Tag Archives: lamb shank

Lamb Shank (Zare at Fly Trap, SF)

Lamb Shank

Lamb Shank, Zare at Fly Trap, SF

Lamb Shank, Zare at Fly Trap, SF

The Dish: Lamb Shank

As big as your fist, Zare at Fly Trap serves a beautiful lamb shank. It’s the proverbial-cliche ‘fall off the bone’ lamb meat, propped up around its prominent bone like a rugged rock formation in a wild landscape of flageolet beans, white beans, and jus. The meat is wonderfully tender but subtle on the tongue. Green & yellow flageolets give the waxy snap-crisp against the soft meat, and you’ll need about 5 or 6 slices of sourdough to soak up the jus. A peeled, slightly stewed tomato, quartered fingerling potatoes, and white beans add nice textures, but hints of preserved lime in the jus inject a subtle brightness to the very light dish.

The Persian kicker that knocks this up a notch is called torshi, which is a picked vegetable tapenade you can either spoon into the jus or smear over the lamb. (I used my entire portion and requested another.) For a lamb shank, Zare at Fly Trap serves a pretty subtle one and the torshi, for me, made the difference. The pickling flavors brought the entire plate into a harmony that was at once natural and unfamiliar (because I’ve never had torshi before).. it’s an example of what makes Zare at Fly Trap unique: the subtle fusion of Persian flavors into familar food to generate surprise and delight.

Torshi (Persian pickled veggie tapenade)
Torshi (Persian pickled veggie tapenade)

Described on the menu: lamb shank abgusht (with flageolet beans, fingerling potatoes, preserved lime, torshi)

The Spot: Zare at Fly Trap, San Francisco

Neat spot in SOMA, on Folsom near 2nd Street, with a narrow urban garden hidden behind a steel gate as its entrance that makes it feel like a little secret. Orange-red walls, a very smart cocktail list and very cool bartenders, comfy seats to eat at the bar and two communal tables to cater to soloists and walk-ins.  Dozens of prints of old architectural and floral drawings cover the walls, imbuing a bit of quirky classicism to the place. The cuisine is a bit of classic and New American with strong Persian / Mediterranean influences, so familiar dishes (baked chicken, pork chop) come with Persian flavors that aren’t known to most palates. Zare is named for chef/owner Hoss Zare, a self-trained chef who began his cooking career at The Fly Trap in 1989 and, after numerous chef jobs over the years, returned to reinvigorate Fly Trap with a flavor of his own.

The Grade: Excellent

The Damage: $24

The Skinny: Zare at Fly Trap 606 Folsom St. (at Second Street), San Francisco, CA 94107
Phone: (415) 243-0580
Website: http://www.zareflytrap.com

Hours: Kitchen: Monday through Thursday 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 4 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Happy Hour: 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Closed on Sunday


Zare at Fly Trap: an urban dining oasis
Zare at Fly Trap: an urban dining oasis

Zare at Fly Trap on Urbanspoon


Lamb Shank (Ralph’s Bistro, Healdsburg CA)

Lamb Shank

On any given winter evening, I’m somewhat prone to order hearty things like ossobuco or lamb shank for dinner. It’s superb comfort food and, in most good Italian, Continental, or New American restaurants, it’s a safe bet. Ralph’s Bistro serves up a very good lamb shank, with well-integrated flavors and decent portions for the price. It wasn’t on par with their gigantic and delicious duck confit, but still a solid choice. 

Lamb Shank, Bistro Ralphs Healdsburg CA
Lamb Shank, Bistro Ralphs Healdsburg CA

The Spot: Ralph’s Bistro, Healdsburg CA

A lot of really good restaurants survive in Healdsburg and, while others may get the notoriety, Bistro Ralph’s unpretentious vibe and unbelievably good martinis keep locals recommending it to tourists who weren’t savvy enough to make reservations at Cyrus a month in advance. It’s a bit narrow and, like many other local restaurants, a bit noisier than it should be, but it serves solid fare at hearty portions for the prices. The only downside was the service; our waitress was distracted and just let us alone too long. Thankfully, another waiter noticed and picked up her slack, His smiles and friendly personality dispelled the specter of our irritations, which were beginning to curl around us like forlorn Japanese ghouls. Or maybe the second martini did it. 

THE GRADE: Very Good


109 Plaza Street, Healdsburg CA
Phone: (707) 433-1380
Website: www.bistroralph.com (Note: only basic info online to date; no seasonally updated menu)
Hours:Lunch 11:30 – 2:30 (Mon-Sat); Dinner 5:30 – 9:00 (Mon-Thurs) – 9:30 Friday & Saturday; closed Sundays.

Bistro Ralph on Urbanspoon