Comforts of the flesh - Page 2

Meat's a treat at Presidio Social Club, American Eatery, and O3

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Meatloaf with mashed potatoes and carrots at Presidio Social Club
GUARDIAN PHOTO BY VIRGINIA MILLER

New chef Wes Shaw hails from Texas, working with longtime chef-owner Ray Tang on a new menu that doesn't neglect PSC classics like a Dungeness crab Louis sandwich ($18) or above-average mac n' cheese ($10). But he also adds vitality with TX nods, like 8-hour smoked brisket on Tuesdays or marinated calamari, kicked up with butter beans and chiles. Fresh Monterey sardines ($10) come flaky over chickpea puree, shrouded in celery, while cracked Dungeness crab or a platter of oysters (Thursdays are $1 oysters, 4-7pm) remain ideally suited eats in PSC's crisp space.

Surprisingly, two vegetable sides ($6) are among my favorite menu items, both deftly prepared, as fresh and healthy as they are palate-satisfying. Broccoli di ciccio is tossed in lemon with garlic and chiles, while smashed peas in mint oil are brightly seductive. How about that meat? One of the best dishes on the menu remains classic meatloaf ($17), infused with new life — a seemingly bigger slice than I remember in years past. Like mom would make if mom was a gourmand, the juicy, meaty loaf rests atop a sea of mashed potatoes, crowned with slivered carrots and fried shallots for a pseudo-light finish.

PRESIDIO SOCIAL CLUB 563 Ruger, SF. 415-885-1888, www.presidiosocialclub.com

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