Turntable at Lord Stanley in San Francisco

At the end of February we went to celebrate my husband’s birthday at Turntable at Lord Stanley. Lord Stanley is a creative restaurant in SF. Last time we were there was several years ago for my birthday and we had a fantastic meal. Post-pandemic the restaurant has been reimagined as a restaurant where every month an up and coming chef collaborates with the Lord Stanley chefs for a tasting menu. For the month of February the collaborating chef was Eric Huang from Pecking Restaurant in NY. I am jaded and picky about high-end restaurant meals but our meal was excellent.

The dungeness crab lions head soup was elegant and flavorful and an excellent way to start the meal.

The Shrimp and chive dumpling was one the the best things I have eaten all year

The rest of the meal was excellent. The only dish that missed the mark for us was the almond custard which had a gummy texture and artificial flavor that molecular gastronomy desserts can sometimes have. The olive oil cake desert was excellent. We have reservations for March where the collaborating chef is Kevin Law.


George - at a slight tangent, do you know anything of the history of the “Lord Stanley” name? Stanley is the family name of the Earls of Derby. The 17th Earl had a close connection with northwest England and was Secretary of State for War during WW1. I’m wondering if it’s the same family.

Very interesting. I am not sure if the family is related.

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The owners met in Oxfordshire and supposedly the restaurant is named after their favorite pub.

Regarding Turntable, I think the Pecking House menu was probably my least favorite of all of them so far, although that’s mostly a matter of personal taste. I did like the ma po menudo. (I liked the opening 3 months of Argentinian chefs most, especially Mecha from Cafe San Juan.) They’re still doing the take out fried chicken for this month, which is worth checking out if they have it available or you’re organized enough to make reservations for takeout. There’s a couple tables outside where you can eat it.

Thanks splonk

Just went for the immi SF popup that is hosted there right now and it is really superb.

We went back to Lord stanley this past weekend. The guest chef was Maxime Pradié. Form the website:

"Maxime’s experience in cutting-edge kitchens is balanced by his love of historical recipes and the time-intensive, but infinitely satisfying, style of cooking native to Southwestern France and Lombardy where his family hails from. "

The dinner was excellent.

Started with Oysters which were fresh and very satisfying and accentuated with the slightest hint of licorice from fresh fennel flowers.

Panisse with Crème Fraîche and Bottarga. The Panisse (chickpea fritter) was light and airy and the bottarga added a depth of flavor

Sardines stuffed with swiss chard, pine nuts and currants. This was good but maybe the weakest dish of the evening. The stuffing was slightly bland and under seasoned and the sardines themselves were very assertive tasting.

Celeriac and watercress soup with caviar. this was a supplement and we shared one. The briny caviar was the perfect seasoning for this satisfying soup.

Handmade pasta with chicken ragù and wild mushrooms. Excellent! The pasta itself was outstanding and toothsome. The overall dish was very homey and comforting.

Slow roasted lamb’s leg with anchovy, shelling beans, chicories. Maybe our favorite dish of the evening. The beans themselves were delicious. The greens were vibrant and very satisfying. The beans and the chicories were so good they would have been outstanding as stand alone dishes. The lamb was moist, smokey and perfectly cooked.

Puff pastry, frangipane, sunchoke caramel. I am not a fan of overly sweet desserts and this one was perfectly balanced. Flaky pastry with a delicious almond flavored moist filling. Excellent!


I made the post so my text was interspersed with the pictures but it doesn’t seem to have worked.

On my iPhone, there’s a single picture object with arrows to scroll left or right through remaining photos.

Turntable x Em

I had a great dinner at Turntable at Lord Stanley, which is currently hosting chef Lucho Martinez of Em in Mexico City. I’d been to Em (named after Chef Martinez’s daughter) once during a first trip to CDMX back in December of last year, and it was one of the highlights of my trip there.

There were two options for dinner, a four course menu ($85) and a full tasting menu ($140) which is what I had. I also added the beverage pairing. There is also a 20% gratuity added to the bill.

