After a morning walk up and down a few hills I kept walking the whole way to SPQR for lunch. I so rarely eat pasta that I appreciate it even more when I do and this was delicious. Of note, there were more solo diners here for lunch than I have ever seen at any other restaurant. We actually outnumbered the 2 and 4-tops. I know it’s not a good thing for the restaurant’s bottom line, but I did love seeing it. Even though I’m quite comfortable dining alone, there are still moments when I feel like a complete outcast.
Sweet carrot and lentil salad, medulla date and vadouvan curry crema
Buckwheat tagliatelle, cider and bacon braised suckling pork and spigarello broccoli
State Bird Provisions
I had a moment after I had been waiting in line for about 45 minutes when I was seriously questioning my sanity. I hate waiting in line. Perhaps one too many times of trying to be in the front row of a general admission show. I’ve only waited at a restaurant twice before, oddly both for pizza, Di Fara and Pizzeria Bianco. The former I barely remember as we were so hungry by the time we got our pizza that we would have eaten cardboard and so totally inhaled it without even tasting it. And the latter is my absolute favorite pizza in the US so it was well worth the wait.
If I lived in San Fran I think I would be at State Bird once a week, line and all. Hands down this was the most fun I’ve ever had dining alone. I never even picked up my book. The dim sum concept is just fantastic when so well done. It’s a bit like gambling in that you don’t know if you should take the 1st dish that comes around, or hold out for something you may like better. At first I wished there was a list so I would know how many choices there would be and strategize appropriately (actually there is a list online but I wasn’t sure how frequently it changed, etc). But I quickly realized that being surprised made it so entertaining. Next time I do need friends just so I can try more. In the end I only ordered 2 things from the actual menu but saw so much leaving the kitchen that I wanted to be able to eat. Lastly I think it takes a certain personality to work in this type of concept and everybody here had ‘it’ in spades.
Shrimp ‘Louie’ bean salad
Guinea hen dumpling
Garlic bread with burrata
Air dried beef with chili juice, rice powder & garlic chips
Smoked trout-avocado chip & dip
CA state bird with provisions
Yeasted butter cake, sing old tomato caramel & peaches
Thankfully not everybody went to Tales of the Cocktail!
Coit Tower – Rittenhouse rye, raspberry, thyme, lemon, cider
Dragon Gate – campo de encanto acholado pisco, muscat, Szechuan pepper, lemon, ginger, egg
Wilson & Wilson (in Bourbon & Branch)
Even better than a basement speakeasy is one with a password. I’m still trying to figure out what I said to get myself labelled as a scotch drinker! I needed you dad.