Decor provides the wit, food brings the cheer -- this Asian spot near Park Presidio is worth seeking out
Among the larger dishes, one we found especially arresting was the crispy fried rainbow trout ($16), a whole fish split open, lightly crusted, and filled like a piñata with scallops, prawns, and calamari. I hadn't eaten anything like this since working my way through a plate of acqua pazza at the Beverly Hills Spago at least a decade ago. Morph's version was far tastier at a fraction of the price. A whole fish often presents a small-bone problem, but here we turned up just a few splinters. To one side of the fish sat a puck of coconut-fried rice, while underneath it lay a heap of baby spinach leaves dressed with a lime vinaigrette.
The dessert menu is less distinctive, though a construction like hazelnut mousse ($6) sandwiched between rounds of chocolate sponge cake didn't need to be a novelty to be satisfying. And, in a subtle way, struck me as a near relation, of tiramisù, the alcoholic Italian warhorse. There was no detectable alcohol in either the mousse or the sponge cake, and the dessert was the better for it.
Morph sits in the middle of a busy, cluttered block of Geary Street just west of Park Presidio, which means you might have to do some light searching for it. But once inside, you can safely set your watch.
Dinner: Mon.–Sat., 5:30–10 p.m.
Lunch: Fri.–Sun., 11:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
5344 Geary, SF
Beer and wine
Can get noisy