The tasting menu had about 8 courses:

Kanpachi, soy, shiso
Borachio ‘Pash Rash’ Sparkling Pinot Noir Rosé, Adelaide Hills, Australia 2022
The first dish was a piece of kanpachi sashimi, on top of a paste made of sesame, soy, and squid ink. There was a slice of chiltepin pepper on top of the fish for a little heat. Delicious. The paste underneath had a lot of umami flavor, and there was also a little citrus for acidity. Everything worked well together.

Dungeness crab, carrot, guajilli, trout roe
Fond Cypres ‘Le Blanc des Garennes’ Grenache + Viognier, Corbières, France 2020
An example of chef’s Mexican and Japanese influences, this was a “taco” made of crispy rice cracker, filled with a guajillo chili spiced cold Dungeness crab salad. Topped with a generous amount of smoked trout roe and chives. Delicious!

White asparagus, miso, uni, bottarga
Den ‘Red Label #3’ Junmai Ginjo Sake, Oakland, California
My waiter said this was his favorite dish on the menu. A white asparagus all the way from the Loire valley in France, compression(?) cooked (maybe sous-vide?), with a “sabayon” made of miso, uni, sake, and topped with shaved bottarga. Also delicious. The delicate asparagus still had some crunch to it, and the sauce was creamy with acidity from the sake. Could definitely taste the uni in there as well. This was paired with a sake made locally in Oakland using rice from Sacramento.

Camerones zarandeado, noisette butter caesar
Scythians Lopez Vineyard Palomino, Cucamonga Valley, California 2021
Next, some prawns. Fantastic! Perfectly cooked head on prawns split down the middle, seasoned in a style typical of zarendeado fish, which is a dish of butterflied grilled fish seasoned with a spicy chili citrus marinade. Only with prawns here. I could have eaten a whole plate of these. The prawns were amped up by the umami rich “Caesar” noisette butter that apparently contained olive and anchovy. This was paired with a sherry like wine that went great with the prawns.

Halibut, smoked dashi, peas
Emme ‘Pink Lemonade’ Red+ White Field Blend, Redwood Valley, CA 2022
Another great dish! The halibut was replaced with red snapper, maybe they ran out of halibut. The fish was wrapped in savoy cabbage. Underneath was a super rich umami dashi that had some smokiness and also quite a bit of a kick from habanero. The English peas were a good complement to the rich dashi - fresh, a little crunchy, and sweet. The fish was nicely cooked. I kind of regret not adding caviar for an extra $25 but that would have been gilding the lily :slight_smile:

Strip loin, king trumpet, black garlic, frijoles puercos
Stagiaire ‘Consitency in Chaos’ Syrah, Sonoma, California 2021
The final savory course was a meaty steak dish. Great! The “frijoles puercos” were puréed beans with chorizo, very rich and meaty and a little smoky. There were meaty trumpet mushrooms along with morels. The strip loin steak was cooked medium rare and was quite beefy and a little chewy, with a little sauce or gravy that I think had the black garlic in it. On the side were some grilled broccolini (one of my favorite vegetables) topped with a creamy salsa verde.

Stone fruit & tamarind
A nice refreshing stone fruit sorbet, topped with a tamarind sauce and a dusting of chili powder. The flavors were reminiscent I think of a Mexican fruit cup, with sweet and sour from the tamarind and savory from the chili.

Rosita de cacao, chocolate, moritas
Rare Wine Co. Savannah Verdelho Special Reserve, Madeira, Portugal NV
Rosita de cacao is a spice (not related to the cocoa plant) that is used in flavoring the Oaxacan corn and coca drink tejate (thanks Google). There was a dark chocolate mousse base, then a light mousse on top of that, and then a chocolate cookie-like layer on top of that. Very nice.

A pineapple pâte de fruit and a coconut truffle.

Great meal! Standouts were the prawns, the crab “taco”, the asparagus, the cabbage wrapped fish in dashi, and really everything was delicious. Turntable x Em ends this Saturday, June 17, but it will be followed by a collaboration with chef Tristan Newman of another of Chef Martinez’s restaurants - Martinez.


