Technicolored marinades on a Peruvian-powered, pan-Latino menu
Is there a good way to serve paella in a restaurant? Calvo-Perez was probably bound to try to figure one out, since he apprenticed in Spain. My thought would be to make a big, proper one every hour or so and serve portions of it, but Pasión appears to follow a made-to-order model. The kitchen's vegetarian version, called arroz verde ($18), was made with cilantro rice and did have a green sheen, but it was as much gray as green, and this wasn't reassuring. The dish, although presented in a small, cast-iron paella pan, lacked the crust of caramelized rice you hope will form on the bottom. It was also afflicted by a bitterness we finally traced to large chunks of celery, lurking in the murk like alligators in a bog among the green peas, shiitake mushrooms, pickled carrots, and green beans. It also featured an abundance of red onion slivers, which were methodically plucked out (not by me), like bits of shrapnel being removed from a wounded soldier. Obviously some people feel passionately about raw red onions.
Dinner: Sun.–Thurs., 5–10 p.m.;
Fri.–Sat., 5–11 p.m.
Brunch: Sat.–Sun., 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
737 Irving, SF