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Restaurants & Bars

TADICH. . . HANGTOWN FRY, NOT SO MUCH; CIOPPINO - YES!

mariacarmen | May 1, 201005:06 PM     7

Three of us went for lunch. I'd been there in years past, usually stuck to the petrale sole, which i always found decent, but not spectacular.

First off, lovely spicy Bloody Marys - perfectly fine, lots of horseradish. Bread, check - good, dark baked sourdough - yum. We started with a half dozen oysters, which were a bit mushy and stuck to their shells, seemed like they been sitting on ice a looong time - ice underneath stuck to the shells too.

And then i followed, i have to say, Anthony Bourdaine's rec, for the hangtown fry. VERY disappointing. I had a feeling they would overcook it, so I asked for it soft. It was not. The bacon had been pre-cooked, you can tell it had been sitting around, and the oysters were semi-hard little knobs - no creaminess whatsoever. Egg was semi-hard, whole thing kind of bland. Served with fried potatoes, which were ok. Old-timey waiter suggested a chilled asparagus starter - in what i think was a beurre blanc or a hollandaise, but it was so tasteless that i couldn't tell.

BUT .... one of our group ordered the cioppino which was really, really good - just as everyone here said it would be. Perfect spicy/tomato/umami combo, an abundance of seafood (three of us couldn't finish it, tho to be fair the one who ordered it eats like a bird). Served with grilled bread for sopping, very satisfying. i even sopped my fried potatoes in it. I would go back and order that again and again, for the atmosphere, for the nostalgia, for the ancient waiters who have a cute, quippy answer to every question, for the addictive toothsome bread, and for the Bloodies. It's still a really nice way to spend an afternoon with good friends.

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