We arrived early and hungry to SF Weekly's fourth annual DISH event on Sunday. Having braved the crowds over the past three years (twice at the Metreon and once at the Westfield Center), we knew that was the best bet to encounter tasting tables that still had food on them.
But this year the festivities were relocated to the considerably more spacious, multi-level San Francisco Design Center, and more than 40 restaurants and food purveyors serving generous portions ensured that we didn't need to race to SFDC nor would we have to push anyone over for sustenance when we got there.As much as we love our local food-centric events, we often marvel at how rabid and vulture-like "tasters" can be when they perceive that there isn't enough food, but that wasn't an issue here. With four levels of food, wine, and spirits, a completely balanced meal could be had on every floor, and that's pretty much what we got. We couldn't pass up the many dessert options as we ran into them fork first. SFDC has a great glass elevator, but we took most opportunities to use the stairs to walk off what we'd eaten and make room for the next round. Here's a few dishes that we remember well, and others that we're fixated on having again soon. A shot of heirloom tomato gazpacho at the Palomino table, much of it grown in chef Adam Jones' own Pittsburg garden, was a colorful and refreshing last shot of summer that we wished we could jar for fall. We oinked at a Good Foods Catering pork belly sandwich and desired to double down on the amount of brown sugar black pepper biscuits we ate from Wing Wings (one, sadly). We filmed our own scrappy video of the making of La Mar Cebicheria Peruana's halibut-based and coconut milk-infused cebiche clasico some months back, so we were happy to encounter it here. And Sol Food's light plantain chips made us want to drop everything and drive to San Rafael to wait in line for more Puerto Rican food. Did we mention we loathe lines? Cupcakes were in abundance for dessert, but we were most taken with the one-bite varieties from Let's Cupcake, a new shop in the Sunset that has somehow figured out what many fellow shops haven't: how to keep the darn things from drying out. And we wanted to abscond with a drum of Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous' chocolate malted crunch, so intense was the tooth snap and the rich cocoa flavor. If only we could have distracted the proprietors. Check out Gil Riego's tantalizing slideshow for more.