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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Number 15: Leatherneck Steakhouse's Truffled Tater Tots

Posted By on Tue, Apr 24, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Leatherneck's own tater tots with a grilled New York strip. - LARA HATA
  • Lara Hata
  • Leatherneck's own tater tots with a grilled New York strip.

SFoodie's countdown of our favorite 50 things to eat and drink, 2012 edition


Along with properly seared New York strips and a beautiful sea bass with chorizo and saffron-tomato butter sauce, Paul Lozito serves what must be the best steakhouse snack in San Francisco: truffled tater tots.

The name suggests dude food. (What? They're not stuffed with bacon and beer?) But where the real thing are granular, dense, oil-slicked nuggets, Lozito's are more classically known as pommes dauphine -- pâte à choux dough blended with mashed potato and piped into long, ridged cylinders. They come out of the fryer with a crisp golden shell, and inside, a smooth potato purée. There's a suggestion of truffle oil's rutting-season musk to the tots, but not so much that you have to keep your distance from the bowl. (Quite the opposite.) They're designed for dipping into the steak sauce and soaking up beef juices, but you may find yourself neglecting your $30 steak in favor of the so-called side dish.

Leatherneck Steakhouse: 12th floor of the Marines Memorial Club, 609 Sutter (at Mason), 673-6672,

Other favorites in this series:

16: Baia Pasta's durum-wheat pastas

17: Z&Y's flaming fish with chile oil

18: Auntie April's fried catfish

19: None but the Brave from Heaven's Dog

20: Saha's vegan kibbeh

21: Starter Bakery's hazelnut kouign amann

22: Pupusas at Cafe and Restaurant Montecristo

23: 2 a.m. apple fritter at Bob's

24: Le Sanctuaire's vadouvan

25: Crab louis salad at Nettie's Crab Shack

26: Soy sauce chicken from Happy Bakery & Deli

27: Locanda's Jewish-style artichoke

28: Local: Mission Eatery's asparagus-egg sandwich

29: Memphis Minnie's 18-hour brisket

30: Custard buns from City View

31: Mission Chinese Food's kung pao pastrami

32: Panisse frites from Frances

33: Izakaya Yuzuki's chawanmushi

34: Fatted Calf's chorizo

35: Silvanas from House of Silvanas

36: Linden Street Brewery's black lager

37: Aged oolongs from Red Blossom Tea Company

38: Broken Record's crawfish grits

39: Cebiche mixto from La Mar 

40: Nutella-hazelnut hand pie from Black Jet Baking Co.
41: Fifth Floor's burger
42: Perbacco's agnolotti dal plin
43: Iced coffee from Sightglass
44: Cypress Grove's Purple Haze Chevre
45: Lechon from Tastebuds Cuisine
46: Duck with beets from AQ
47: Tai nigiri at ICHI Sushi
48: Fish with explosive chiles from Spices! 
49: Baker & Banker Bakery's blueberry cream cheese muffin
50: Kufta tajine from Cafe Zitouna

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Follow me at @JonKauffman.

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