southern Indian dish, a high-quality dining tostada and the most effective knafeh I’ve experienced in a extended time. Check out my recomendations from final week here.

Chettinad-style rooster at Tilak

At Tilak, a Bernal Heights Indian restaurant, so considerably on the lengthy, 40-item menu appears attractive it’s tough to opt for some thing to buy. But a thing instantly caught my eye: the chicken Chettinad ($14), named soon after a historic trading hotspot in Tamil Nadu, India. Chettinad delicacies, a generations-in-the-producing meld of Arab, Southeast Asian and other flavors, is a rarity in the Bay Spot, with just 3 or so restaurants right here that specialize in it. So I jumped at the chance to test chef-owner Tilak Gurung’s just take on the cuisine.

The dish is served with a wealthy, coconut-flavored gravy and layered with toasted spice and fragrant flavors: cardamom, onion, cinnamon and pepper. Pink, spiced oil floats to the edges of the curry complete spices pop in your mouth as you try to eat. The flavoring is concentrated, but scalpel-sharp software keeps it from tasting muddy or cacophonous. Consider it with roti ($2), because you know you will want to sop up the sauce with something.

Tilak. Open up for indoor eating, takeout and shipping. 5-10 p.m. Wednesday-Monday. 3501 Mission St., San Francisco. 415-647-4037 or https://tilaksf.com

Nettle tostada at Avery

Nettle leaf tostadas with trout roe at Avery in San Francisco.
Nettle leaf tostadas with trout roe at Avery in San Francisco.Soleil Ho / The Chronicle

The nine-system tasting menu ($118) at San Francisco’s Avery is a single of the hidden gems of the city’s dining scene. At this miniscule restaurant on Fillmore Avenue, chef-proprietor Rodney Wages and his skeleton crew serve beautiful and imaginative haute delicacies: tortellini as fragile as cats’ ears a drink of fermented pineapple with sauerkraut essence miniature Toaster Strudels with lingonberries.

Wages’ complete menu is believed-provoking, but the dish I went to mattress thinking about was a wild nettle tostada. Fried in a translucent tempura batter, a wild nettle leaf seems preserved in glass. On best are pieces of smoked trout, together with its oceanic roe. Fermented ramps give the two-chunk dish a pickle-adjacent punch, and cultured cream moistens the palate.

Avery. Open up for indoor dining 5-8 p.m. Thursday-Sunday. 1552 Fillmore St., San Francisco. www.AVERYsf.com

Kanafeh at Manakish Oven and Grill

I do not generally just do random restaurant visits, but the guarantee of za’atar-dusted flatbreads pulled me toward Walnut Creek this 7 days. Opened in late 2019, Manakish Oven and Grill is a Lebanese counter service spot geared toward everyday taking in, with a menu of manakish, flatbreads, with toppings like tri-idea shawarma, cheese and cauliflower. But it is the kanafeh ($7.50) that unexpectedly snagged me.

Sweet and salty cheese is coated with shredded phyllo dough and served with a straightforward syrup flavored with cardamom. It is baked to buy so that the cheese partly melts and the bird’s nest of dough strands crisp up, the textures coming off like a bowl of cereal, but backwards.