This special scallop appetizer at The House in North Beach San Francisco is one of the best preparations of scallops I've tried. Scallops are challenging to prepare because they have such an aromatic, sweet delicate flavor that most preparations beyond a quick saute and sea salt, clobber over. This preparation with a light lemony cream sauce and caviar was decadent, but still let the true nature of the plump, juicy scallops shine through. I love the colorful plating as well.
Sometimes I crave California fusion.
I know it is hard to imagine how one tires of a good Italian pasta or French butter sauce, but there are those nights. Recently, my cravings for fusion cuisine brought me to the doorsteps of The House in North Beach San Francisco. I wanted a fresh, flavorful punch of a meal that was all gourmet in blue jeans; no stuffy white linen tablecloths or the need to sit in uncomfortable clothes. The House is like being at a friends house — stripped of pretension, with no filters between you, good friends, and good food. The dishes delighted. They were free from having to follow any particular tradition, instead they had the advantage of bringing together the best creativity from all worlds.
So, I leave you with my recommendation to visit The House and photos that will bring you a sampling of our recent dinner there.
Ahi tuna tartare with roasted nori chips. Many restaurants have ahi tartare on their appetizer menu. What makes this one unique are the chips. They have a little almost plantain taste to them. The size of this appetizer makes it not one to share, unless it is with your best friend...who doesn't like ahi tuna :-) . Grilled sea bass with garlic ginger soy. Not the most spectacular sea bass I have had, but very savory with the noodles and the soy ginger dipping sauce. I used very little of the sauce since it was very concentrated. The dish satisfied my craving for something light (fish) and a punch of comfort food that only comes from long strains of noodles covered in a soy-lish-ous sauce. This is the fish dish that Heather ordered. I can't recall what type of fish it was. The risotto was wonderful. Can you tell I was hyper-focused on devouring my own sea bass dish? Kobe beef skirt steak with mushrooms and peas. It was a very earthy dish. There was much anticipation after ordering this dish. The steak was tender, but not spectacular as would be expected from a cut of Kobe beef. My hypothesis is that the difference in quality of Kobe probably shows better in a better cut of beef than skirt steak. For example, a rib eye or filet. Instead there was quite a bit of grissle in the cut which detracted from the marbling characteristic of Kobe beef. The other meat dish, rib eye steak, actually turned out to the be star meat dish of the night. Peter ordered this dish after we were told by the waitress that Clint had ordered the last dish available of the Kobe beef skirt steak special. The rib eye was tender, melt in your mouth and the seasoning was just right. Paired with mash potatoes, it was a steak lovers paradise. This unfiltered Chardonnay held up well against our appetizers and the fish main courses of the evening. Simple white paper placemats have a touch of whimsy with a punched out silhouette of a house. The House restaurant, like its website, is simple and understated from the outside. Inside, the tables are closely set, perfect food spotting. That is how I spotted a special seared yellowtail main course I knew I had to try. Yet, by the time we placed our orders, the special was already sold out. How this happens at 5:30 pm already is still a mystery to me. Thankfully, the scallop appetizer purged all disappointment.