Luckily, fate provided us a small bowl of sea salt.
Equally Kelleresque was a bowl of squid-ink spaghetti ($12) tossed with a meaty mix of squid and sun-dried tomatoes sharpened with chili flakes and what the menu called "herbs." This dish was visually striking, with the zinfandel-colored strings of pasta looking like a clump of kelp, and its flavors glowed with a steady dark heat.
I caught a milder wave of the same effect with the local albacore ($26), a pair of seared chunks looking like roulades embedded on a textured carpet of roasted eggplant shreds and tomato quarters, with a pale green purée of summer squash piped around the perimeter. Albacore is wildly underrated and is worth searching out.
As for salmon: I like it but don't love it, and when our server explained that the wild Alaskan version ($23) consisted not of a filet but of flaked flesh tossed with English-pea cavatelli and a north African blend of radish, mint, and preserved lemon, I silently cheered. Salmon can be overbearing and rich, but here the kitchen induced it to cooperate with its platemates.
Speaking of platemates: Greg's cookie plate ($9) offers a petit-fours-like array of tiny treats. It's ideal for sharing, and you get lots of bites with not much heft. For the heft-minded: a roasted-peach tart ($9), accompanied by a lump of crème fraîche custard and grainy peach sorbet. Close your eyes and think of the Stairmaster.
•<\!s>Le boo-boo: In a recent piece about Bistro St. Germain (July 22) I described Paris' Faubourg St. Germain as being on the Right Bank of the Seine. Well, no, it's actually on the Left Bank. *
THE MOSS ROOM
Mon.Tues., 11 a.m.2:30 p.m.;
Wed.Sun., 11 a.m.10 p.m.
55 Music Concourse (in the California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park), SF
Wine and beer