19 January 2010

Butterfly wings

This past weekend we were in San Francisco for a brief getaway. Our most memorable meal of the weekend was at The House. (sorry, no photos - I'm still not that guy who takes photos in the restaurant). An Asian-inspired seafood place in a tiny little space, across from one of the best bookstores I've ever seen (picked up a copy of Hervé This' Molecular Gastronomy there) and near several peeler bars and a live-sex club, The House was filled with an eclectic mix of young fashionistas and older, bearded academics.

We started with their seared day-boat scallops, perfectly cooked (it looked like they had seared the edges, in addition to the tops and bottoms), sitting in a delicious sauce, and with sprouts piled high on each scallop. Delicious.

Then I ordered their special, miso-glazed cod on spinach, with some sort of Japanese roll of seaweed, sushi rice and some spiced vegetable or other. I could barely hear the waitress in this place, so I'm not sure what was in it, but this cod with sushi roll was out of this world delicious.

But the cod is not why I'm posting about this meal. Mrs. Dude ordered the mushroom rice with grilled prawns. When they brought the dish to the table and set it down in front of her, we immediately noticed that it was covered with little insect wings, flapping slowly up and down. The effect was more than a little disconcerting, but mesmerizing. This was one of the few times I could hear our waitress clearly: "Those are butterfly wings.". She laughed. "Actually, those are bonito flakes. The heat from the rice is making them wave." Well, they continued to wave for a good ten minutes while Mrs. Dude devoured the dish. Visually enthralling, and exceptionally tasty to boot.

The bill at the end of the night? 1 glass of wine, 2 appetizers, 2 main courses, 2 desserts and we got out of there for $110. Score.

We'll be returning to The House the next time we're in San Francisco.

1 comment:

Mike said...

I've had a couple of very nice meals at The House - including the "Butterfly Wing" dish. It is definitely a very cool effect - I've never seen it anywhere else.

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