The lumps, though, consisted of delectables such as shrimp, chicken, and pork, and added enough heft to make the gumbo into a (potential) meal in itself.
An unexpected rival for meal-in-itself (although not heart-healthy) honors might be the beignets ($4.50), a quartet of deep-fried pastries shaped like little top hats and served with a pair of massive ice-cream torpedoes. The ice cream was vanilla, and the torpedoes were cross-hatched with chocolate sauce, and that alone would have been enough for two people even two hungry, greedy people bewitched by the crunchy fattiness of the beignets. (To describe these as "deep-fried" does not quite capture the reality.)
In sunshine or fogshine, as the case may be the restaurant slips into east Asian character. Salt and pepper calamari ($5.50) are batter-fried and presented with a nuoc nam-based dipping sauce whose sharpness helps cut the grease. Mixed vegetables with tofu ($5.95) sets a low mountain of broccoli florets, carrots, cabbage, and tofu cubes on a huge pediment of white rice. The vegetables are crisp and fresh; the soy-heavy brown sauce, a little bland. Five-spice chicken ($7.50), on the other hand, with egg rolls and vermicelli, is enhanced with mint, which brings both color and sweet breath to the rescue. That color is green, by the way. *
Sun.Fri., 10 a.m.10 p.m.; Sat., 510 p.m.
611 Larkin, SF
Beer and wine