Bar Crudo (SF) – Fresh Fish in SF
I’m always surprised by the dearth of fish quality here in San Francisco – aside from Ino Sushi which is good but not great, I won’t dare go to any other sushi restaurant here in SF.
So it was with a mix of caution and excitement that I watched Bar Crudo renovate a tiny little space as I walked by every Sat on my way to the farmer’s market. It looks like a small trend among bay area chefs is to downsize and open tiny, intimate spaces (ie, Canteen.) I finally got the chance to try Bar Crudo last night – there are 2 bars that sit about 4 and a room upstairs that can’t be much larger.
Overall, it was pretty good – some hits, some misses, consider it a 2nd-tier Uni (Boston) or Nobu. Perfect if you find yourself downtown after a hard day @ work or Union Square shopping and want something a tad refreshing. I’d suggest going sooner than later because restaurants in that space tend to stay open for around 4-5 months.
Spciy Tuna Cubes
Excellent cubes of tuna… Very fresh w/ an excellent kick thanks to the ginger soy, siracha (garlic blended w/ serrano chiles), & green onions. This has been done a million times by everyone but these were among the best.
Arctic Char Cubes
Not as good… Char is a some sort of mix between salmon & trout. A little dry and the creamy dill horseradish obscured the taste of the fish, almost as if they were trying to mask the quality. The orange tobiko caviar on top was good.
A little too busy but still pretty good. The smoked sea salt brought out the taste but the fresh apple, jalepeno, & tangerine oil wasn’t unified.
Excellent raw scallops, extremely tender, very sensual… The orange, fennel, & olive salad on top was, again, a tad too busy, but the dish was very good.
This was a miss – just a plate of a bunch of disparate ingredients. The tuna confit was way too dry with the texture of canned tuna. The white asparagus was good (I generally hate asparagus) – it was soaked in some sort of oil. There was a 1/2 egg on it all for some reason; manchego cheese; nice roasted red peppers, olives, and more – just sitting on the plate.
This is a great, tiny, intimate neighborhood place that I couldn’t be happier about. I worry about a few things: 1) the space is cool but other restaurants have been doomed there and 2) I hope they switch the menu to a market-based one as opposed to having the same dishes all the time.
All the crudo is $8/plate; appetizers & cooked stuff are $9-12/plate. They have a bunch of oysters for $2(hama hama, hog island, humboldt bay kumomoto, wellfleet from NE), prawns $2.5, clams $1.5, crab $12-24, & lobster $13-25. I will be eating my way through their menu over the next month or 2.
Wines are from everywhere – cali, france, spain, & italy, ranging from $30-66/bottle. I’m no expert so i have no idea if they’re desirable or not.
If you like fresh fish, give it a shot.
603 Bush St.
San Francisco, CA 94108