Dirty Water [SF-Civic Center, Mission & 9th]

Always wondered what all the fuss was about at this place, and finally got a chance to visit a couple of weeks ago for happy hour. Great service but for one hiccup.

I ordered an old fashioned off the happy hour menu, and didn’t ask for a substitute, so I think the bourbon was good old Bulleit. No matter, the drink was well-made and a generous pour.

We then asked for the vadouvan Brussels sprouts leaves, which were pretty interesting with a healthy spice kick, and also the mixture of shishito and padron peppers, which were done to perfection with just a touch of sea salt flakes. Mighty good for happy hour bites.

And then, we proceeded to get the lamb chops, which had a strange smell to them. My friend asked me if I thought they were spoilt, turns out they were extremely gamy for some reason. I mentioned this to the server who pretty much brushed it off, the only low point of service that evening.

The place was extremely full by the time we left and was positively buzzing. I will be back for happy hour but I’m not ordering those lamb chops again!

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold