I only had one dinner pre-set before our trip so most of the dinners were kind of – see how we feel, where and if we want to walk, how hungry or hangry we were. Someplace between Orlando and San Francisco as I caught up on my magazine reading I ran across an article about Trick Dog, a mostly speakeasy styled bar serving a small menu. I thought, well, that sounds good. So, on our last night we jumped into a cab and gave the address. The cabbie said something to the effect that it would be hard to get a cab back and that put a bit of drama into my mind but not enough to stop us. Then, Trick Dog has no sign and no real clues as to what is inside and I could tell that he wasn’t at all sure that he should drop us off having passed some rather intense gathering of locals out for the evening. But he did and we walked in. It doesn’t really have a restaurant vibe. We went upstairs and were seated on the balcony where we could watch all the cool kids drinking complicated cocktails. There were only maybe eight or nine tables and it was industrially rustic. From what I had read the bar menu was printed on Pantone color-chip books-this to me, is the height of cool. But, I missed the Pantone books as the bar menu had recently been changed to 1950’s books of 45s with each drink printed on it’s own 45. I ordered a ‘Bad Girl’ which was a St George Botanivore Gin with sherry, plum, lime & sencha soda. It had a sage leaf floating in it and was ridiculously delicious. So lightly sweet and fluffy. I loved it. We ordered a starter to share of something I will not claim to have ever eaten before, peaches & cottage cheese. Now, I actually like cottage cheese as a rule, but this was over the top good. I previously really only ever sprinkled it with pepper. This had grilled peached, honey, ras al hanout and pistachios. I loved the creamy dense cottage cheese with the char on the fruit and honey on the plate. Actually, I need to try that at home. Soon. I wasn’t sure I needed to eat a full dinner and as a result went totally off the rails and ordered thrice cooked fries manimal style. Super crunchy fries topped with this goo that they riffed from In and Out burger which is piled with some random american cheesy thousand island dressingy mess. Honestly. Z ordered a rice plate which was essentially deconstructed fried rice in a way that no take-out restaurant can compete with. A fried cake of sticky rice with chewy shiitakes, pickled carrot and daikons, and ginger chicken. Who thinks of this stuff. The shiitakes were amazing and the chicken had the best flavor. We ordered a scoop of burnt popcorn ice cream to finish just because it was billed as burnt popcorn. Really it tasted of roasted caramel and some kind of a corn finish. I am guessing they steep caramel corn in the ice cream base and then strain before they churn it. Just a hint of burned caramel and salty finish. Lovely. A food experience I would like to have more often.
We got the name of a cab company from our server, paid our check and went down to wait on the sidewalk. This was a bit of magic in itself as Z spied a teeny tiny red door into the building where I am sure the Littles or a mouse with a motorcycle reside. The cab whisked us breathlessly off towards home.