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Last month the pursuit of black-owned restaurants lead me to Local Kitchen and Wine Merchant to order take-out. Though it has been on the scene for more than ten years and popular for its wood-fired pizzas, this was my first visit. The draw was the Singapore laksa on the dinner menu, $19, created by Chef/partner Nora Haron. She's Singaporean, descended from Java and Kerala grandparents, and serves some of her home cuisine alongside the Italian menu here. In response to the pandemic, she's recently launched IndoMex, a weekend pop-up in Oakland. https://www.chowhound.com/post/bay-ar...
I placed my order on-line for pick-up 20 minutes later. It was ready in the amount of time it would take me to reach the restaurant. . I had added a note that the laksa would be traveling and to please keep the components separate to be reheated.
The staffer who handed the bag to me said the kitchen tried its best to segregate the parts. I'd say they did a good job. The containers were closed securely. The grilled shrimp were still a little translucent and the wirey rice noodles quite firm and not completely cooked through. I felt like the chef wanted to give me some margin for reheating the ingredients without overcooking anything. This was a thoughtfully composed, impromptu laksa kit that yielded two big bowls. The runny yolked poached egg was a chef-y touch, elevating it from street versions. The housemade sambal was fiery and delicious though I didn't need to add more heat to the laksa soup base. Slivered cucumber, pickled red onions and fresh cilantro garnishes had their own box, but I was disappointed that no laksa leaf nor fried tofu was provided. Still, the deep and round coconut-curry soup base was spot on with a nice balance of heat and sweet. I'd happily order this again. Far better than the laksa mee at Alhambra's Borneo Kalimantan that Bon Appetit crowned the best domestic laksa, which it is not by a long shot.
Currently Local Kitchen is offering 10% discount on call-in and pick-up orders, per its splash page. An array of decorative succulent plants were on sale when I was there. After 6pm, street parking is free, there were plenty of spaces, and during SIP the cars headed to the Bay Bridge had cleared out
Local Kitchen & Wine Merchant
330 First Street
San Francisco, CA
Closed Sunday & Monday
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