A16 welcomes me to the neighborhood

by janet on September 27th, 2009

Enough with the silly posts.  Time to blog a legit restaurant.  How about A16 – probably the most legitimate eatery in all of the Marina (rhyme it with “vagina” if you are a hipster to express your disdain)?  I’m sorry to say that I had not really heard of it before walking by it with visiting friend Eggroll and his bangin’ hot girlfriend Carne en Fuego, but a drunken gentleman came out, clapped his hand heavily on my shoulder, and said, “YOU GLUYZ MEED TO EAT HRRRR IZ SOOO GOOOOD.”  The fact that an establishment could turn a huge, middle-aged man into a lolcat piqued my interest, and then hint #2 was the large, dangerously heavy-looking cookbook bearing the restaurant’s name displayed in the window.

Now halfway down the block, the gentleman turned and yelled, “IF YOU CAN GET INNN! HAHAHA!” which was hint #3 that this was a hot joint.  We walked in and the host said that the wait would be about ninety minutes.  It was 9:00 by that time, and we weren’t that hungry, so we agreed, gave her our cell #, and sauntered down a couple blocks to Delaney’s where we had waaaay too many vodka/gin tonics.

Tangent: Drinks are SOOOO cheap in San Francisco!  My Ketel One and tonic, which was crazy strong and more like a double, was only $6???  It’s not only at divey bars like Delaney’s…I’ve found this to be the case in swanky Union Square bars, too.  I heart this city.

10:30 came and went and no phone call.  We were pretty sloshed at this point (after three of the aforementioned almost-double vodka tonics) so we staggered back and waited some more in the still uber-crowded entryway of the restaurant, and were finally seated just before 11.  Pictured top is app #1, which is NOT mashed potatoes but rather mozzarella burrata (my new obsession) with olive oil, sea salt and crostini.  If our bread ever got even the tiny bit low, the servers were immediately there, nodding while saying, “you want more bread yeah?”  I loved that.

Pictured immediately above was Prosciutto San Daniele, aged 14 months, ordered off of their salumi menu.  The three of us had great fun peeling off oozing layers of cheese, throwing it onto their bountiful bread, and wrapping the whole shazam in prosciutto.  I can’t think of a better thing to eat when one is drunk and starving at an 11 pm seating.

Relatedly, I can’t remember the wine we had, since the wine list is extensive and my world was spinning.  I just told our server that I liked red, blends, and “raisiney” and she came up with the perfect bottle, priced reasonably at $45 I thought.

Because I was drunk (noticing a theme here?) my picture-taking skills were not up to par.  The only salvageable ones are here, and it’s a pity that the other entrees didn’t make it.  For example, my Roasted Watson Farms lamb meatballs with giardiniera (a kind of relish).  Too salty even for my taste, but falling-apart tender and when paired with the very spicy giardiniera and washed down with a hearty gulp-ful of wine, well…you can imagine how great that was.  Also, Eggroll’s Ricotta gnocchi in brodo with cherry tomatoes, garlic and basil. When it came out it looked like not much – some pale lumps in a watery paler liquid, with two straggly basil leaves listlessly on top, dotted with three or four yellow and orange cherry tomatoes. However.  When you got the right combination of pasta + tomato in your bite, the tomato would POP and infuse the creamy, sticky gnocchi with a hit of acid, and it was all quite phenomenal. What IS pictured above is the pizza ordered by Carne en Fuego (by the way – the best MTFB pseudonym evar, no?  It’s courtesy of Daniel; must give him credit.), the Salsiccia – fennel sausage, roasted peppers, roasted onions, mozzarella, grana padano (a grainy Italian cheese), garlic, and chiles. A bit one-note, but what a note it was: a fatty fennel punch.

We finished eating and were a little bit rushed to get the two of them on the last BART, but our server came around, said, “We overheard that you just moved into the neighborhood, so we wanted to welcome you,” and dropped off three glasses of dessert wine (more alcohol is exactly what we needed) – I THINK a moscato?  So sweet, in all senses of the word!  I’m trying to not let it color my review but between free booze and the copious ETOH already flowing in my veins, it was bound to be a lovefest.

2355 Chestnut Street
SF CA 94123

One Response to “A16 welcomes me to the neighborhood”

  1. nina says:

    hey lady! i know you mentioned thinking your photos were a bit off, but i have to say that i think these are some of your best shots! i love the 45-degree tilt and the colors are spot on. i’ve never liked pizza, but this one makes me want some…like NOW. 😛 cheers!

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