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Eating at the Bar: Muka in Hayes Valley, San Francisco


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Eating at the Bar: Muka in Hayes Valley, San Francisco

Melanie Wong | | Sep 4, 2013 11:42 AM

Thanks to Amandica’s rec for drinks and bar snacks, Mom and I wound up catching dinner here last month.

Did not see the side dining area as a large group was celebrating a birthday there – the hostess directed us to the bar area. Mom hissed at me, “There’s no food here, only whiskey.” Then I handed her this menu,

To drink, I had the Jack Johnson, $11: bourbon, lapsang syrup, lemon, pink salt, angostura and amaro float. Really enjoyed the smoky tones, counterbalanced with citrus, bitters and hint of salt.

We tried four small plates:

Lima beans, arugula, roasted corn, tomatillo vinaigrette, $6

Plum salad, baby gems, lavender vinaigrette, $6

Fried squash blossoms, zucchini, smoked paprika aioli, $8

Brussels sprouts, roasted almonds, ricotta salata, $6

Excellent all-round, bursting with complex flavors, fresh ingredients and carefully balanced salt, acid and piquancy. Mom enjoyed everything. I was also thrilled to have this much selection of non-meated dishes at a bar and especially for these sub-$10 prices. When the bartender cleared away our empty plates and asked how we liked the food, I gushed with praise. He said that with the move to this location, the owner had brought in a trained chef to handle the food service. He added that she was working alone in the kitchen turning out both savories and desserts.

For dessert:

Fairy princess cake, $12 – vanilla sponge cake, vanilla cream, raspberry jam, marzipan

The cake’s assembled to order and takes a bit of time to prepare, so place your order in advance. The sponge cake had a macaron-like crust and chewiness. The vibrant raspberry jam (and other fruit preserves) is made in-house. Dessert prices feel a little steep, but this one’s worth it.

Our tab reflected a 10% discount. I asked the bartender if this was for happy hour, senior discount for Mom or? He said it was because the other group was too loud and he wanted us to come back. Comparing the billed prices vs. the menu, there are discrepancies in both directions, but we still came out ahead after discount. In any case, we’d return for the food.

Petit Plats & Dessert Lounge
370 Grove St
San Francisco CA 94102
(website under construction)

Muka photos: