Best Surf and Turf - 2010
Photograph by Lara Hata
Surf and turf's expense-account-shattering allure hinges on a fairly straightforward conceit: Meat is expensive, and so is seafood. Uniting them on one plate is really expensive, and therefore luxurious and appealing. For those unable to shell out for filet mignon and Maine lobster at Harris' Steakhouse, a few San Francisco restaurants traffic in affordable, exciting unions of hoof and fin (or shell).
Incanto's vitello tonnato with
marrow bones and tuna heart
1550 Church (at Duncan), 641-4500
Celebrated Incanto chef Chris Cosentino puts an off-cut spin on vitello tonnato which is traditionally chilled veal in a tuna-caper sauce by dusting brawny bone-boats of gelatinous marrow with shreds of Sardinian cured tuna heart. The tuna's salty, sparkling bite perfectly complements the marrow's heart-slowing richness.
Angkor Borei's prahok
3471 Mission (at Cortland), 550-8417
A stewed pork and coconut milk dip shot through with fermented anchovies, prahok one of this Bernal Heights stalwart's best Cambodian dishes is a smooth, funky foil for the accompanying spread of crunchy raw vegetables.
Taqueria Guadalajara's steak and shrimp burrito
3146 24th St. (at Shotwell), 642-4892
Hemmed in by taquerias Farolito, Vallarta, and Tonayense, Guadalajara often gets lost in the shuffle. It deserves more recognition, particularly for its mixto meat burritos. We dig the chewy grilled shellfish paired with carne asada, each bite dosed with a few spoonfuls from the excellent salsa bar.
Town Hall's fried oysters with
spinach, bacon, and preserved lemon
342 Howard (at Fremont), 908-3900
Served nestled in their shells and displayed on a bed of coarse salt, four plump, cornmeal-crusted fried oysters come garnished with green pools of spinach puree and salty slivers of thick-cut Hobbs bacon.