Tag Archives: pork belly

SF Chefs. Food. Wine. – Awesome Meat Dishes





Pulling out all the stops, Citizen Cake & Orson founder Chef Elizabeth Falkner and her crew served lovely pork belly chunks with cubed watermelon and a great, Dr. Seuss-green sauce. Rich and fantastic flavors, with the sweet melon calming the heart, the pork belly’s striation was like a painting in pork. Excellent.

Pork Belly with summer melon - Orson - Elizabeth Falkner

Pork Belly with summer melon – Orson – Elizabeth Falkner


Down the aisle, Chef Scott Youkilis of Maverick was cranking out amazing little carnitas tacos on fresh-fried tortilla chips. This was a great bite, enhanced if you so desired, with a piquant dollop of his house-made hot sauce. Youkilis steals away for 4 days once a year to produce the limited run of mouth-burn, and his balance of heat and afterbite and flavor makes the sauce a great addition to the tacos (and lots of other things I can think of). Another excellent dish.

Carnitas tacos from Maverick with house-made hot sauce. Excellent.

Carnitas tacos from Maverick with house-made hot sauce. Excellent.

Notice fire extinguisher? Yeah, Scott had house-made hot sauce!

Notice fire extinguisher? Yeah, Scott had house-made hot sauce!


Ryan’s a food star in the making, and you would be wise to attend any event that he’s cooking at because you will certainly be well fed. Ryan had amazing little brisket and tongue sandwiches on a great roll stuffed with cilantro. A guy asked about the sandwich and when Ryan got to “…and tongue,” the guy pulled his hand back. I chuckled and told him how great tongue is and what a soft, delicious meat it is. Ryan also gave him a soft sell. No dice. Ho hum. More for the foodios who know. Another excellent offering from Ryan.

Ryan Farr (4505 meats) - excellent brisket and tongue sandwich

Ryan Farr (4505 meats) – excellent brisket and tongue sandwich

Dude, it's tongue! It's good for you!

Dude, it’s tongue! It’s good for you!


Pork Belly Sandwich (Luce, San Francisco)


Pork Belly Sandwich at Luce Wine Restaurant, SF
Pork Belly Sandwich at Luce Wine Restaurant, SF

The Dish: Pork Belly Sandwich

Nice grill marks give stripes to the crispy roll, inside of which is a slathering of tender, juicy pork belly and Asian spices. Kudos to Chef Dominique Crenn to conceive this midday porcine rush; it’s a good lunchtime filler with a little edge. The spices’ flavors swirl between cool, sweet, and hot, and the texture overall is superb in its mix of crunchy and soft. If you’re near Moscone Center, the pork belly sandwich at Luce is a highly recommended sandwich indeed.

Detail, Pork Belly Sandwich, Luce Wine Restaurant SF
Detail, Pork Belly Sandwich, Luce Wine Restaurant SF

As described on the Luce menu: Braised Pork Belly “Vietnamese Sandwich” with cilantro, mint, and jalapeño. Note: Pork belly sandwich only served during lunch.

The presentation of ice tea is fantastic and smart; you get your own personal pitcher so you don’t need to flag down waiters for the inevitable refills.

The Spot: Luce Wine Restaurant

Luce Wine Restaurant is inside San Francisco’s InterContinental Hotel. The room itself during lunchtime is modern and, especially on sunnier days, strikingly beautiful. Skyscraping windows stand authoritatively behind cerulean-turquoise blue curtains over white sheers. There’s an overall spirited, airy effect in the well-mannered dining room, where the keen design sensibility is evident in all corners: booths, chairs, silverware and glassware. Luce is a sophisticated and contemporary space, carefully considerate of details so that the experience is harmonious. Service was gracious and effective. Really, Luce is just a wonderful room to have a meal in with friends or clients.

The Grade: Great (3 out of 5)

The Damage: $14

The Skinny: Luce Wine Restaurant 888 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94103 Phone: (415) 616-6566 Website: www.lucewinerestaurant.com

Lunch Menu: http://www.lucewinerestaurant.com/menus/LuceLunch.pdf

Lunch Hours: 11am – 2:30pm, Monday through Friday

Get directions

Pork Belly (Baraka, San Francisco CA)


The Dish: Slow-Roasted Pork Belly

For meat lovers, pork belly is clearly in the meaty appetizer Pantheon. And, in keeping with its perennially high commodity market valuation status, pork belly is nearly always served in frustratingly miniscule portions. (It’s still hard for me to take Wall Street financial commentators in pin-striped suits seriously when they soberly converse about the fluctuating price of pork bellies, but it’s one of the few remaining amusing ironies of capitalism.)

Fantastic Pork Belly, Baraka SF
Fantastic Pork Belly, Baraka SF

Again, Baraka in San Francisco delivers a most welcome surprise with its slow-roasted pork belly appetizer, both in terms of quantity (about 4 times the amount of belly you’ll usually get) and quality. In the large cut portion, the belly is meatier and fleshier and has more hints of ham in flavor than other, smaller pork belly appetizers.

While Baraka’s pork belly does not have the de facto crisped skin, that’s no detriment to the overall delight. The dish has a marvelous and savory balance of flavors, with the combination of earthy lentils, slightly sweet Anchor Steam Porter foam, and a bit of warm crunch from the braised trotters (the more pleasant British term for pig’s feet/ankles). This will rank as one of my favorite appetizers in San Francisco for this year.

Described on the menu: Slow Roasted Pork Belly – Braised Trotters, De Puy Lentils, Anchor Steam Porter Foam

The Grade: Sterling (5 out of 5)

Also could be described as excellent or exceptional.

The Damage: $11

An incredible value for the price, the pork belly appetizer is definitely generous enough to share.

The Skinny: Baraka
288 Connecticut Street (at 18TH Street)
San Francisco, CA 94107
Phone: (415) 255-0370
Dinner only, Sunday – Thursday 5:30pm to 10:00pm; Fridays/Saturdays 5:30pm to 11:00pm

Chef:  Chad Newton (former Sous Chef at Postrio)

Sous Chef: Ashton Mullikin (worked with New Orleans greats Susan Spicer, Andrew Jaeger)

Baraka website: http://www.sfbaraka.com/

Open Table: Baraka online reservations

Baraka on Urbanspoon