I had read some intriguing posts about Broken Arrow awhile back and was disappointed to find they where not open for lunch as the wife and I commute to SF each day from Marin. I recently learned (again from CH posts thank you), that the chefs had moved to Bruno's on Mission and brought their menu with them, so after an early evening viewing of Avatar at the Metreon we thought we would give them a shot. Unfortunately we arrived at about 9PM on a Friday night only to find the place packed and out of food! We figured Bruno's must have gotten awfully popular recently, but then we found even the nearby Cha Cha Cha's had a two hour wait. I guess it had been awhile since the Ms. and I had a weekend night outing in SF...either that, or it's this darn economy that is forcing folks out of their homes and into restaurants on Friday nights.
As luck would have it, the Ms. and I had a short-notice reason to be back in SF the following Saturday. This time I called ahead at about 6PM and was given a reservation as long as I promised to show up before 6:30. Needless to say, we promptly jetted to the heart of the Mission, found a lucky parking spot and made it on time, whew.
So we enter Bruno's at about 6:25 only to find it mostly empty with all the dining tables reserved. The nice waitress explains we could sit at one of the tables, provided that we were out by 7:30. Okay fine I say, but now I am thinking geesh, this place better be darn good.
After receiving the relatively limited menu, we select the mac & cheese appetizer, the oyster poor boy, the spare ribs with a side of greens & a biscuit, and a Lynchburg Lemon-Aid, which the wife insisted would be too sweet.
First came the cocktail, which was perfect, followed by the rib plate and the oyster pb. The spare ribs came complete with the brisket meat attached and were hands-down the best restaurant ribs I have had west of Kansas City. The rib ends were smoky and spicy, slightly crunchy on the outside while moist and tender on the inside, and cooked to perfection -- not quite falling off the bone, but coming away clean when you bit into them. The brisket ends were a tad tougher as they do not cook at the same rate, but still excellent and their slight chewiness. The tomato based sauce, served on the side, was light when sampled by itself, but enhanced the flavors already in the ribs when spread on with a knife. The greens were also equally done to perfection, tender with just the right amount of tooth feel. The did have a strange flavor to them though (cloves?), which we didn't care for so much. But since taste is a subjective thing I can't really hold it against them. The biscuit was crunchy on the outside and moist and light on the inside without the slightest hint of grease.
The poor boy was also excellent, with perfectly battered and fried oysters served on a crunchy yet tender baguette. The remulaude, like the BBQ sauce, was flavorful, but did not take away from the flavor of the oysters.
Last came the mac & cheese (the late app being the only blemish after being seated), and it too could be the best straight forward version I have ordered in the bay area. Served piping hot in its own large ramekin, it was crusty and moist, cheesy and not the least bit soupy or greasy, with just the right amount of bite left in the macaroni.
As for the service, the two waitresses were very friendly and attentive. And as it turned out, we finished up just before 7:30 without ever feeling rushed.
As most can probably tell by now, we came away very impressed, and will be sure to get back to try the rest of the menu -- hopefully sooner than later.
2389 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110