State Bird Provisions

Official State Bird CA; 1931: California valley quail [native], known for their hardiness and adaptability

Provisions: the providing or supplying of something, esp. food & drink

State Bird Provisions; 2011: An adventurous, inventive, delicious, thoughtful contemporary American restaurant [CA native].

A local San Fran food guide deemed State Bird to be, “the most talked about restaurant in the United States at the moment”. The concept was one that we certainly hadn’t seen in a while in that you don’t order from a menu. Instead, servers walk through the restaurant with retro trolleys displaying plates of each course option available that night. Guests can then stop a server and pick one out or question the assembly of ingredients. The family style, “eat with your eyes” concept challenges guests to try something new or experience the unknown.

The refreshing nature of food selection was certainly evident in the atmosphere within the restaurant as diners enthusiastically chatted to each other discussing the various dishes. The buzz within the restaurant is also reflected in the fact that you need up to two months notice to book a reservation. Dining space is limited, creating a more intimate and exclusive experience.

Due to the nature of our visit we were treated to a family style four course set menu offering a number of dishes within each so that we could sample the majority of their range in small tasting portions.

Highlights included a Hamachi-avocado & seaweed cracker, Trout roe chip & dip and a flavoursome Pork belly and grape salad. For mains we enjoyed the flagship dish, CA State Bird with Provisions, Roti of curry Rabbit & hedgehog mushrooms and Spicy Dungeness crab kimchi yuba with smoked egg. The hero of the dessert options was a Poppy seed ‘ice cream’ sandwich, grapefruit curd, candied lemon & fennel.

This trend would fit into ‘Simple Pleasures’

Image: Chef-owner Stuart Brioza with his innovative food cart concept

Submitted by: Tom Collins, Dublin