Dive into the season with these tasty bites from restaurants new and old
PICKLED HOT LINK AT SHOWDOGS
Showdogs corners dogs in a space that continues to improve Market Street's less culinary-inclined blocks, adding on old school sign and sidewalk seating enclosed by hedges since they opened. I have a number of go-to sausages (plus a rocked-out corn dog), but it's the pickled hot link ($6.95) that remains truly different. A hot link, plump and pickled in apple-cider vinegar for a couple weeks: it's tangy, slightly blackened as it's grilled to order, topped with Crater Lake blue cheese sauce and arugula leaves.
1020 Market, SF. (415) 558-9560, www.showdogssf.com
CHAWAN MUSHI AT NOMBE
As part of an affordable seven-course Kaiseki dinner ($39.95) at Nombe, chawan mushi or Japanese savory egg custard has been prfected by chef Noriyuki Sugie. Though numerous izakayas, particularly Nojo, make memorable versions, I was recently hooked on Sugie's uni chawan mushi, lush with uni's seaworthy, umami notes, woven into a silky, custard, topped with more fresh uni, served traditionally in a covered dish. Order a pour from Nombe's impressive sake list — ask co-owner and sake sommelier Gil Payne to recommend a pairing for you — and settle into black booths in the quirky, comfy Mission diner space.
2491 Mission, SF. (415) 681-7150, www.nombesf.com
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