This is a long overdue review. Parking was a pain in the butt as usual in SF but I was lucky to snatch a spot nearby.
Meal was terrific! In fact, Californios was my significant other’s favorite meal of the trip bettering Benu and Manresa. There were distinct and bold flavors throughout the night and smokiness from their charcoal grill was especially highlighted in many courses. I thought they went a LITTLE overboard on that but overall flavors were still well balanced.
We sat at the chef’s counter. Service was flawless and you really can’t beat watching the chefs whip up course after course in front of you. Lastly, descriptions of some courses could be off since I’m going off of my memory!
Complimentary Prosecco for a special occasion
"agua fresca" | cucumber and lime
It’s always fun to see the chefs in action!
Amuse Bouche Duo: Kampachi tostada and barley “chicharron” with a goat cheese and chilhuacle amarillo dip
"hongos" | blue corn torilla taco with 3 types of smoked mushrooms
It was by far the best taco I’ve ever had! I can taste the individual components even though I stuffed the whole thing in my mouth! Oh so complex!
"cangrejo" | dungeness crab and herbs tostada
"hielo" | guava gelato with pineapple juice and bee pollen
"citrico" | charred mandarin marinated in a chili honey citrus broth
"ceviche" | smoked trout wrapped in layers of shaved Gala apple on a Granny Smith apple broth
"esparragos" | charred asparagus with trout roes and avocado puree
"yuca" | uni taco wih avocado puree, finger lime, jalapeno
The avocado puree’s creaminess paired perfectly with the uni but the uni was slightly overpowered by the amount they put in
"caldo" | double smoked chicken broth with spring vegetables
Extremely smokey in a nice way and very flavorful. However, my palate was fatigued within a few sips.
"tres frijoles" | whipped three beans froth on top of fermented vegetable broth, pickled shallot, Osetra caviar
Plating up a storm!
"pescado" | fried seabass in a corn masa batter, salsa verde, grape, olives, pickled pearl onion
The corn masa batter was a little thick and tough for the soft and flakey seabass but I understand that they’re trying to contrast the textures in a more unique way
At this point, we were asked to pick out a knife for our upcoming course. These are made by a local SF maker.
"Carne Asada" | Japanese A5 Wagyu, mole, smoked yam, black truffle
"Pichon" | smoked and grilled squab, mole, fermented vegetable
Dipping and sipping sauce for our next course
"churro" | foie gras churros with Mexican hot chocolate spiked with coffee liqueur
Moar dulce de leche please!
"dulce de leche" | Bartlett pear sorbet, Bartlett pear, dulce de leche
"nuez" | pecan ice cream, glazed pecan, shortbread cookie, butter poached apple
Rather than petit fours, we get a digestif.
"digestivo: | paloma with vermouth
3115 22nd St
San Francisco, CA 94110