Can you make a culinary silk purse out of a sow's ear? (Or how I try to force in as many ear references as possible in a post.)
Only a few weeks ago, Nombe, the Japanese izakaya near the corner of 21st and Mission streets, underwent another chef change. The restaurant, which opened a few years ago with current Bar Tartine superstar Nick Balla in the kitchen and then shifted to a more ramen-centric menu with Ramen Bull's Nori Sugie, now finds itself the home to Brandon Armstrong, who previously found work at Michael Mina and Bourbon Steak. Guided by co-owner Mari Takahashi, he has crafted a new 7-course kaiseki menu ($39.95) and brings along a few new menu items, one of which would make Mark Antony ask his friends and countrymen to lend him their pigs, so he could steal their ears and have them fried up by Armstrong.