Striking a balance between flair and rusticity with a striking interior and comforting dishes
A pressed duck leg ($18) reminded me of chicken under a brick, with crispy skin, a restrained juiciness to the meat, and a convincingly steam-rollered look. If, like me, you have been overexposed to confit and sometimes find duck too rich and fatty, you would probably warm to this method. Further cutting the richness were a pair of nicely browned potato disks and a bed of still-crunchy chicory.
The dessert menu does contain at least one extraordinary item, and that is the beer ice cream, which appeared as a small sphere accompanying the German chocolate cake ($8). Beer ice cream sounds gimmicky, but it did really, and pleasantly, taste of beer — as if someone had mixed suds with some heavy cream and a touch of sugar, then frozen it. A little more conventional were the beignets ($6), like a bunch of little fried basketballs in a rack after gym class, with, on the side, a thick and bewitching orange caramel sauce. If they'd only served you the sauce, you probably wouldn't have complained. The ersatz Frenchman had to be restrained from licking the dish clean. What a beast he is.
BEAST AND THE HARE
Dinner: Wed.–Mon., 6–10 p.m.
1001 Guerrero, SF
Beer and wine