Monday, March 6, 2017

Los Peces Hermanos: Bar Crudo SF

Bar Crudo, San Francisco
In the 12 years since Bar Crudo opened on Divisidero in the neighborhood correctly identified as the Western Addition on the restaurant's home page, chefs/owners Tim and Mike Selvera have hosted myself and our friends for countless birthdays, engagement parties, celebrations or just another random Thursday night.

The other day my former boss and fellow Ingress player Gaussian88 rolled into town ("...my neighbor called, there's three inches of water in my garage and lime leaching up out of the ground!") and insisted we go out to get sushi.

It immediately occurred to me that Chowbacca has neglected to write about Bar Crudo (despite the Selvera's showing up at least twice in prior posts for their Guerneville restaurant Seaside Metal).

I told G to meet me there Friday night at 7:00PM. By the time I arrived, about ten minutes late, the place was bustling.

I tried to reserve a table earlier in the day, and OpenTable responded with a "nope." So we took our chances at the raw bar on the ground floor.

Bar Crudo has a modest sized footprint, an elongated rectangular dining room punctuated by the raw bar toward the center of the dining room and on the right side. Behind the bar half a dozen cooks, servers and bussers buzzed around shucking, slicing, arranging plates and filling drink orders with whiplash intensity.

There is a second floor which offers more private dining and seating for larger parties, in addition to a slight respite from the din below.

We started off with uni toast, a variation of avocado toast, served with a small salad of bitter radicchio.

Following that, a dozen chilled and briny Pacific oysters of varying pedigree.

"The crudo for two," asked G to our server, "how many pieces is that?"

"Eight," replied the server.

"I'll take two..."

"One crudo for two?" I asked.

"No, two crudo for two," he clarified.

"So, crudo for four," asked the server, checking our math.

"Exactly," said G with a laugh.

This turned out to be a prescient choice. At $28 per plate, the crudo for two is effectively a starter, and compared to the prices we've seen for comparable plates in LA or New York, $28 is a modest price.

As an entrée, crudo for two for one is still well within the range of what one could consider to be a very good deal given that Bar Crudo – if not fine dining in the traditional sense – is on the high end of upscale casual dining featuring notoriously expensive ingredients with achingly short shelf lives: highest quality seafood.

"This plate," said G, examining the crudo for two (for one), "would easily be twice this amount at Blue Ribbon in Manhattan. And these guys, the Selvera's, are doing something very similar here. Very very similar."

I could tell G meant this as high praise.

I agreed, offering that it might have cost even more: "I've been to both the flagship restaurant and Blue Ribbon Sushi, and it cost me an arm and a leg each time. I had omikase in Brooklyn with my sister that was $400, and while that dinner was a couple of hours, it only amounted to about 25 pieces."

There you go: one thing that's cheaper in San Francisco than in New York.

In all fairness I wasn't paying but the next time I do pay I plan on pulling this move.

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Bar Crudo
655 Divisidero Street
San Francisco, CA