Nice little neighborhood joint, opened in November or December. Getting outsized attention from all the local media outlets -- so much so that when I was talking to a friend about trying it, I assumed we wouldn't be able to get a table. But on a Thursday night around 7 there were plenty of tables -- it filled up a little later.
The menu is rather all over the place, as if the chef had thought more about what people like to eat, in general, than about a cohesive identity for the food. I guess this is what they call New American -- in the sense that American can be so many things. Pasta carbonara and fried chicken with grits and red gravy just seem so random together on a menu.
We shared a salad with arugula, duck breast, almonds, and castelvetrano olives; smoked trout brandade, and aforementioned fried chicken. Dessert was a meyer lemon semifreddo.
The salad had a pretty assertive garlicky dressing, and the olives were pitted and smashed -- for some reason that was a nice touch, because castelvetranos are so big. The duck was smoked, I think, and sliced thinly. The brandade was a healthy portion, smooth, mellow in flavor, and potatoey.
I can't say I'm a fried chicken connoisseur (hell, I'm not even sure what red gravy is), but this was good. Salty, which is how I like it, not too crispy thanks to the gravy, but still with a good, pretty thick crust. Especially the grits -- white corn, not the course kind. With good, flavorful collard greens.
Finally, the semifreddo was topped with blood orange supremes and had what seemed like a hazelnut crust on the bottom -- the waitress couldn't exactly confirm what they did to it but it was certainly hazelnuts.
There's a charcuterie section on the menu, naturally. The menu overall was pretty small -- two salads, about four "smalls" and three "bigs." Also "snacks" -- oysters, olives, and house pickles. I didn't pay too much attention to the wine list, I had a $10 glass of Burgundy.
Beast and the Hare
1001 Guerrero St, San Francisco, CA 94110