However, my meals at Citizen's Band were larded with failures, almost all of which bespoke good ideas whose execution the chef just needed to nail. A tuna casserole ($18) was so deconstructed — into creamy orecchiette, pink-hearted grilled ahi garnished with fried calamari in place of French onions — that the components no longer had anything to do with one another. A lunchtime grilled tofu sandwich ($10) turned out to be an unseasoned soybean curd with mushed avocados and bland mushrooms. Beerman carved mac and cheese ($8) into a block, baked it again, then topped it with a 4-inch-high vortex of onion rings. It looked great, but the cooks had left the pasta in the oven so long it turned leathery and brittle.

The dish that emblemized the not-yet-realized promise of Citizen's Band was the bacon and eggs ($10), my almost-favorite: On top of a slab of smoked, then braised pork belly wobbled a breaded, deep-fried egg. When we sliced through the seemingly hard-boiled egg — surprise! — the yolk sluiced out, and even the white retained a custardy texture. Too bad the meat was still tough. An extra hour on the braise was all it needed.

At Citizen's Band, updated bacon (pork belly) and egg (deep-fried).
Kimberly Sandie
At Citizen's Band, updated bacon (pork belly) and egg (deep-fried).

Location Info

Map

Citizens Band

1198 Folsom
San Francisco, CA 94103

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: South of Market

Details

See more images in Eat Slideshow: Citizen's Band.

Grub
758 Valencia (at 18th St.), 431-4782, www.grubsf.com. Dinner 6:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. daily; brunch 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Muni: 14, 33, 49. Wheelchair accessible.

Citizen's Band
1198 Folsom (at Eighth St.), 556-4901, www.citizensbandsf.com. Lunch 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Tue.-Fri.; dinner 5:30-11 p.m. Tue.-Sat., brunch 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat. Muni: 12, 19. Wheelchair accessible, though bathroom is tricky to get to.

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Perfect a dish like that, and Citizen's Band might find a way to sell molecular gastronomy to truck-stop regulars. Could we figure out a way to do the same with single-payer health care, too?

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