A visit to State Bird Provisions in SF has been a LONG time coming. It’s been on my food to do list since it opened, and I can’t believe it has taken me this long to make it out there. Sorry I didn’t take many pictures (other than dessert), I was too busy eating!
State Bird Provisions is self described as “an adventurous, inventive, delicious, thoughtful contemporary American restaurant [CA native].” It honestly is all of that and so much more. The environment is upscale yet casual and trendy yet unique. The dining room is warm and inviting, but has a lot of unique decor choices pinned to the walls. It isn’t the dark romantic corner that some new age-ish restaurants have turned into, but it definitely would be a great date spot.
Yes, the wait is insane. Get over it. I know it is hard to get a reservation, but honestly, who cares. Put your name down, go around the corner and grab a drink at The Social Study. It’s no big deal. On a monday night during prime dinner time, the wait was about 1.5 hours.
State Bird Provisions is set up to be a partially dim sum style restaurant. There is a main menu as well as dim sum carts and trays that circulate the room. The wait staff is attentive and friendly and will explain the dishes on their carts in detail. They also will answer questions for the curious foody types (#guilty) that like to know about the components of each dish in excruciating detail.
The Menu Items
1. Pancake of sourdough, sauerkraut, pecorino & ricotta- rich, but unremarkable
2. Spicy fried cauliflower salad with bayley hazen blue cheese- really really flavorful and delicious. I could eat this every day.
3. Hearts of palm, avocado, pomelo salad with tahini chili oil- I wish I could make a salad that tasted like this. It was an amazingly balanced and flavorful salad with a great tahini dressing. WOW.
4. State Bird- The caramelized onions over the fried bird were really great. It was flavorful and moist. Plus, it’s the signature dish so you must try it!
The Provisions (Dim Sum Items) **Harder to remember because I can’t reference a menu
1. Burrata garlic bread- YUM YUM YUM. I love burrata in all forms and this did not disappoint.
2. Oyster with spicy kohlrabi kraut & sesame- I can be hit or miss on oysters, but the spicy kohlrabi kraut topping was soo good that I wanted to eat several of these. I wish I could have bought a bottle of the topping to eat with crackers. The dashi type flavors were great!
3. Farro spezato salad- I wish I had more insight as to what was in this vegetarian farro salad, but it was just GREAT! This is the problem with eating dim sum; it’s hard to recommend what to order.
4. Roasted asparagus with walnut aioli- the aioli was really good. The asparagus were jumbo sized, but I sort of wished they had been smaller.
Desserts (we got a 1/2 order of all of them- don’t judge)
1. kiwi granita, yogurt tapioca, dates & kumquats- I loved the granita and my friend loved the tapioca. Probably my least favorite of the desserts.
2. guava tres leches, chèvre crème fraîche, rhubarb & pistachio- The waiter said this was his favorite. I liked it, but didn’t think it was the best tres leches I’d ever had. The guava was a nice touch.
3. warm cornmeal custard, chocolate crumble, mapled apricots & walnuts- I would come back to this restaurant for the sole purpose of eating this dessert. It was rich but balanced and soooo well made. YUM!
4. spiced cocoa nib ‘ice cream’ sandwich, black pepper pecans, plum fudge- this was a nice cold bite and the plum fudge was a really unique flavor. I enjoyed it, but might not eat it again.
5. ‘world peace’ peanut muscovado milk shots- literally a shot of PB milk. Yummy, but not super special.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my meal. We tried a wide variety of food (obviously too much) but had an amazing time. The flavors were all unique and everything felt like it had been given a lot of thought and consideration. I will definitely, definitely be back again!
Rating: 5 out of 5- would come back in a heart beat!