Oven-roasted clams with sake butter, padrons and sweet corn
(1 of 8)
Smoked king salmon with local fennela and creme fraiche
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Fries dusted with Furikake, a Japanese spice blend
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Extreme close-up of Fog City's burger
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King oyster mushrooms with pimento-paprike "stew"
(5 of 8)
Half trout on a plank with arbequina olives
(6 of 8)
Pork cheeks with bacon-braised beans and soft polenta
(7 of 8)
French crullers, scented with orange
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Now just about a week old, the new Fog City restaurant on the Embarcadero is enjoying a nice early buzz. Tuesday night, the restaurant’s buttery brown leather booths were full to the max, and I couldn’t find one party of tourists among them. For a restaurant on the Embarcadero that used to trap visitors to San Francisco with its historic charms and overpriced Cioppino, it’s surprising to see this new incarnation as Fog City catch on so quickly with the local set.
No more fish and chips, no more truffle fries, the menu is now a production of Real Restaurant Group, which also runs Bix, Zero Zero, Betelnut and nine other Bay Area restaurants. The menu is divided into $6 snacks, and sharable plates divided into three simple categories: vegetables, seafood and meat.
As we mentioned earlier, the burgers, fries, French crullers and custard are bound to get people talking here—but what I discovered this week was the strong global influence running through the menu. There is Japanese Furikake seasoning on the French fries, for example, and Thai bird chilies are laced into a dish of pole beans.
Surprisingly, some of the best dishes the kitchen has to offer come from the vegetables section. There are King oyster mushrooms surrounded with a vibrant red heart pepper-paprika sauce, and gorgeous top-on carrots lapped in a sweet-tangy black garlic molé. My only complaint? More sauce, please. You could eat that molé by the spoonful. I’d also recommend a spoon for the wood oven clams, which come in a sake butter studded with corn and onions. Scoop up the sauce and dabble it into hunks of Panorama garlic bread. The clams are the icing on top. Check out a few more food shots in the gallery above and don’t hesitate to write in and tell us about your favorite menu item at Fog City. If you’re in the mood for a bit of nostalgia, threaded with modern Californian comfort food, Fog City is worth the trip.