[San Francisco, Lower Pacific Heights] Octavia

Octavia, in Lower Pacific Heights, is a restaurant from chef Melissa Perello, who is also behind Frances in the Castro. I’m a pretty big fan of Frances so had been wanting to try this place for awhile. They have one Michelin star.

Unlike Frances, Octavia doesn’t have a bar for walk-ins, though I think they keep a few tables open for them. I managed to walk in as a solo diner and get a seat at a table.

I had:

chilled SQUID INK NOODLES, cortez bottarga, fennel, lemon agrumato ($7)

Off the snack sized part of the menu. I thought this was great. Spaghetti sized squid ink noodles, Nice chew, al dente. Served cold and covered with a slightly creamy sauce, with salty brininess from the bottarga bits.

TAGLIATELLE, sea urchin butter, confît jolly tomato, shishito & pangrattato ($18)

Nice al dente pasta, with fresh vegetables in the shishito and cherry tomatoes. My only quibble was that there wasn’t much uni flavor in the uni butter, but it did have a nice umami-ness. Also had some crispy bread crumbs for a change in texture.

grilled PORK LOIN, roasted fig, grilled eggplant purée, sunchoke & watercress ($35)

I asked my server what she liked between the salmon and the pork loin, and she immediately responded with the pork loin. I guess thats the thing to get. This was very good as well. Medium rare and a little pink in the middle. Quite tender, juicy, and porky. Kind of like the excellent pork chop thats on the menu sometimes at Frances. Also had a few sweet figs, a couple sunchokes, a nice creamy eggplant sauce, and some crispy fried mushrooms(?).

Warm Chocolate Soufflé TART, cocoa nib brittle, salted caramel ice cream ($11)

A delicious dessert. The tart was kind of like a molten chocolate cake, with a warm liquid interior. Ice cream was a nice cool complement but wasn’t super caramel-y or salty. Nice crispy pieces of chocolate brittle.

Delicious meal. Very similar to Frances in price and quality.

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Making noodles. Phongdien Town, Cantho City, Southern Vietnam.
Credit: CiaoHo