It was not a perfect meal, but a good one: The meal started with a tiny cup of nasturtium-carrot soup for an amuse-bouche, deeply creamy, with a peppery tickle to the taste and a single orange petal on top; the restaurant's Twitter feed advertised that Jake had foraged the nasturtiums himself. Tender asparagus spears and roasted potato halves peeked out from under a tangle of frilled cress, with a pool of pale green asparagus vinaigrette for swabbing the vegetables through. Tiny, purple squid tentacles sprouted from a thyme-infused fish broth, along with roasted carrots and toothsome, precisely pinched housemade farfalle. Although a fillet of California-caught halibut arrived overcooked and cottony-fleshed, the flaw was forgiven for the sake of the velvety turnip purée, the just-shelled fava beans and sweet peas, and the dusky oyster mushrooms heaped over one end. (The vegetarian substitution for the fish — crepes rolled around ricotta and smoked chard — turned out spectacularly.) And if a frozen cylinder of ricotta came to the table so hard that the room rang with knives chipping it down to size, the roasted May strawberries that surrounded it more than made up for its texture. Sixty-five dollars, including tax and tip, seemed a fair price for a locally sourced, laboriously prepped, and sweetly served meal.

The open-faced asparagus sandwich is rich, crisp, and sweet.
Jen Siska
The open-faced asparagus sandwich is rich, crisp, and sweet.

Location Info

Map

Local: Mission Eatery

3111 24th St.
San Francisco, CA 94110

Category: Restaurant > Bakery

Region: Mission/ Bernal Heights

Details

Local: Mission Eatery
3111 24th St. (at Folsom), 655-3422, www.localmissioneatery.com. Twitter: @localsf and @kneadpatisserie. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Reservation-only dinners Thu. and Sat. Muni: 12, 48, 67. Noise level: quiet to moderate.

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I like the inventiveness of the trio's approach, though the risks that come with it are significant. Many restaurants stake their existence on a glamorous buildout, a high-priced dinner menu, and a PR blitz, hoping to survive by crowd-surfing on a crush of buzz-high diners. Milgrom and the Des Voigneses, by contrast, have realized that in order to make everything in-house, be uncompromising in their use of ingredients, and work on such a small scale, they'll have to take off in half a dozen directions and allow demand to shape which ones they focus on. This idiosyncratic approach is perfectly tailored to Generation Indie. To make a real go of the place, though, they'll have to sell their complicated mission to the rest of us locals, too.

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