Cuckoo for Coco500 - Page 2

Most of Coco500's magic has to do with the food and the service
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Photo by Rory McNamara

At Coco500 the duck breast ($23) was grilled (medium), sliced, and presented with two extraordinary companions. One was a whole braised endive, almost like a torpedo onion, the other a duck baklava, rillettes under a pastry roof — completely unexpected and natural at the same time. Also delicious.

Alaskan black cod ($23), also known as sablefish, was another faraway fish, and I should have resisted it on carbon footprint grounds if nothing else, but I was lured in by the bit players: smashed (skin-on) fingerling potatoes and creamed rapini, like creamed spinach but with a sharper edge. The gently sautéed fillet itself, delicate and immaculately white, was good though not exceptional. I did find some ex post facto consolation at Seafood Watch, which reports that black cod is a best choice; the fish are line-caught from well-managed and sustainable fisheries. Please, restaurants, trumpet this kind of information! Don't assume we have it or always have the presence of mind to ask for it.

We might not have had the presence of mind because we were probably thinking ahead to dessert and other postprandial wonders, such as Armagnac ($10), my latest passion in the liquid fires. Less fiery but not less worthy was a warm apple-huckleberry tart ($8) — basically a single-serve apple pie stained blue by the berries, with an immensely flaky (in the good sense) crust. As for the fruit: I love apples and apple pie, but the huckleberry (a close relation of the blueberry) is an American original, so how about a starring role someday?

COCO500

Mon.–Thurs., 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m.; Fri., 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m.; Sat., 5:30–11 p.m.

500 Brannan, SF

(415) 543-2222

www.coco500.com

Full bar

AE/DC/MC/V

Moderately loud

Wheelchair accessible

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