Turntable x Kinn

Lord Stanley is currently hosting chef Ki Kim of Kinn in Los Angeles through September 2. Kinn is a modern Korean influenced restaurant. More info about chef Kim here.

There is an a la carte menu as well as a tasting menu, and I had the tasting menu ($144).

The tasting menu:

수박 Compressed Watermelon
The amuse bouche was a cube of compressed watermelon, with yuzu gel, almond, and some grated parmigiano reggiano. Concentrated watermelon flavor, with some saltiness from the parm and a little crunch from the almond. Very refreshing.

와규 육회 Beef Tartare
Wagyu tartare with bugak (seaweed) chips and sunchoke purée. Delicious chopped tender beef with crunchy chips, and the sunchoke purée had a lot of umami flavor.

토마토 깻잎 샐러드 Tomato & Perilla Salad
Summer cherry tomatoes, burrata, roe (I think salmon/trout), perilla sorbet, sea beans, and jelly made with tomato water. No picture because I forgot to take one before eating it :frowning: which is a shame because it was very nice looking. Imagine cherry tomatoes halves topped with a little burrata cheese and trout roe and sea beans, and in the center an oval of greenish colored perilla sorbet. Underneath was a clear jelly that tasted of tomatoes. A cool taste of summer. Nice tomatoes.

크리스피 문어 Crispy Octopus
Octopus braised in a flavorful stock, coated lightly with corn flour and fried, with a sauce that had gochugaru and also some flavor from the octopus head. This was fantastic! The best dish of the night for me. My waiter said it was the best octopus he had ever had and I have to agree. The octopus was meltingly tender, the most tender octopus I’ve had, with a light crispy crust. The sauce was not spicy but was quite flavorful and rich. So good!

고등어 숯불구이 Grilled Mackerel
Mackerel grilled on charcoal, with grated horseradish, perilla oil, daikon, and kimchi.
Very nice, just a hint of smokiness from the grill. Meaty mackerel perfectly cooked. And some bite from the shaved horseradish.

캐비아 국수 Caviar & Oyster Noodle (+$44)
I added this supplement. Flattish udon noodles in a creamy sauce made with oysters, Dijon mustard, and cream. And topped with a dollop of caviar. A simple dish that highlighted the caviar. Delicious sauce and toothsome noodles. Worth the extra $44? Maybe? YOLO.

양고기 안장 Lamb Saddle
Lamb saddle with Bing cherries and kimchi. There is a sauce in a middle that was a chili crisp made with gochugaru chilies - this was added tableside. At the top was something that tasted a bit like a pesto. Delicious! Slightly pleasantly gamey lamb that was very tender and flavorful. The chili crisp was nice and had a lot of umami flavor. On the left side was some more crispy lamb, maybe some of the skin? It was a little crispy and fatty.

쌈밥 Ssambap
This was the final savory course and was brought out by chef Kim. Ssamjang flavored rice with pork belly bulgogi, squash blossoms. Ssamjang is a sauce made with gochujang (sweet fermented chili paste), doenjang (a salty fermented soybean paste similar to miso), and other flavorings. Also delicious. This was a nicely cooked rice bowl with pork in a delicious ssamjang that I believe is house made, topped with some delicious squash blossoms.

과일 Market Fruit
First dessert was simply slices of sweet ripe firm pluot. Yum.

오미자 Omija
Second dessert. Omjia / magnolia berry tea flavored shaved ice, a layer of milk ice cream, and a strawberry lemon foam. Light as a cloud with a little body from the ice cream. Quite refreshing.

I didn’t write down what everything was, but top left was a chocolate tart with a topping made with condensed milk.

Another great meal at Turntable. I like their approach of hosting great chefs from around the country and around the world, as it allows one living here to taste their cookery without having to book a flight!

Also here’s the a la carte menu:


For those interested, Turntable will be reverting back to Lord Stanley in October (under their chef de cuisine, who’s had a couple turns at Turntable with his own menu.) Nick Balla (ex-Bar Tartine) will be coming back to town for the September menu. Sounds like the Turntable concept of rotating chefs is going to be doing some popups in LA and Sonoma.

