The Reincarnation of Michael Mina

Michael Mina's new location is up and running. Foodnut8 concludes, "How is Michael Mina 2.0? He is back and better than ever." Highlights of the meal included a lovely (but tiny) hamachi crudo with green apple, winter black truffle, and tempura crunch ($19). Top-notch foie gras is presented both seared and as a terrine, served in a pineapple buckwheat crêpe with allspice dram and macadamia nut ($28). Not as crazy as it sounds, Foodnut8 says, and a surefire pleaser for anyone who loves foie gras.

Brandt Farms beef rib-eye in porcini butter ($46) is a meat-lover's dream: "Top-quality meat, cooked perfectly, with a nice crispy crust and elegant potatoes topped with a fava bean pendant." Braised pork short rib in hock jus is exceptionally tender and meaty, with Mission figs and excellent Anson Mills polenta ($32). Some "fried balls full of meat" made it in there too.

But it's not all turf over surf. The bouillabaisse ($18) is "a fun and beautiful dish full of several types of clams" with the tomato-based broth poured tableside. It comes with uni toast, piled high with the delectable seafood. Only fault: Some of the razor clams weren't cleaned properly and were sandy. The "five seas" tasting of Japanese fish (including braised tuna cheek, Hokkaido scallop, and miso-glazed cod) with bamboo rice and ginger vinaigrette ($42) is beautiful and perfectly balanced between freshness and starch. And just-in-season Dungeness crab is featured in raviolilike "pasta pyramids" with Meyer lemon ($24).

There's also a dessert tasting for $15 per person. You get six items, many of them chocolaty, and playing with different elements. Brownie with dark chocolate and bourbon, for example, includes a bourbon-filled hard candy.

For a taste of the Mina experience on a budget, go for lunch, when the chef's tasting menu is $39 and served family-style. artiedart enjoyed such Michael Mina classics as lobster corndogs and tuna tartare, flavored with Scotch bonnet chile–infused sesame oil. The Japanese-style hamburger is highly recommended. "People, just order that! I am so happy I got to try it," says artiedart. The meal is smartly paced enough that it even works as an office lunch date.

Michael Mina Restaurant [Financial District]
252 California Street, San Francisco
415-397-9222

Discuss: Michael Mina– New California Street Locale

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