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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Cassava re-opens with updated kitchen and swanky new items

Posted By on Thu, Feb 11, 2016 at 8:00 AM

click to enlarge COURTESY OF CASSAVA
  • Courtesy of Cassava

After closing for kitchen renovations early this year, Cassava has re-opened their doors to the Outer Richmond and to foodies everywhere. The restaurant's biggest changes—a new electric hood, induction burners, and a tabletop fryer — may go unnoticed by the average diner, but the revamped dishes that come from the kitchen of executive chef and co-owner Kris Toliao will not.

Stewed lamb cheeks with slow roasted cauliflower, fried chick peas, and scallion oil is one of several noteworthy new items on the menu, which remains much the same as before, with a half a dozen starters ranging from house-stuffed chorizo to a Chioggia beet salad, a modest selection of entrees, and a four-course prix fixe option for $42. Not to be missed is the signature house-smoked trout, served with whipped crème fraiche, harissa, arugula, and toast. As opposed to smoked salmon, which is full of healthier omega-3 fats, trout contains omega-6, I learned from co-owner and hostess extraordinaire Yuka Ioroi.

"It's the same as bacon" she said with a wink. It's also remarkably addictive.


click to enlarge House Stuffed Chorizo, tzatziki, sting nettle chimichuri, house pickles - A.K. CARROLL
  • A.K. Carroll
  • House Stuffed Chorizo, tzatziki, sting nettle chimichuri, house pickles
click to enlarge House Smoked Ocean Trout, whipped crème fraiche, harissa, toasts, arugula - A.K. CARROLL
  • A.K. Carroll
  • House Smoked Ocean Trout, whipped crème fraiche, harissa, toasts, arugula
click to enlarge chioggia beets, castel franco radiccio, tomato Provençale - A. K. CARROLL
  • A. K. Carroll
  • chioggia beets, castel franco radiccio, tomato Provençale

Running down the right hand side of the menu is a selection of local and boutique wines and beers, including a Green Barrel Syrah and a Baird Brewing Kurofune Porter that is deliciously smooth and bridges the gap between dinner and dessert. In an effort to support other local businesses and offer special experiences to diners, the Cassava team has begun hosting special dinner events including and a coffee-paired meal in collaboration with Aaron Van Der Groen of Ritual Coffee Roasters (Feb. 18) and a wine-maker's dinner featuring Burt Street Cellars (March 17, 20). Cassava also highlights Limor Allen's Green Barrel wines with Monday wine flights for $25. A portion of every flight sale goes into Cassava's Kiva account to support Bay Area Food Banks and Second Harvest Japan.

click to enlarge House Latte - A.K. CARROLL
  • A.K. Carroll
  • House Latte
click to enlarge Lemon Verbena Milk Jam Pot de Crème - A. K. CARROLL
  • A. K. Carroll
  • Lemon Verbena Milk Jam Pot de Crème

There may not always be room for dessert, but if there is, I highly suggest the lemon verbena milk jam pot de creme and Cassava's house spiced latte, which is tripped out with a house-made honey-spice syrup. The only thing sweeter is Ioroi herself.

Cassava3519 Balboa, 415-640-8990.


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