Review by Alex Terwilliger
So here's what we think...
At the helm of Cockscomb is Chris Cosentino, a celebrity chef who’s cooking largely features offal (organ meats). If you’re not an adventurous eater though, don’t let that scare you away. The offerings here are diverse enough to have something for everyone, from the raw bar, right down to the pig’s ears…
You’ll need to request modifications, since many dishes are served with bread, but the staff are friendly and happy to accommodate changes. We started with the beef heart tartare, which was super flavorful with onions and capers, and served with lettuce cups in lieu of grilled bread. For main courses, the two of us shared three plates, which was definitely more than we could finish, but a great way to sample a variety of dishes. I’ll start by telling you about the fish and chips, which I think of as something usually off limits to the GF crowd. This one is made with a masa batter though, and is fried in its own fryer, so there’s no risk of cross contamination. Most interesting is that this isn’t your regular fish and chips made with cod or some other white flaky fish. It’s done with chunks of albacore, which were tender, moist, and paired wonderfully with the classic sides of malt vinegar and tartar sauce. The “chips” were super crispy chunks of potato, that I shamelessly doused in the malt vinegar. The “ham” burger was made with pork meat, making it yet another creative riff on a classic. We ordered it “protein-style” on a bed of lettuce, and didn’t miss the bread at all. The vegetarian main we had was just as exciting as the meat and fish dishes, and may have even been my favorite since I’m a veggie-lover. The ember roasted eggplant with goat’s milk feta, Armenian cucumber, oregano and red onion, had a Middle-Eastern feel to it, and was a welcome accompaniment to the fried and meat-heavy dishes. Last but not least, a side of duck-fat cauliflower with red fresno and mint, from the “daily requirements” section of the menu, was indeed a dish not to be missed.
Since it was lunch time, I skipped the cocktail list, but next time around I’ll definitely be ordering either the High Anxiety, with tequila and ginger beer, or the Blue Jasmine, with gin and aperol. Tucked on a side street right off of 4th Street in SoMa, Cockscomb is ideal for a weekday lunch splurge, whether with friends or for a lunch meeting, and is just as suitable for dinner should you find yourself in the area.