Aster [1001 Guerrero, SF]

A great old friend on a work trip took me and my 10 y/o to Aster this week. Guerrero @ 22nd has been seemingly doomed for the last several years even though it’s a perfect corner location. I’m hoping Aster will break the curse. We all felt that the $59 prix fixe for 4 courses was a very nice price for the quality of the food. A standout for me was cold golden beet soup with squid ink breadcrumbs and some other yum crunchy things. The 10 y/o ate sweetbreads for the first time–they were excellent. We all ordered different things and rotated dishes and tasted everything. There was a delicate and beautiful halibut presentation, milk-fed lamb, and some great potato dumplings. Standout dessert was pieces chocolate ganache served with incredible burnt sugar ice cream. (Avoid the Tomme Dolce dessert–it’s a not very interesting cheese paired with some elements that don’t work.)

Even the bread and butter (both made in-house) were outstanding. The place became pretty full on a Tuesday night, so it looks like things are looking up for this address.

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Yeah. It just seems like some restaurants catch on and some don’t. Most of the time, we can pin-point to a reason - it makes sense (poor food, bad management, poor service, boring menu). However, sometime it does not sense. I wrote about a small Chinese restaurant in the Philadelphia board. Same problem. Everything seems to be ok, except not a lot of customers.

I think this is why these food boards (like HungryOnion) are so important. It help the potential customers and the restaurants too.

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Nice report!

The standout from a visit in June was potato-black pepper dumplings, maitake, peas, and turnips. Fluffy and firm gnocchi-like dumplings. In that dish and a young garlic soup with olive oil croutons, pickled fennel, lemon, I was very pleased with, as Atomica put it, all the “yum crunchy things.”

We had a tough time getting in there for a while, then scored a weeknight seat before popping into more casual Hoffman’s Grill across the street.

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I would say start a separate thread, but how is Hoffman’s?