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A classic reinvention

By Jan Newberry, Photograph by Sara Remington | November 19, 2008 | Story

Charles Phan doesn't believe in children's menus. At his café in San Francisco's new Academy of Sciences, there's no pandering to picky eaters: Kids and their keepers are expected to choose from a menu that draws from around the globe. Selections include the chef's signature Vietnamese pho and imperial rolls from his Slanted Door restaurant, Lebanese lentil-and-pumpkin stew, Moroccan lamb tajine, and what just may be the best carnitas tacos in the city. But in a gesture of compromise for those whose tastes don't venture far beyond PB&J, Phan offers a sandwich of almond butter and jam. Spread between thick slices of Acme Bread's pain de mie, the rich, toasty-flavored almond butter and the not-too-sweet strawberry jam are both made in-house. The result is a grown-up take on a childhood staple that makes even the fussiest eater seem like a culinary sophisticate. Academy of Sciences: 55 Music Concourse Dr., Golden Gate Park, S.F., 415-379-8000


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