Angler

Dinner – Sunday, May 9, 2021

We dropped by Angler a few times in 2020, when it took a turn as Saison Smokehouse (good, not great), and for some of their holiday take-home dinners (fun). However, Mother’s Day seemed like an appropriate time to return for a meal with the family, at a restaurant I had not dined on-site at in over two years. The restaurant was buzzing both indoors and out, where we were seated in the middle of their sprawling space.

Bigeye tuna, tomato jelly, shiso
One of the mainstays on the menu, and this one hasn’t missed a beat. The seasoned rice cracker is still the perfect vessel for the cool tartare and jelly. Intense flavours to kick off our evening.

Antelope tartare, egg yolk sauce

Parker House rolls, cultured seaweed butter

Slowly-grilled maitake
A more robust iteration than one I’ve been served in the past – the sauce below had a pleasant, slow-burn spice that complemented the meaty mushroom very well.

Hand-dived scallops
Next to the bigeye tuna, these (relatively pricey, at $13/pop) scallops were my top bites of the evening. Top-notch quality and perfectly cooked.

Angler potato, sauce of Sonoma cheeses
Grilled brassicas with garum

Spot prawns
Five prawns between two adults is a form of torture, I think. Perhaps they intended one for the child. They were mistaken. These were fantastic, with a broth redolent of the shellfish and the flesh barely cooked.

Chocolate bar

Soft-serve sundae, embered caramel, cocoa nibs
Absolutely nothing wrong with this perpetual crowd pleaser. We actually had one of these as a takeout dessert last Fall, but there’s no substitute for having it “fresh”.

Navigate the maze of their outdoor dining area, then in the front door, through the large indoor space, and finally you reach the restrooms. I use this as a way to note the number of guests that Angler serves each evening. It turns out that the restaurant’s special power is their ability to deliver quality at scale, something I hadn’t sufficiently appreciated previously. It’s quite remarkable, really – a testament to agile sourcing and the wonders of mise en place, I suppose. I also rather enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the Embarcadero (it muffled the noises of our child), so we’ll certainly return soon.

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