After glimpses of four-star glory, Fred Tang and Will Pacio are ministering to the $10 lunch crowd. Opening yesterday: Spice Kit, their quick-casual spot in the office zone where FiDi fuses with SOMA. Tang and Pacio are likewise seeking to fuse rice paper wraps and white bread, in a move to make the banh mi and Korean ssam rolls as appealing as a Toaster Oven turkey sub to a wide demo of downtown office workers.Our banh mi yesterday was a careful study in crossover. The roll was right, the house-made pate (available for an upcharge) delicious, and the vinegary clutch of carrot and daikon was appropriatey vivid. But cubes of five-spice grilled chicken (all proteins are customizable) came across more Mixt Greens than Lee's, and a copious smear of mayo seemed to nod too decisively in the direction of the deli. Nevertheless, a Korean ssam wrap, filled with hunks of braised and grilled short rib, was perfect: delicately elastic rice-paper wrap, stretched around rice, mung sprouts, lush bits of beef, and moderately spicy kimchi.
If anything has the power to turn skeptical admins away from the tuna melt, it's that.
Spice Kit 405 Howard (at First St.), 882-4581
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