Ssal - San Francisco (Russian Hill)

One would expect that once a restaurant receives a Michelin star it gets well known and has a lot of publicity. But sometimes it seems even a Michelin star restaurant kind of still flies a bit under the radar. Here in San Francisco Ssal is such an example. Run by a husband and wife team it delivers a great modern, fine dining interpretation of Korean food through a California lens. Overall great ambience in a small, simple but inviting space with outstanding service. Thoughtful and well executed dishes with interesting connections to Korea and family, including sesame oil made in very small amounts by the father of the chef or a live tank in the back for their signature dish. This restaurant deserves to be more widely known and it will be interesting to see how the menu evolves over the seasons.

Island Creek oyster, choujang, brown butter

Yukhoe, kaluga caviar, father’s sesame oil

American live eel, gamtae seaweed

Dry-aged sea bream, angelica, perilla oil

Dungeness crab juk, sea urchin, semogasari

Diver scallop, kimpo yaegu, fava beans, trout roe

Ssal x Arsicault bakery croissant, injeolmi, honey butter

Wild jeju galchi, gold queen III, maeuntang, firefly squid, crysanthemum, kimchi, cornichon

Wolfe ranch quail, red ginseng, bokbunja

Toasted sweet rice, albion strawberry, mugwort

Barley tea

Yuja chiboust, matcha cake

Nurunji date cracker, injeolmi chouquette

Leathered kumquat, omija pate de fruit

Market fruit