Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Friday, September 26, 2008

Last Night: Dish Under the Dome

Posted By on Fri, Sep 26, 2008 at 10:08 AM

SF Weekly Dish

Under the Dome

Westfield San Francisco Centre

September 25, 2008

click to enlarge 09252008532.jpg

Words and Photos by Tamara Palmer

A benefit for San Francisco's Project Open Hand, Dish gathered kindhearted souls together to enjoy a meal reflecting the culinary and ethnic diversity of the city. It was billed as a tasting, but participating restaurants (who came from all over S.F. as well as right there at Westfield) made sure that people would get something far more filling.

Lark Creek Steak welcomed us in with what would be our amuse bouche: A crostini of beef tenderloin tartare.

click to enlarge 09252008514.jpg

Zazil, from nearby in the shopping center, offered a sampling of its coastal Mexican cuisine of spicy ceviche and chips with generous scoops of guacamole that didn't keep us from repeated visits.

click to enlarge 09252008523.jpg

New Delhi won the award for the cutest food of the night with miniature samosas packing big flavor. A gentleman I took to be the proprietor (not pictured) said something to me about the samosas being the dish that got someone (I'm not sure whom) pregnant, so I did eat them with just a little bit of caution.

click to enlarge 09252008525.jpg

Straits, also right there at Westfield, brought their chicken lollipops, which we saw so many people walking around with before we found them.

click to enlarge 09252008550.jpg

Fig season is in full glorious bloom, and Soluna Cafe and Lounge presented luscious black mission figs stuffed with cambozola and drizzled with balsamic reduction. They also had delicate little red potatoes stuffed with sweet potato, Dungeness crab and bacon.

click to enlarge 09252008530.jpg

click to enlarge 09252008533.jpg

French bistro Chapeau! (and sister spot Clementine) in the Richmond District had a suitably charming French chef doling out huge heaps of smoked trout and fingerling potatoes on a baguette.

click to enlarge 09252008567.jpg

The International Culinary School at the Art Institute designed a beautiful display to show off their red pepper and pomegranate hummus.

click to enlarge 09252008542.jpg

click to enlarge 09252008543.jpg

click to enlarge 09252008544.jpg

Potrero's Live Sushi Bar didn't have anything flopping around on its table, but it did find a clever use for those colorful fried shrimp chips: A bowl in which to serve a zingy tartare of shrimp, tuna and salmon.

click to enlarge 09252008565.jpg

S.F.'s green Orchard Garden Hotel cooled off a warm evening with a gazpacho of heirloom tomato and Dungeness crab.

click to enlarge 09252008547.jpg

We circled Polk Street's Modern Thai a few times to gawk at the loveliness of the black sweet rice with mango. It was still a little too soon for sweets, but after trying the coconut shrimp it seemed okay to foreshadow dessert. . .

click to enlarge 09252008556.jpg

click to enlarge 09252008555.jpg

A surprising highlight amidst these stellar bites came from Papalote, winners of Best Burrito in this year's Best of SF.

click to enlarge 09252008539.jpg

click to enlarge 09252008538.jpg

Note the speaker on the left there, next to Papalote owner Miguel Escobedo. Papalote was parked next to the DJ, who was a tad bland for my adventurous musical palate, and I found myself wishing that Escobedo, who moonlights as well-known S.F. DJ Mr. E, was on the turntables dishing up tunes as spicy and engaging as his famous salsa that I drenched over his plump and tasty carne asada and veggie burritos.

Frisée also stood out, not only for the food but for the presentation. Their brioche bread pudding seemed like the only way to properly kick off dessert, but that didn't keep my companion from then trying their chicken and mushroom meatballs and declaring them one of the evening's most memorable items. We skipped the summer salad of quail egg and rabbit in gelée, which I would have tried had I strategized better.

click to enlarge 09252008560.jpg

click to enlarge 09252008561.jpg

click to enlarge 09252008564.jpg

Pâtisserie Philippe came complete with a chocolate fountain for dipping strawberries, and also offered a selection of macarons and meringues with big pieces of pistachio and what tasted like rock candy shards. They didn't let us try the Godzilla meringues they brought for a display, but they did tell us a story about a little boy and his father finishing one of them in one very quick sitting.

click to enlarge 09252008527.jpg

click to enlarge 09252008529.jpg

Critic's notebook:

Personal bias: SF Weekly hosted this event, but no one told me to cover or promote it in any way. When I saw what it was going to be about, I pretty much shamelessly begged for an invitation.

Random detail: There was a noticeable amount of friendliness in the air among patrons, vendors and volunteers. It was really contagious.

By the way: Project Open Hand has a lot of great volunteer opportunities to serve your community, including food prep, filling grocery orders and meal delivery.

  • Pin It

About The Author

Tamara Palmer


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"