August(1) Five Goes Omakase, with ‘ATB’

ATB — as in, ‘At The Bar’ — kicks off with a menu based on puns, poems, and parables.

May 31 is the bicentennial of Walt Whitman’s birth, and while it’s always fun to sing the body electric, it’s much more fun to eat high-concept dishes in lovely surroundings.

August(1) Five’s executive chef Manish Tyagi and mixologist Jeremy Harris have conspired to create ATB, an inclusive $130 tasting menu experience “at the bar” that’s available for up to 10 people each Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday night.

Arranged as a kind of chapbook, with various “chapters” taking inspiration from 19th-century literature. Whitman’s got the prologue, while Chapter 1 starts with Lewis Carroll’s The Walrus and the Carpenter, a poem recited to Alice by Tweedledee and Tweedledum. There are no tusks; instead, you’ll find a maritime composition that includes oysters, smoked trout roe, cucumbers, white miso, mushroom broth, sea gin, and the like.

Sticks and Stones makes use of a grandly unified set of flavors, among them pork ribs, blood orange, pistachio, cocoa butter, activated charcoal, ginger, cardamom, and bourbon. The fun of this is almost certain to be the methods of assembly, and if the regular menu’s bison keem and truffled chicken kebab are any indication, presentation at this Civic Center California-Indian institution are going to be mighty impressive. 

ATB, $130 per person inclusive of tax, tip, and city mandates, Tuesdays through Thursdays, at August(1) Five, 524 Van Ness Ave., 415-771-5900 or

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