Zuni Cafe

by janet on March 29th, 2010

You know how you post something on FB and people you forget that you were even friends with suddenly comment out of nowhere?  And you’re like, huh.

Before the ballet one night, R2 surprised me and took me to  Zuni Cafe.  I posted this as my status and TWO such people were like, “Oh em gee I love that place!”  It’s some sort of measure of something, I know it.

It’s known for its roasted chicken (other bloggers please note my correct usage of it’s/its for fuck’s sake), which famously takes one full hour to prepare.  Officially it’s (again) called Chicken for two, roasted in the brick oven with warm bread salad with red mustard greens, scallions, currants, and pine nuts ($48).  R2 did not know about said famous chicken, and the poor thing had to deal with my low-blood-sugared growchy whining (“But but but we’re not gonna have time for the chickiiiiiiiiiiiin what is the POINT of going to Zuni if we don’t have time for the chickiiiiiiiiin poooo.”)  He got over his bewilderment at the sudden all-importance of the chicken (when I don’t even normally like bird. Fowl foul yo.) and ordered it with the host the moment we walked through the door.

To pass the hour, I drank a lovely cocktail that had Prosecco and elderflower in it, and we got some oysters.  I wanted to stay local with our choices, and mostly we did.  Hog Island Kumamoto from Tomales Bay,  and Humboldt Kumamoto from Humboldt Bay – both Japanese-local hybrids, like me (^.^).  We also got Marin Miyagi from Tomales Bay for the same reason, and then went slightly farther north with Kusshi from British Columbia because R2 liked the sound of them.

Our platter of oysters came out and our server pointed out which were which.  We had two of every kind; one for each of us.  Ordering oysters one at a time felt very decadent to me; felt like I should be wearing long gloves and smoking a cigarette inserted into the end of a long, real-dead-elephant tusk ivory cigarette holder.

While I was having these musings I looked down to see that R2 had already eaten all of the Kumamotos.  I was like, WTF we were supposed to each eat one of each kind silly!  He was like, “Whaaa?  I thought I did!” which was hilarious because each of the four shells were extremely different in color, shape, and size and it was totally obv (at least to me).  So we ordered more.

And after these shenanigans it was chicken time!  The most recent review on Yelp was just the word “chicken” 83 times, so my expectations were high.  That long lost FB friend (actually just this random girl who was in another a cappella group at UCLA for a year and had hooked up with someone in my a cappella group one time) said “I love the bread salad!”  My other friend and SF native Venus told me “It’s not like it’s a revelation or anything, but it’s just chicken that you feel like you could eat forever and ever.”  I would say that all three were correct.  I shoveled in perfect bite after perfect bite comprised of greens, chunk of bread, currant bit, and a slice of the most tender protein spooned by a the crispiest wisp of brown roasty salty skin, golly.  Absolutely enticing.

Ballet?  What ballet?

Zuni Cafe
1658 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Leave a Reply