Hungry for More

Resolutions are easy to keep at the Mission District's delightful Weird Fish

We lingered over a slice of tangy lemon tart, a nightly special of caramelized fingerling bananas with ice cream, and excellent coffee. We'd assembled quite an array of leftovers, each in its own tin container topped with cardboard, so we asked our server for a bag (knowing Weird Fish offers takeout). "Plastic bags are not ecological," he said humorlessly. "Paper?" we asked. "It doesn't come in the right size," he said — bizarrely, since we thought paper bags came in a variety of sizes. So we carried them bagless.

I returned on my own for one of my favorite treats, a late-morning breakfast, with the papers. I thought it might be too early to start with clam chowder, but on the menu entitled "Weird Breakfast" I saw the restaurant had anticipated me: It listed the I'm Your Captain, two eggs any style served with a bowl of clam chowder and sourdough toast. I was hungrier than that, so I ordered my soup a la carte, along with a more complicated egg dish. The soup came topped with slivered green onions, the hot thin cream freighted with chopped clams, tiny potato dice, and other minced vegetables, tasting strongly of bay; other flavors emerged once I fished the 2 1/2 bay leaves from the brew. It was excellent, a very early contender for one of the best soups of 2007.

I followed it with the Oh! Brother, choosing the scramble option over the omelet; substituting green onions for tomato in the list of ingredients that otherwise included avocado, cilantro, Monterey jack, and chipotle sauce; and choosing shrimp over crab. The dish came prettily adorned with what the menu calls "homefries" but which was in practice a tangle of threadlike strands of potatoes and yams cooked to a crunch, entirely delightful, and a lightly toasted and buttered English muffin.

A Good Catch, if Small: the welcoming interior of Weird Fish.
James Sanders
A Good Catch, if Small: the welcoming interior of Weird Fish.

Location Info


Dante's Weird Fish

2193 Mission
San Francisco, CA 94110

Category: Restaurant > Seafood

Region: Mission/ Bernal Heights


Weird Fish, 2193 Mission (at 18th St.), 863-4744. Open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; open Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday until midnight. Closed Monday. Reservations not accepted. Wheelchair accessible. Parking: difficult. Muni: 14, 33, 49. Noise level: moderate.

Little b. Stack of grilled sweet potato and tofu $6

Clam chowdercup $4, bowl $6

Fish and chipstwo pieces $8, three pieces $11

Trout with Dijon and almonds $7

Fried plantains with red beans $6

Oh! Brother omelet or scramble with shrimp $9; crab $10

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The scramble was, however, devoid of shrimp (perhaps the server had mistaken me for a vegetarian, a likely error when the breakfast menu offers vegan nut sausage, vegan bacon, and jack "cheese" made with almonds, all of which I admire in theory more than in practice). He quickly corrected the slip with an overlay of bay shrimp sautéed with a bit of cayenne.

Two cheerful ladies at the table next to me were enjoying their fish and chips, fried oyster po' boy, and especially a side of beer-battered green beans, which they recommended to me heartily. They'd been so friendly that I almost asked them for a sample. But it suddenly occurred to me that I was only seven short blocks from my favorite bakery, Dianda. OK, seven long blocks, but it was the nearest I'd been during business hours in months. The siren call of rum custard and almond paste was strong. I was resolute in my stride.

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