Swell is the new restaurant replacing Bar Crudo, and “it is so close to what Bar Crudo was in its realization as to be spooky,” says CarrieWas218. That is, the style, presentation, and high-quality seafood are almost the same; what’s missing are the wait, crowd, and hype.
The chef’s tasting platters offer a good way to sample three or four dishes ($15 or $22), which include stunners like filleted day boat scallops wrapped around matchstick slices of crisp apple, topped with wasabi caviar and yuzu aioli. “The rich scallop with creamy aioli provided a rich juxtaposition with the clean, juicy apples,” CarrieWas218 says. Another great pick is the delicate smoked ocean trout with red beet gelée, a subtle wasabi crème fraîche, and a perfectly hard-boiled quail egg.
There’s also miso black cod brûlée with purple potato salad, sashimi-grade yellowfin tuna with avocado and shiro dashi, and an excellent rendition of a nouveau classic, tuna tartare.
Don’t miss the irresistible crème brûlée sampler of ginger, miso, and coffee. The ginger is strong and piquant, the coffee rich and pungent, says Carrie. But the miso crème brûlée was the surprise star: “Almost the way a salted caramel gives just enough salt taste to counter-balance the sweetness of a caramel, the umami and saltiness of the miso worked enticingly well with the sweet candied top of the crème brûlée.”
Swell [Financial District]
603 Bush Street, San Francisco