Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Quick Take: Four Great Dishes at A16 Rockridge

Posted By on Thu, Aug 4, 2016 at 5:30 PM

click to enlarge Testa pizza - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • Testa pizza
As it enters into its fourth year of existence, A16 Rockridge has all the makings of a classic. Certainly, College Avenue has only continued to accrue an ever-greater density of destination eateries — among them Millennium, Ramen Shop, and Smitten Ice Cream — in addition to the older mainstays like Wood Tavern and À Côté that preceded A16's 2013 arrival on the block.

Buzz almost inevitably fades away, but a recent visit found a number of excellent dishes on chef Rocky Maselli's menu to recommend. Here are four.

click to enlarge Antipasto del Giorno - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • Antipasto del Giorno
Antipasto del Giorno
This one's pretty simple: a salad of salmon mixed with cucumber and onion, two portions of burrata on crostini, and some thin-sliced summer squash. But the result is stunningly harmonious, matching acid with buttery fat and staying true to the season. Sometimes, all it takes is for three relatively common things to be brought together, and they glow like the stones in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

Roasted Monterey Calamari
"It's squid," you might be thinking. "How good can it really be?" Yes, calamari seldom veers far from the hump of the bell curve, but this particular preparation of it — with fried corona beans, lemon, and lovage-anchovy salsa verde — is not only more original than most, it's lightly fried to perfection.

click to enlarge TCHO and Amari pairing - PETER LAWRENCE KANE
  • Peter Lawrence Kane
  • TCHO and Amari pairing
Testa pizza
There are many structural criteria for a good pizza: It should have chew, the toppings shouldn't cause it to become soggy in the center, and its crust should be spotted like the coat of some sort of predatory big cat. A16's testa pizza — "testa" is Italian for head, and roughly equivalent to soppressata — looks like a leopard and the fatty, almost bacon-like testa is not merely salty but gloriously so.

TCHO Chocolate and Amari Tasting ($18 for four)
This is a personal bias, but having a flight of something automatically improves the various offerings of said thing — to say nothing of a dual flight. And amari might be the most civilized way to conclude a meal. A16 has an expansive selection, including a zucca rubarbaro and a Luxardo amaro abano, and they're all bonded with TCHO's dark chocolates, averaging around 67 percent cacao. Aren't you jealous it isn't your job to come up with concepts like this, and test them out endlessly until they're perfect?

A16 Rockridge5356 College Ave. 510-768-8003 or
  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , ,

About The Author

Peter Lawrence Kane

Peter Lawrence Kane is SF Weekly's Arts Editor. He has lived in San Francisco since 2008 and is two-thirds the way toward his goal of visiting all 59 national parks.


Comments are closed.

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.'"