“This is my house, and I want people to feel like family when they’re here,” says executive chef and owner Hoss Zaré of his new restaurant Zaré at Fly Trap (606 Folsom at Second St.). It’s no line; indeed, a sampling of his abundant, luxurious creations bears the feel of food cooked by a loved one. His location is imbued with both personal and San Francisco history. The original Fly Trap was established in 1906, and is also where Zaré first got a job cooking after moving here from Iran 22 years ago.
After a stint running a restaurant in Napa, the self-taught Zaré has returned to S.F. to share his culinary innovation of Mediterranean cooking with influences from his familial roots. “I am not afraid to put some of my heritage in it, from a great cuisine with 250 years of culture,” he says.
This pops up delightfully in dishes like the starter of spice-roasted bone marrow with bergamot preserve and Persian baby pickles, and entrée of abgusht lamb shank braise. Executive pastry chef Marisa Churchill has crafted imaginative desserts to mirror Zaré’s playful, style-bending menu. Highlights include the fried milk torrijas served with a rosewater-hot chocolate dipping sauce, and a delicate interpretation of Greek yogurt and honey: panna cotta, white truffle honey, and kalamata biscotti. Master sommelier Chris Blanchard has selected “wine on the fly” that’s not only from Napa and the Loire Valley, but also from places as far-flung as Galilee, Israel, and Lebanon, the last two part of a category they have happily dubbed “Peace in the Middle East.” “After two years, I wasn’t sure how they were going to take me, but it’s been a big welcome, so it’s kind of overwhelming and a blessing,” Zaré says. “I feel like I’m back to my home.” Zaré at Flytrap is open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner. 243-0580.
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