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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Checking Back In at the Broken Record

Posted By on Thu, Jan 21, 2010 at 3:54 PM

click to enlarge JAMES MOISEY
  • James Moisey
This week's review of Bruno's followed chefs Ryan Ostler and Katharine Zacher, who'd made a name for themselves revamping bar food at The Broken Record in the Excelsior. Right after Ostler and Zacher left the bar last July, John Birdsall talked with Zach Braff lookalike James Moisey, who took over after they left. After I'd spent a few evenings eating ― and enjoying ― the Bruno's chefs' food, I thought it only fair to check out their old place to see where Moisey has taken its menu.

So one foggy night last week, a friend and I stopped by for sandwiches

and pints of Trumer (Side note: God, is it good to be able to drink the

pilsner on draft again, when it tastes like a bouquet garni has steeped

in the brew). The sausages and Texas toast Moisey talked up to SFoodie

weren't there ― that's normal, says bar owner Jason King, since they

rotate the menu every season ― but it also seems like the menu, and

its ambitions, have been stripped back down since July. We ate a bowl

of farfalle and cheese, and it had none of the opulence of Zacher and

Ostler's current version; a pulled-pork sandwich with radishes and slaw

was decent but not memorable.

But Moisey's serving a destination burger. Not only does he toast high,

light brioche rolls on the griddle so they crisp up and develop a sort

of inverse tonsure, a neat round brown mark, the chef adds whole chunks

of bacon into the beef when he grinds the meat. The fat keeps the patty

juice-laden and a bit smoky. If that's not enough bacon for you, you

can get bacon on the mac 'n' cheese too, with another side of bacon

fries.

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Jonathan Kauffman

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