State Bird Provisions

For real, this time.

Ok, so, I may have gotten a bit frustrated with the reservation process and popularity of State Bird Provisions recently. But, in response to my sad/ranting/obnoxious blog post, my good friend and personal savior, Ms. Mala B. won the refresh-the-reservations-webpage game. The day after my “I’m so grumpy that I can’t get a rezzo at SBP” post, I received a text:

“Holy crap”

Ms. Bingham had won the culinary lottery; the stars had aligned to reveal a reservation at SBP the following Friday at 5.30pm for two people. And she, being the most kindhearted, loving, awesome, beautiful (not relevant, but still true) person ever, bequeathed this reservation to me.

Obligatory above the fold photo. Carry on.

Remember that episode of My So-Called Life when Angela’s dad gives her Grateful Dead tickets? Subsequently she sells them in an effort to impress/have some excuse for contact with Jordan Catalano and to piss off her dad, but Rayanne’s words on the matter still ring true: “He’s still the type of dad that would lay two Dead tickets on you out of nowhere”. And in this case, Angela’s dad is Mala and my date was super excited and not all pissy about it like Rayanne. End scene on ridiculously drawn out analogy. The point is: Mala is amazing, I love her.

SO. HOW WAS THE BEST NEW RESTAURANT IN AMERICA???

It was awesome. And, since my little camera (Canon S100, buy one!) is broken (uber sad face), I rented a lens just for this night. Canon 28mm fixed f1.8. It did the trick. The food was so good and the pictures are so beautiful, I am overwhelmed. Let the visuals begin!

First, half of the items on the menu are not actually on the menu. Look at their website menu. See all the things called “provisions”? Those aren’t on the menu at the restaurant. Instead, they’re served dim-sum style on carts and trays that servers circulate throughout the restaurant during the night. So you don’t even know what’s up that night until it’s at your table. And, you have a hard time pacing yourself because it all sounds/looks SO GOOD. We started the night off by saying yes to the first three items that came by on a cart:

Shrimp and avocado with crispy nori. Amazing. In the running for my favorite for the night.

Raw ahi tuna with quinoa and bonito flakes. Mild, cool, fresh — delicious.

Seafood ceviche over creamed avocado.

At this point we actually did order off the menu. There are three sections on the menu: pancakes, commandables, and dessert. We ordered the two vegetarian pancakes (sourdough, sauerkraut, pecorino & ricotta pancakes and sweet corn & garlic chive ‘shortstack’ with mt. tam). Each order came with four approximately two-inch diameter savory pancakes. They were delicious, needless to say.

The sourdough and ricotta pancakes tasted like sourdough grilled cheese sandwiches. Possibly in my top three favorites for the night. So good.

Sweet corn short stack.

For a “commandable”, we ordered the breaded cauliflower with beet jam, which was beautiful and yummy:

Breaded cauliflower

And then we snagged two more items off passing trays: tofu tagliatelle and garlic knot bread with buratta. I said “yes” to the latter before the waiter had even finished the description. I want it for every meal ever. Easily my favorite of the night. So ridiculously good.

Tofu tagliatelle

Garlic knot bread with buratta — WINNER

Lastly, we went out on a limb for dessert and got the chocolate gingersnap pudding with crispy coconut pecans. I do not like many of these ingredients, but I was urged “not to be so goddamn picky”. And the waiter recommended it. The pudding was too ginger-y for me, so I left that to my companion. But the crispy coconut pecans had chocolate involved and were amazing. Finale:

Chocolate gingersnap pudding with crispy coconut pecans

And this was just the beginning. There were so many dishes that passed us that we had to say no to because there was just no way to eat it all. Suggestion: bring four people so you can try more things. The lesson: DO NOT GIVE UP on refreshing their site to get a reservation. Totally worth it. Fun, delicious, amazing. Thank you for having us, SBP, we will be back.

State Bird Provisions on Urbanspoon

State Bird Provisions – WTF?

I cannot review SF’s newest addition to the list of “must eat”s. This is because I cannot get a reservation. And I bet you can’t either.

Welcome to San Francisco. We have amazing food. And you have to either wait 2 hours to be seated or 60 days for a reservation. Grrr.

State Bird Provisions is a tiny American food restaurant that serves their reportedly heavenly fare on dim-sum style carts that roam the microscopic aisles. Or so I hear. Because they haven’t yet let me inside the doors. Harumph.

SBP has a reservation list on their website that is updated in real time. You can reserve up to 60 days in advance. But there’s never a reservation spot. It’s like World Series Giant’s tickets just went on sale every single day. It’s a veritable online elbow fight to get a seat. I have yet to win.

Ok, fine. Doing some research, I see that this place is not only good, it is hailed as the best in the land. Like, nationally, apparently. Best New Restaurant in America. Jesus Christ. That’s a lot to live up to. Now I almost feel sorry for them. Are my hopes too high?

In the meantime, I will keep refreshing the webpage at work to see if I can get a reservation at any other time besides 10.30pm on the Saturday before Christmas. Or maybe I should just start scooping up rezzos and scalping them out front? I bet I could make some serious bucks that way… (and only at the small cost of dignity…)

State Bird Provisions… you will be mine…