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Friday, November 14, 2008

Mission Street Food, San Francisco

The first rule about Underground Dining is you don't talk about Underground Dining. Hahaha...actually, in the foodie world, the opposite is true--all people do is scurry around trying to get their hands on the hippest and hottest so they can blog about it and rave about it to their friends. Word of mouth spreads fast in this big little city, and I'm not just talking about foodie gossip...

When I was in Sydney, there was a guy in Surry Hills who started Table for 20 and opened up his space for friends and strangers and people who want to share in good food. Carl, my co-worker at the time, had been and recommended checking it out, but I never got a chance to!

I have been doing some investigative work of my own into the underground dining scene in San Francisco. My friend Jason is going to check out Radio Africa Kitchen, which is a nomadic restaurant that focuses on using sustainable methods and foods. I will have to find out what he thought of it.  

In a similar nomadic vein, Anthony Myint is experimenting by renting out a space in another resturant for one night a week to make innovative yet affordable food for the SF community. "Ideally, this will be part of an indie cooking movement that will let talented cooks reach the public without the risks of opening a conventional restaurant—and let the public enjoy great food without the costs of dining at a conventional restaurant". What a great idea!  I had heard about Mission Street Food, but then I saw the Beer and Nosh post and was sold on the photos alone.  I thought the menu would be different everytime, but we went lastnight to check it out and the menu was the same as Jessie had described it. So we did what any rational foodie would do when no dish costs more than $7.00: We ordered one of everything to share amongst the group!

I didn't have my camera since we hussled over in a cab as soon as we realized it was Thursday, so thank you to Jesse Friedman of Beer and Nosh for his well-captured photos:

"PB & J" : Kurobuta Berkshire Pork Belly & Jicama w/ pickled jalapeno and cilantro aioli on fresh homemade roti pancakes. ($5.50)  The roti was chewy and warm and bursting with a delicate flavor that took me right back to my roti canai obsession when I was in Suva, Fiji.  I don't have any photos of those days, but I did come across this awesome photo.  You know, roti canai is generally made with a simple list of flour, water, salt and ghee but you can just taste the love that is put into making it...I don't eat pork, but I grabbed a quick inaugural bite of the piping hot roti with a bit of crisp jicama with the really fresh cilantro aioli.  It was delicious and my friends, who are pork eaters, loved it too!

"MSF RICE": Smoked Rice fried with duck fat and served with liberty duck confit, cracklins, shitake, scallions and cauliflower. ($7)
My friends loved the rice!  I ordered the Vegan VSF RICE, which I loved! It was smoked Rice fried with olive oil and accompanied by breaded tofu, shitake, scallions and cauliflower. ($5.50):

"ONO KAUSWE": Coconut Curry Soup with noodles, spicy chicken, egg, cilantro, lime, chili flakes, and fried shallots. ($6):  This dish  Silky, thin noodles in a rich, creamy curry sauce with just a faint touch of heat that is mellowed out by the fresh taste of lime and cilantro.  Yum!  

We also ordered dessert for $2, which was homemade coconut ice cream with a little "fortune cookie". The ice cream was absolutely fantastic. It was smooth and creamy with a rich coconut flavor and a hint of salt--imagine "salted caramel ice cream" but with coconut instead of caramel. Delicious!

I loved the idea.  I loved the food.  I loved the spirit of the people clamoring to get into a tiny restaurant space that is nearly empty on every other night...

Go get your Mission Street Food.  And pass the word on.


Jesse said...

There is a raging debate (ok, raging might be a stretch) between MissionMission and Burrito Justice on which is better - the Duck fat fried rice, or the Vegan fried rice.

I vote that duck fat (and crackings!) make EVERYTHING better.

most importantly, what was your fortune?!

And speaking of mission street food, have you been to my new favorite addiction, Dynamo Donuts? I had my favorite, banana dulche de leche stuffed donuts this past sunday. (although bacon maple is a close second). It's less than a block from my apartment, making it very dangerous to my health.

- Jesse

Morgan Lee said...

I liked both of the rice versions, but I thought the smoke flavor overpowered the duck flavor...

As for Dynamo Donuts, I neeeeeed to go...There was a feature on that place in one of the 7x7 magazines and I fell in love with the descriptions of fluffy yet chewy doughnuts with creative flavors like Lemon Thyme or Mexican hot chocolate....and they apparently serve Stumptown coffee, which I am really into after my recent trip to Portland...

Anonymous said...

Duck confit and cracklins? Yep, love it.