The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2015

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Page 94 of 136

94  /  the tasting panel  /  july 2015 To Brioza, "the dish comprises the idea of acid, salt, fat and texture. There's a lot of umami from the fish sauce. Couple that with all the fresh- ness from the mint, dill, cilantro, parsley in there, the bright lime juice. We add pig ears in a way that's acces- sible. We call them pig fries and include pork belly, sometimes a little jowl. We fry them crispy and toss them with the vinaigrette." At Pink Zebra, which opened in October, chef proprietor Jesse Koide takes a similar approach, but with a different spin. It has been two restau- rants in one—a stellar Omakase sushi bar and a menu-driven one with table service—housed in yet another, the unaffiliated Chinese restaurant Tao Yin. Now, Pink Zebra is going pop-up with wine-paired menus and sushi at various locations. Either way, there's a MediterrAsian flair. Dishes recently offered by Pink Zebra include five-spice chicken confit with cauliflower two ways, sunchoke and hibiscus-pickled mustard seeds; clams and lambs, a bowl of lamb chorizo and steamed clams with miso dashi, kombu butter, black garlic shoyu and pickled shallot; and giant pea toast. The latter is a dish Koide says he likes to make at home for breakfast. Wilted bitter greens, a poached egg, paper- thin slices of country ham and grilled asparagus spears sit atop a thick, toasted slice of Tartine Bakery bread slathered with sage brown butter and al dente, crushed peas. The dish is drizzled with 20-year balsamic. Koide also turns the last bits of a pig into an addictive dish. He adds thin, crispy strips of pig ear to a bowl of hot popcorn. The dish is finished with butter, lime wedges and furikake, an umami-laden Japanese seasoning typically sprinkled on rice. Koide makes his own complexly flavored powder by grinding up dried fish (including the bones and skin), sea urchin, kombu, herb stems and more. Quickly prepared and just $8 for a heaping portion, it's the perfect way to start a meal or close out a night of revelry. San Francisco's trendsetting chefs aren't actually rebels; they, like the city itself, are simply wide open to the world of possibilities the Bay Area presents. "I'm not limited by a cuisine," says Koide. "Cultures have been mesh- ing in this country for 200 years. And, with technology, it happens really fast now. It's not like we're breaking rules. There just aren't any." Shaved romanesco, herbs and pig fries at The Progress is a perfect blend of salt, fat, acid and texture. PHOTO: ED ANDERSON Clams and lambs blends French, Moroccan and Japanese cuisines with local Tartine bread at Pink Zebra. Traditional Japanese ingredients, such as this carefully shaved bonito, are just some of those used in Chef Jesse Koide's cuisine without borders at Pink Zebra. PHOTO: ANGELA DECENZO PHOTO: ANGELA DECENZO Pink Zebra - 3515 20th Street, San Francisco; open Thursday through Saturday State Bird Provisions - 1529 Fillmore Street, San Francisco; open daily The Progress - 1525 Fillmore Street, San Francisco; open daily Mission Chinese Food - 2234 Mission St., San Francisco (inside Lung Shan Restaurant); open daily Smokestack - 2505 3rd Street; open daily

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