Anomaly (San Francisco)

Chef Mike Lanham’s pop up restaurant has been in existence for quite a few years but only since the beginning of this year he finally has opened a permanent location on Sutter Street. It’s a nice location with an elegant yet relaxed ambience. The food turned out to be quite sophisticated and well executed and plays on a Michelin star level - mixing classical preparations with modern techniques and unusual textures and flavor combinations. The wine pairings (also including sake and cider) were really nice and well thought out.
The service was good but also a bit chaotic, e.g. somebody brings new wine glasses, 30 seconds somebody else puts them away because they thought the glasses were already used - nothing really bad just a bit inexperienced. Pacing of the courses was OK but could have been a tiny bit slower (often an issue when everybody gets the same courses at the same time). It would have been nice to also get a printout of the menu as the cooks and server tend to be hard to understand and so we are not always sure about many of the ingredients

Nice open kitchen with a good view

Tapioca chips with dip

Dashi potato with egg yolk jam and puffed rice

Hot nettle soup with cold snow (and a “roll”)

“Salad” with rhubarb granita

Asparagus with truffle and fried runny egg yolk

Sunchoke royale with caviar

Scallop with black truffle panade and dashi yuzu taragon

Aged duck with black garlic puree and scallion oil

Strawberry and lavender

Apricot mousse with honey ice cream

Peach gummy

Mint chocolate



$128 (before drinks, 20% service charge, and tax) is a relatively low price for that kind of thing. The caviar course cost extra?

The caviar course was part of the tasting menu whereas the scallop one was an add-on for (I think) ~$20

Seems like pretty well-tread flavor combinations to me. Not a bad thing, I just don’t see what’s really unusual here - strawberry/lavender, mint/chocolate, apricot/honey, scallop/truffle/yuzu, sunchoke/caviar, asparagus/truffle/egg, potato/egg yolk? Seems a bit ~2011-2016 era overall, but decent price and there’s space for this, especially in San Francisco.

EDIT: I just read on Eater about the chef overcoming a severe injury. I wish him the best. I think this kind of restaurant has potential in San Francisco and I hope they do well.

There were often a number of other ingredients in the dishes, e.g. royale, egg yolk, apricot dessert which weren’t described in detail (or at all) but added other flavors and textures. One weak spot was the description of any of theses dishes - I don’t need to know the name of the chicken who laid the egg for the dish but it would have been nice to know a bit more