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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mission Caramel: Your SFoodie Lunch Planner

Posted By on Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 7:30 AM

click to enlarge MBC's grilled shrimp salad sends Louis to the guillotine. - C. ALBURGER
  • C. Alburger
  • MBC's grilled shrimp salad sends Louis to the guillotine.
Weds., Feb. 24, 2010

Normally, "shrimp salad" means one of two things: either a gaggle of jaundiced bay shrimplets amidst wedges of iceberg, wearing a pink sheen regally termed "Louis" sauce, or some mayo-swaddled crustacean lump slapped between hunks of white bread. Mission Beach Café's new addition to its lunch menu is a shrimp salad that forges a different path. Grilled to a toothsome snap, six large ginger-and-garlic-marinated shrimp anchor a mound of shredded Little Gem lettuce, nappa and red cabbages, and carrot, with a scattering of soybeans and toasted pine nuts, all glazed with a sweet-salty dressing of soy, balsamic, and caramel ― yes, caramel. A classic dessert tactic, sugar and water are reduced to a thick, golden brown sap before tart balsamic vinegar and umami-rich soy are whisked in. It's a syrupy concoction that trumps Louis any day of the week. Then again, considering the salad's splurgey $16 price tag, it darn well better.

Mission Beach Café 198 Guerrero (at 14th St.), 861-0198

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Carolyn Alburger

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