If you happened to be in the market for a deep-fried turkey in San Francisco last week, chances are you came across the name of Yats (2545 24th St. at Utah). The Potrero Hill purveyor of "New Orleans Original Po' Boys" is new in town and operates lunch service out of a tiny kitchen at Jack's Club. That hasn't stopped owner and New Orleanian Yon Davis from cranking out an impressive array of authentic Cajun and Creole cuisine. His Thanksgiving fried turkey dinner and bring-your-own open turkey fry was a huge hit: "We were able to fry 137 turkeys, 77 for the open fry on Thanksgiving Day," he says. "The response was amazing." Yats' regular menu is straight-up New Orleans classic: po' boys, gumbo, jambalaya, red beans with rice, and étouffée. Davis says the shrimp po' boy has been his best seller: "We go to great lengths to get New Orleans French bread out to California. And that is what makes a po' boy -- the bread." His favorite item is the gumbo, he adds: "To make and to eat." While the food takes center stage at Yats, it's about much more than a sandwich to Davis, who moved to San Francisco a little more than a year ago. "Opening this restaurant has helped with my homesickness as my city rebuilds," he says. "I hope to eventually earn enough to rebuild some of my family's houses that were lost in Katrina. I love San Francisco, but New Orleans is home."
Yats is open for lunch 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday. For more information, call 282-8906. --Brian Bernbaum
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