The carnival-themed restaurant in Hayes Valley wins our teddy bear with playful plates
I was a little less impressed with the picadilly ($14.75), if only because I wonder if a fish as marvelous as ahi tuna needs to be turned into fish sticks. Ahi, like beef, can stand on its own and is generally best when standing on its own. It doesn't take all that kindly to elaborate treatments and back-room, hardball techniques like breading and frying. Doing that to a nice piece of ahi is a little like getting out your best lead crystal to serve some Diet Coke. The accompanying mayonnaise was astounding, however.
No carnival would be complete without a root beer float, and Straw offers a nice one ($5.50), made with root beer gelato and served with a straw (!)— not exactly radical ideas but sound ones. The more radical idea was laying little sticks of candied bacon atop an almost impossibly creamy peanut butter pie ($6) in a chocolate crust. Peanut butter and chocolate are one of sweetdom's divine combinations (also totally New World), and I'd never heard the pair were looking for a third, certainly not pork. The truth is that the pie would have been fine without it. But the meat brought a bit of salty-sweet chewiness for contrast, and the result was better than fair.
Dinner: Mon.-Sat., 5-10 p.m.; Sun., 5-9 p.m.
Brunch: Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
203 Octavia, SF