Smoked Trout Cucumber “Linguine” (tobiko, dill crème fraîche). It was recommended that we pair a half order of this with a half order of the Pistachio Meatballs Harissa with honey-pomegranate glaze. We enthusiastically accepted this recommendation and was not disappointed. This appetizer is refreshing and complemented the sweet earthy flavors of the pistachio meatballs. Each appetizer on their own would have been good. Together, the combination is unforgettable. This was the highlight of the meal.
Venus Flytrap: Also known by the sexy name of “Dionaea muscipula” for those that study this carnivorous plant. It lures prey into its deadly snare with its intense red colors. Curiosity also killed the fly.
Zare’s Fly Trap is a San Francisco restaurant that lures patrons in with its bold red awning, mysterious corridor entrance and warm, plush ambiance.
Fortunately, the fate of guests in this trap, which opened its doors in 2008, is far more pleasant than the victims of the Venus Flytrap. Instead of becoming dinner themselves, visiting victims are invited to feast on Mediterranean cuisine with a twist of Persian flair.
Here is the photo documentary of our dinner at Zaré at Fly Trap and our picks of what to have should you find yourself ensnared by Chef Hoss Zare. Enjoy!
The entry way is marked with red at 606 Folsom Street. Through the windows you can see the dim inviting glow of wall lamps that dot the interior perimeter of the restaurant.
A narrow corridor leads you to the glass entrance doors. Even before entering the restaurant, a guest feels like they are walking into a special experience.
The view from the window above our table. The window faced into the corridor. Instead of staring to a brick wall, flowers and disfused lighting create an interesting view.
Pistachio Meatballs Harissa (honey-pomegranate glaze). The second half of our perfect appetizer. I could imagine just ordering this combination for a nice light dinner. Okay, maybe I would sneak in a dessert after as well.
Fly Trap Martini (hangar 1 vodka or damrak gin, sour grapes, cherry tomato, persian pickle). I ordered this drink because it was named after the restaurant and I thought I would start our evening off with something fun. This is a beautiful looking drink. If you like martini's you should try the Fly Trap Martini. My favorite drink of choice (outside of wine) is still the Mojito.
Vegetarian ‘Kufteh Tabrizi’ (mediterranean avocado salsa, mushrooms seven spice emulsion). Vegetarians have no fear, this is a tasty veggie alternative to large meatball that is a popular celebratory Iranian dish. We used our forks to break off pieces of this meatless ball, smear it with some of the sauce it is sitting on before devouring. This was my second favorite dish of the evening. I like how Hoss Zare provides a vegetarian dish that is exciting and stands on its own, not an afterthought.
Duck ‘Fessenjoon’ Braised Legs, Wild Rice, Walnuts, Pomegranate. Okay, now onto the meaty main courses. Hoss brought both main courses out himself. Now how special is that? I liked how Hoss takes pride in his dishes and serves them himself to the patrons. We watched and throughout the entire time we were at there, every main course ordered received a personal Hoss appearance. The portion size are very generous on the main course. We probably would have been fine ordering just the appetizers or the main course...alas, we wanted to try out several of the dishes to get the full Zare at Fly Trap experience.
Lamb ‘Abgoosht’ Pulled Lamb, Potato, Tomato, Garbanzo Beans Roasted Garlic, Turmeric-Dried Lime Broth. Clint ordered this dish. If you love lamb meat and lots of it, this is the dish to order. This is the pinnacle of manly cave man dishes. This was the one dish we were not crazy about. Mostly because there were several dishes already tasted this evening that had much more exciting taste profiles. However, if you are a steak and potatoes type of guy or gal, this may just be enough excitement for you.
Musar Jeune 2008: A blend of Cinsault, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Produced by Château Musar are located at an altitude of over 3,000 feet (1,000 meters) in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. We decided to try this restaurant suggestion to pair with our Persian influenced Mediterranean cuisine.
Chocolate Mousse Cake Blackberries (beer and caramel sauce). Nice rich smooth texture. Chocolate cake underneath is not too sweet.
Not Your Grandma’s Pie (lemon curd, coconut meringue, coconut sorbet, and saffron-mint syrup): My favorite dessert of the evening. When it first arrived, I was a little shocked to see each piece of the pie separated so distincting across a long white plate. It's desheveled presentation invited playfulness. How often do we wait until the last bite of dessert to chase it around the plate. Making sure each morsel is picked up and devoured. In this case, the entire dessert experience was that. I loved it. By the end, I think I had turned into a 4 year-old version of myself.
I enjoy a latte or a cappucino, no sugar with my dessert. The acidity and aroma of coffee pairs well with the sweetness of dessert. What I loved most was that the coffee came at the same time as the dessert. So often the timing is off so either I have already finished half my dessert (I know, this is an exercise in self-control) by the time the hot beverage arrives...or the latte is luke warm by the time the dessert arrives on the table. Most restaurants for some strange reason can not achieve this feat. Zare Fly Trap, at least on this evening, catered to this idiosyncracy.
Please excuse the exposure on this photo, turned out way too dark. Left is Chef Hoss Zare himself.