Twin mermaids represent Bar Crudo. As "Splash" taught us, they also love seafood.
Until this past May, if you wanted a seat at Bar Crudo, you either had to show up at the tiny Nob Hill restaurant right when it opened for dinner or wait for tables to turn over. Thankfully, brothers Tim and Mike Selvera relocated to a larger space on Divisadero, down the street from Nopa on a developing strip that’s exploding in popularity. Now they can accommodate a wider audience for their excellent seafood, and they even take reservations.
Bar Crudo features a very good beer program. You’ll only find five beers on tap, but there are seven bottle categories: including Light, Crisp, Dry; Floral, Fruity, Spice; Hoppy, Malty, Dry; Rich, Fruity, Sour; and Rich, Malt, Dark. My tart glass of Dogfish Head Festina Peche ($5) was a refreshing Berliner Weisse flavored with peaches but not too sweet. My dad asked for a dark beer, so we got him a bottle of Dogfish Head Chicory Stout, a chocolatey 5.2% ABV brown ale with a hint of coffee bitterness.
Bar Crudo featured a raw bar with plenty of enticing oysters and shellfish, but we stuck with composed plates (and bowls).
Bar Crudo offered 6 choices of their signature item, crudo. 4 pieces per plate only cost $12, which was a bargain considering the pristine seafood and (mainly) inspired flavor combinations.
Arctic Char was similar to salmon, but without as much essential oil or flavor. That’s where the spicy horseradish cream, wasabi-infused tobiko and dill helped.
Rosy Kona Kampachi strips paired well with sweet peaches, tangy chili-lime vinaigrette and creamy avocado mousse.
My favorite crudo was probably Butterfish, which lived up to its name and really shined with a drizzle of salmorejo (tomato soup), salty, smoky jamon Serrano and paprika-dusted quail egg.
Hokkaido Scallop was another winner, featuring sweet sea scallop slices, sweet corn puree, a lobster mushroom tarragon oil drizzle and sea salt crystals.
We added a fifth choice for variety’s sake: Spicy Yellow Fin Tuna cubes with ginger, soy, Sriracha and green onion. The yellow fin’s ruby color was gorgeous, but the marinade was fairly bland, even with Sriracha.
Lobster Heirloom Tomato Salad ($17) was kind of a misnomer. Yes, there were big, sweet lobster chunks, but this salad was successful due to the bursting heirloom tomatoes, sweet white corn kernels and creamy burrata strands. Basil, mache and Banyuls vinaigrette completed the plate.
Octopus Salad ($12) was the dinner’s only other letdown, featuring chewy, ceviche-like octopus sheets and a mismatched mix of white beans, orange, Castelvetrano olives, mint, pea shoots, and sherry vinaigrette.
Bar Crudo’s Seafood Chowder cup may have been the best $7 we spent all weekend, featuring big fish chunks, plump mussels, sweet shrimp, tender squid, potatoes and chewy applewood-smoked bacon cuts that permeated the pink broth.
We’d gorged on some fine seafood, but couldn’t resist butterflied, crisp-skinned Idaho Rainbow Trout ($17). The juicy fillet was strewn with of-the-moment summer vegetables, including peas, snap peas, zucchini and a charred heirloom tomato vinaigrette that took the dish to another level.
We were more than satisfied, but craved something sweet to end the night. Bar Crudo doesn’t offer dessert, so our waitress recommended Candybar, located down the street and around the corner, which delivered some experimental desserts in an artistic lounge setting.
August 19, 2009 at 2:33 PM
I hit Bar Crudo when I was in SF last December and it was delicious. Those fantastic pictures of yours bring back fond memories.