Andalu - Page 2

Though its name recalls a region of Spain, the commanding corner restaurant's menu of small plates is surprisingly and delightfully global
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Photo by Rory McNamara

The lamb seemed under-seasoned (rather odd, since Morocco is one of the lands of spice), and the accompanying yogurt-mint sauce offered only partial restitution. I had a similar reaction to the sliders ($9.50), a trio of miniature hamburgers on buns slathered with basil aioli and presented with a bird's nest of battered, deep-fried shallot rings.

The rings were a lovely, more delicate version of onion rings, but the little burgers were overcooked and served on disappointingly thick, not-warm buns. They might have been better, ironically, if they'd been made with the lamb that went into the cigars.

One of the best dishes on the menu is bread salad ($9.25) — what the Italians call panzanella, cubes of stale (or, in this case, grilled) bread tossed with cut tomatoes and basil. Here the herb was arugula — a sly innovation — with the traditional basil being supplied through a vinaigrette. Toasted pine nuts probably aren't unheard of in Italian bread salads, but I've never seen a recipe that called for blobs of burrata, a mozzarella-like cow's-milk cheese produced in southern Italy. The cheese brought visual interest — it looked like patches of snow receding from a late-winter landscape dotted with hints of spring — and a suggestion of softening creaminess to the plate's various sharpnesses.

Dessert at the end of a repast consisting of macaroni and cheese and hamburgers with onion rings would have to be something like brownies. Andalu's version ($5) is pretty satisfying: a plateful of moist, cake-like squares, ankle-deep in warm chocolate sauce, dusted with confectioner's sugar and each topped with a raspberry, like a ruby in a voluptuous display at a jeweler's. Or, perhaps, a rose clutched in the hand of an unfortunate fellow clad in a chocolate-brown leisure suit with a red carnation, circa 1975: a Paleolithic era in the annals of style, and Andalu still ages off.

ANDALU

Dinner: Sun.–Tues., 5:30–9:30 p.m.; Wed.–Thurs., 5:30–10:30 p.m.; Fri.–Sat., 5:30–11:30 p.m.

Brunch: Sat.–Sun., 10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

3198 16th St., SF

(415) 621-2211

www.andalusf.com

Full bar

AE/DS/MC/V

Can be noisy

Wheelchair accessible

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