New place from Brandon Rice, former sous chef at Rich Table. We went for the $95 / person chef’s menu, which was a lot for the money.
Santa Barbara spot prawns were excellent, we could have eaten a few dozen and called it a night. Oysters were fine, as were the mignonette and hot sauce. Live scallop sashimi with cucumbers and Half Moon Bay wasabi was great, reminded me of Connie & Ted’s.
SF Bay anchovies with onion dip and house-made potato chips. Delicious.
Caviar and something like Thousand Island dressing? Nice couple of bites.
Sushi rice, beef tartare, salmon roe, toasted nori to make tacos. Subtle but good. A little of the hot sauce was nice.
Lo mein “carbonara” with sea urchin and Olivier’s bacon, quite good though I didn’t get much uni flavor.
Manila clams with ginger, scallions, Thai basil, and other herbs including the best cilantro I’ve had in a while: standout. Meaty clams, bright herbs, great broth.
Could have used a couple more rolls to sop up that great broth and pasta sauce, maybe just as well we didn’t have them as there was so much food. House-made butter was fine.
Fried koshikari rice with Coacella corn and cotija, really good flavor and texture, again a great mix of herbs. The kitchen has a serious two-wok station with those jet-engine-style burners.
Beef short rib with yu choy, serranos, and hot mustard: solid though kind of out of place amid so many exciting dishes.
Aged beef and bone marrow dumplings with sauce charcutière, really good. We were so full by this point that I was glad there were only two.
Soft-serve with a surprisingly crunchy hazelnut praline sauce and a “magic” chocolate shell poured over at the table. Quite good. I think four-tops also got the black sesame “tiramisu” kakigori.
The wine list is generally quite pricey but at the lower end there are some great choices marked up only about 2X retail, like the Andrea Occhipinti Alea Rosa and the La Stoppa Trebbiolo.
Service was friendly and polished. Go before they raise the prices on the chef’s menu.