Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Early Bird Special: Ironside

Posted By on Tue, Nov 10, 2009 at 11:53 AM

click to enlarge Ironside's cuban sandwich - JEN SISKA
  • Jen Siska
  • Ironside's cuban sandwich
An early nibble from the Weekly's Wednesday food review.

Point your finger at the jobless rate or the housing bubble's bust: We're living through a moment of intense repurposing. And while we may not be at the point of sock darning, we're seriously digging restaurants that manage to remake the familiar into something convincingly modern. The SOMA restaurant Ironside (680 Second St. at Townsend) scores a double hit in that regard, rehabbing both a former industrial machine shop into a darkly chic loft, and a roster of mostly American classics into unfussy stylishness. SF Weekly critic Matthew Stafford probes the makeover this week, eating through more or less appealing takes on roasted apple and turnip pizza, seafood stew, and the brownie sundae. It all pretty much works, especially as an open-all-day destination for the neighborhood's office cube denizens. Read Stafford's full review later today at Till then, glean a taste of Ironwood's hits (and misses) in SFoodie's extended excerpt (after the jump).

Mac 'n' cheese is a test case of New American cuisine, and whereas most attempts are oily or gummy or soupy or Cheez Whiz-y, Ironside's rendition delivered all the flavor without the excess goo, draping (not submerging) the soft noodles in smoked Cheddar and Gruyère. A ramekin of the stuff arrived at the table still bubbling, thick shards of bacon adding chewy heft and smoky savor. Another dish that has been popping up on retro-moderne menus is roasted game hen, not the tiny Cornish varietals we used to stuff with wild rice on special occasions, but big, meaty birds ideal for sharing, family (or post-work happy hour) style. The house version was on the dry side, a practical inevitability when it comes to game hen, but its skin was crisp and tasty in an upscale-KFC sort of way, and its accompaniment, braised escarole braised in a jus du ham hock, was velvety, bittersweet, and yummy.

Follow us on Twitter: @SFoodie

  • Pin It

Tags: , ,


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • U2 @ SAP Center in San Jose
    Last night U2 performed the first U.S. date of it’s Innocence + Experience tour at SAP Center in San Jose. All four band members were present despite recent injuries sustained by both Bono and Edge. The sold out show took audience members on a walk down memory lane as the band revisited their roots. The innovative stage and lighting used gave the arena show an intimate feel, and engaged audience members in all sections of the venue. Photographs by Sugarwolf.
  • Bay to Breakers 2015 - NSFW
    The 103rd annual Bay to Breakers 12K race was packed on Sunday despite the cold weather. With a starting point a few blocks from The Embarcadero, people dressed as bananas, Elvis and everything in between ran west through the city and finished at the Great Highway where breakers crash onto Ocean Beach.

    Photographs by Christopher Victorio.