State Bird Provisions is another San Francisco restaurant that is notorious for its insane wait times. Restaurant go-ers must make a reservation 3 months in advance, with every slot filling up as soon as its available online. The trick is to line up before 5pm and wait 30 mins until it opens to be the first seated.
State Bird has a Michelin Star, and is one of the most sought after restaurants in SF. The best way to describe their cuisine, which a hostess stated during my visit, is “Californian cuisine served dim sum style.”
While the space itself isn’t that large, the servers bring around dishes on trays and carts, allowing customers to grab the plates they desire rather than ordering everything off of a menu. While they still have certain items on the menu, such as larger entrees, the charm of State Bird is to be able to eat what you see. Each tray comes around with a price tag, but be careful – it can add up quick.
The majority of items being carried around on trays and on the carts were small bites and appetizers, like the Trout Dip with homemade potato chips above.
Another small bite was the soup dumpling, which albeit it’s large size, was a great texture but lacked strong flavor. Below are the Hog Island Oysters with Kohlrabi Kraut and sesame seeds. The oysters were great but the Kohlrabi Kraut was an interesting topping to a fresh oyster.
Below is the ‘Croque Madam,’ with duck ham and cheddar atop a whole grain pancake. While the duck was great, the portions were a bit small. This item was on the menu.
Some of the other small dishes we enjoyed were the Pork Belly and Sausage.
Below are the Pork Ribs with Black Bean Sauce and Black Garlic. These were very flavorful, and I wish there were more in one serving!
Below is the Duck Confit Fried Rice, also ordered from the menu, which might be the best dish we had. The dish was hearty, the duck was cooked well, and there were a multitude of different flavors and tastes, from the furikake to the fried onions and the tender mushrooms.
For dessert, we ordered the Cream Puff with blueberry compote and the Almond ‘Ice Cream’ Macaron Sandwich, with almond ice cream, nuts, and cherry. The ice cream sandwich, along with the Duck Confit Fried Rice, were the highlights of the meal.
The best part about State Bird Provisions is the fact that you can see the options first and grab whatever you want to eat, and the menu is always changing. The family style plates are great for sharing, and the surprise of what’s coming out of the kitchen next keeps the meal fun and interesting. While the dishes were all great, they didn’t seem to follow much of a theme, and there didn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason between the courses. I’m glad I came, but Liholiho still holds the #1 spot!
1529 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115