A few blocks from AT&T Park, K&L Wine Merchants, and the I-80 lies Cockscomb. The chef here is Chris Cosentino doing what he describes as a celebration of San Francisco’s diverse culinary heritage.
I was eager to try this spot, as Chris is a pioneer of several restaurant industry standard practices, as well as one of the first (if not the first) American Chef’s to cook head to tail animals (including offal). His previous restaurant Incantco closed after 12 successful years in Noe Valley when the chef became Celebrity Chef following a run on Bravo’s Top Chef. I was a big fan of the Chef’s writing on diverse subjects from Dante Allegheri to entrails, writing from the Incanto pulpit.
Featuring oysters and wood-fired oven, a gin heavy spirit wall, typical cocktails, mostly regional beers and some interesting ciders. Cockscomb pays tribute to the city’s fresh and native flavors, as well as Cosentino’s expert offal cookery and butchery.
We started with the deviled eggs, easily the highlight of the meal given their chicken skin and the heavy dose of paprika. The theme for the lunch menu was undoubtedly loud flavors, with eggs and fats abound. I had a Croque with nicely executed egg. It was good, but the salad on the side of the plate was rather embarrassingly plated and seasoned.
We also tried an oyster po’boy sandwich. I’m usually not a fan of this style of bread ( which I know is traditional ) but the oysters were crisp and warm, featuring a nice remoulade. The side kick here was the same sad salad. Not pictured are a delicious soup we started with (another highlight), and a local cider that arrived not quite cold enough though dry, crisp, and delicious.
Though the meal was without major flaw, it would seem that the all too common occurrence of newfound opportunity through Celebrity has taken precedence over the primary role of being in the kitchen at Cockscomb. His activities in his sausage business (Boccalone – excellent), his other restaurant partnerships, and his comic book venture seem to be his primary focus these days. Hard to blame Chef Constantino, after 12 years of paying his dues serving delicious and innovative food, as well as trail blazing he’s certainly earned it.