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San Francisco Bay Area

Mecca + Oyaji (pretty long)

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Restaurants & Bars

Mecca + Oyaji (pretty long)

vliang | Feb 21, 2005 12:47 PM

Went to Mecca last Thur for makeup V Day dinner. (As a side, I feel as if I should disclose that my friend is the chef there) Anyway, on with the report...
The bar was packed! Seems as if they have a ladies night drink special that was luring the women in droves. We sat by the bar area that was more loud/festive by request. We had the following:

14 HOUR SMOKEHOUSE SPARERIBS, CRISPY GARLIC 17
SEARED HUDSON VALLEY FOIE GRAS, CARAMELIZED ONION WAFFLE, INDIO MANDARINQUAT SYRUP 20
SAUTEED DAY BOAT SCALLOPS WHITE BEAN RAGOUT, TRIGG COUNTY KENTUCKY HAM 14
WOOD FIRED PORK TENDERLOIN BOURBON SWEET POTATOES. APPLE CHUTNEY, MACHE 21
We also got a strawberry shortcake special dessert that is off menu.

The ribs were, as usual, delicious. Tangy and savory and falls right off the bone with the touch of a fork. My bf could not get enough of it. I'm usually a big fan of the scallop dish as the combo of the sweetness of the scallops and the salty ham make a great contrast. But this time the scallops were a bit overdone for my taste. A touch more rare and it would have been better. The foie was perfect. After having a few misses the last few times we ordered foie out, it was nice to get one that really let the texture of the ingredient shine. Barely seared, the foie melted on the waffle like butter. The fruitiness of the sauce tempered the *organ* taste of the foie. Yum! But the hands down winner of the evening was the pork. Cooked to just done-ness... it was so juicy. And you could really taste the subtle sweetness of the meat. I could have this dish all the time! BF thought the dessert was pretty good, but I don't eat dessert so I won't comment on it. Shared a bottle of pinot noir.

Again, gorgeous setting still after all these years. Very attentive service. Never needed to ask for anything... water, bread, settings, etc. The chef, is from the South and you can really see the Southern influences in his menu. All in all, another great meal at Mecca.

*************
Went to Oyaji Sat night with a couple of friends. We went around 8:30 and got a seat right away. Seems like if you dine a bit later, the crowds are gone. Later on, 6 more friends joined us and it was still no problem in terms of space.

We ordered the following:
octapus with nattoh
pork belly with mustard
chicken meat balls on skewers
pork on skewers
snow crab with cucumber and seaweed
steamed egg
mtn potato over maguro
scallop nigiri
3 oyster specials
1 round of beers
1 round of katana sake

The octapus was probably one of the freshest we've had in recent memory. Nattoh, off course, is an acquired taste... you either like it or not. The pork belly was braised to chopstick tender perfection. The mustard was a nice contrast to the richness of the meat. Chicken skewers were good in a street food sort of way. The pork skewers were not that great. Snow crab dish was just all right. The crab was fresh, but nothing special. The steamed egg was wonderful. Full of dashi flavor and silky smooth in texture. A dish I could eat everyday! The scallop nigiri was lovely. The scallops were so fresh and not fishy at all. My friend loved the mtn potato with its light texture. And the oysters were very clean tasting.

The oysters and nigiri were rather expensive, but everything else was very reasonabley priced. Would probably stay away from sushi itmes there in the future as the bill was jacked up by their high sushi prices. Even still, $90 or so for 3 people including drinks isn't bad. I loved the food and the ambiance. Very eastern/zen look in the space. The group of 6 that later joined us are mostly Japanese ex-pats and they gave the place a thumbs-up as well. I do have to warn that the service is SLOW... even when it wasn't all that crowded. And it seems the wait staff have a lot of difficulty understanding English. They were much more responsive to Japanese speakers. But I guess that's par for the course. I will definitely go there again.

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