Had to work late last night, so the wife and I decided to catch dinner in SF before going home. On the way to the GGB, I was wracking my brain trying to think of good recs from this site. Valencia Pizza & Pasta came to mind (for calamari), but I couldnt recall the cross street (19th) and ended up driving right past it. Parking would have probably been a chore anyway!
Anyway, I remembered Park Chow, so we thought we should give it a try. I had been to lunch at Chow before (near Market & Church) back in my student days and came away thinking it wasnt worth the extra cost of the hole-in-wall places I had been used to, so I wasnt expecting too much; however, I have a little more money in my pocket these days, so I was hoping for some different results. As it turned out, it was a pretty good value, imho.
The wife and I split a couple of starters: a large Cesar salad for $8+ and a good portion of mussels for under $6 (wow!). The salad had uncut hearts of romaine and nice slices of Parmesan and tasted pretty good. Fresh cracked pepper would have been a good idea though. The mussels were in a fantastic garlicky broth and were the bomb. Washing them down with a couple of pilsners made them all the better!
For entrées we selected the pork chops and the braised short ribs. The pork chops were nicely marked and very moist but a bit bland. Some kind of rub was really needed. Mixing them with the fire-roasted polenta helped though, as it gave them a bit of a smoky taste. The broccoli tips found underneath were nice and tender, but again the flavor was a tad underwhelming (maybe some vinegar needed?).
I probably would order not order this dish again.
The short ribs were extremely tasty though. The meat was tender and the sauce was flavorful and bright (I wondered how they were able to keep it so red after the braising). My only complaint was I wanted more because I could have pounded them down all night!
Being pretty satisfied, we opted to skip desert and asked for the check. The total came to $64, so though it was a fairly good value, I think it would have been pretty tough to get out of there for under $40 (as mentioned on this board) and still feel as contented.
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