We got the golden ticket to try State Bird Provisions and our friend’s boyfriend was pretty aggressive about getting those reservations to Bon Appetit’s coined America’s Best New Restaurant and 2013 James Beard’s Best New Restaurant of the Country. Reservation wait can be up to a month wait. Currently they are under renovations until mid October.
The concept is unique and innovative dishes served dim sum style. American dim sum/tapas. Loved the low lighting, open kitchen and the create garage/tool shed walls.
The colorful felt food items and shapes were whimsical and definitely fun.
All the seats in the house were taken and customers look like they were all having a good time.
The first cart had a fresh looking salmon sashimi with meyer lemon which looked interesting, but we were instructed by the server that these were the last scallops and like an effective car salesman, with urgency we had to have the last one.
Most items on the menu have a multi textural and flavor contrast. The curried scallop and avocado with crunchy quinoa for $12 had creamy, smooth, crunchy with flavors of land and sea. The richness of the avocado went well with the freshness of the scallop.
We sampled the pork spare ribs glazed in their own juices which were very tender and loved the scallions on the ribs. We all enjoyed the flavor, but have had solid ribs elsewhere. There were two sized options, appetizer for $10 or the size we got for $20.
The duck liver mousse with almond biscuit for $6 was unbelievably rich and silky smooth and went well with the cornbread like biscuits. For those that love pate, this one is for you.
The Mendocino sea urchin was nice and briny and went well with the, ginger scallion pancake and soy-lime glaze for $14. The greens cut the rich flavor of the sea urchin. Definitely unique.
We really enjoyed the red trout, mandarin, hazelnut-garum brown butter for $11/$22. The fish was flakey and the nutty flavor went well with the sweet acidity.
Our favorite dish was the buttermilk marinated CA state bird with provisions for $8/16. This was by far the signature dish and most special. The crispy crust with slivers of parmesean cheese, lemon rosemary onions and tender California quail was dynamite.
Another super special, one of a kind dish was the tangy sweet lemon curd ‘ice cream’ sandwich, poppy seed macaron, blueberries and fennel. We are ardent fans of macaron and this was so layered and flavors perfectly balanced. Wish we had this one all to ourselves.
We were super impressed by only a few dishes (namely the lemon macaron and State Bird with sweet and sour onions), the others tasty but seen before. We found our service to be a bit too cool for school and not overly attentive, which was a bit of a turn off. We kept feeling we were being rushed to turn the table. We would be interested in returning to try the guinea hen dumpling with aromatic broth for $3, the garlic bread with burrata for $8 and the charred octopus in tomato-chickpea salsa for $8.