In the middle of the pond of porridge rests an islet of crab meat flecked with habanero peppers and scallion. Habaneros can be scorching, but here they behave.
The porridge's well-dressed siblings from the starter menu might include a pistou look-alike: a broth of lime juice, rock salt, and puréed mint ($6.50) set with avocado quarters, green beans, and svelte coins of radish and cucumber — tasty and discreetly austere. Indiscreetly unaustere are the deep-fried chicken livers ($6) on a slice of brioche toast with a drizzling of caramelized onion sauce. We agreed that this dish tasted like a cheeseburger, but perhaps that was just the fat talking.
Desserts (all $6) pack a homey punch. We found a subtle sophistication in a slice of pumpkin Bundt cake laced with chocolate chunks and plated with a sensuous puff of what the restaurant calls "sweet cream" and what most of us know as whipped cream. The same cream turns up like a wisp of tulle fog beside a slice of yellow cake with double chocolate frosting — as good as anything Mom used to make. For that frisson of decadence, $2 extra buys you a scoop of vanilla on the side, and as we were especially decadent, we ended up — by accident or design? — with both the cream and the ice cream. The plate looked as if a blizzard had just roared through.
No blizzards in these parts, of course, just — sometimes — unnaturally early rain. We waited on the front porch until it had mostly abated, then made a dash for it. SFBG
Dinner: Mon.–Sat., 5:30–10:30 p.m. Continuous service: Sun., noon–9 p.m.
65A 29th St., SF
Beer and wine