Here’s the menu for September from their email:


During pandemic times restaurants had different approaches to survive these challenging times - Lord Stanley https://www.lordstanleysf.com/ came up with a continuous guest chef system where every few weeks/months a new external chef took over the kitchen and showcased his/her cuisine through tasting menu and a la carte option.
More recently Chef Ki Kim from Restaurant Kinn in LA https://kinn.la/ was guest chef which promised an interesting mix of western and Korean/asian influences - something we really tend to enjoy and so it was time to finally with Turntable at Lord Stanley
Overall it was a really night with excellent dishes which didn’t try to force “fusion” into the cuisine but had very sensible and thoughtful combinations which worked extremely well and felt natural - some of the highlights included the beef tartare with sunchoke puree, tomato salad (with perilla ice cream),crispy octopus (melting tender yet super crispy), caviar & oyster noodles, ssambap with pork belly bulgogi and blossom flowers and the omija dessert.
Lord Stanley will have one more guest chef with Nick Balla of Bar Tartine fame, before it will revert back to a “classical” restaurant with focus on French and Asian flavors.

Compressed watermelon, yuzu, almond, parmesan

Beef tartare, sunchoke, seaweed

Tomato & perilla salad, burrata, salmon roe,

Crispy octopus, gochugaru

Grilled trout, white kimchi, horseradish, perilla

Caviar & oyster noodles,

Dry-aged duck, pesto, yu choy, peach

Ssambap, pork belly, squash blossoms

Market fruit - pluot

Omija, milk ice cream, strawberry lemonade



Turntable x Nick Balla

I had another delicious dinner at Turntable at Lord Stanley in its last incarnation before transitioning back to Lord Stanley. The chef this time is Nick Balla, formerly of Bar Tartine in the Mission and the more casual Duna. Now chef at COAST Big Sur Café in Big Sur. I’d enjoyed meals at both Bar Tartine and Duna before they closed and was looking forward to trying chef Balla’s Eastern European influenced cuisine and fermentation experiments.

There is an a la carte menu and also a tasting menu for $130 / $210 with beverage pairings. I had the tasting menu.

Koji rye sourdough, smoked onion miso butter
Pickles - cucumber, mushroom, green bean, carrot

Maison Crochet Pet Native Sparkling Auxerrois, Lorraine, France NV
Chef Balla started pickling some of these vegetables about a year ago when he was booked for Turntable.

Pickled green beans, carrots, and cabbage.

Japanese cucumbers in a cream sauce, which were creamy and lightly sour.

Mushrooms (wood ear?) lightly pickled with garlic. Nice bouncy texture, and quite savory. This was my favorite of the pickles.

And also a delicious slice of sprouted sourdough rye along with a light butter with onion and miso for more umami.

Rainbow trout, beet, horseradish, roe
Dan Marioni Chardonnay, Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma, CA 2022
A rich tender piece of koji cured Mt. Lassen trout. On the bottom was a horseradish cream that only had a bit of bite, and there were I think some dried beets that had a concentrated sweetness and a chewy texture. Topped with some Tsar Nicoulai trout roe. Very nice.

Liptauer paprika cheese, sesame crackers
Vaskapu Kadarka, Pécs, Hungary 2021
Liptauer is a spicy cheese spread. A delicious paprika spiced cheese spread drizzled with paprika oil. Light in texture. This came with crunchy sesame coated bread sticks. The pairing for this dish was a Kadarka wine which is apparently a classic pairing with liptauer.

Tsar Nicolai Reserve Caviar
potato bread, onion, dill, sour cream
optional course +30, with pairing +44

Edgar Brutler Sisu Sparkling Grünspitz, Transylvania, Romania NV
I added this on because YOLO. A “street food” inspired fried potato bread, topped with cultured cream, dill, and caviar. A nice fried bread that had some sourdough flavor and was a little puffy, with kind of a crème fraîche like spread with dill and the dollop of caviar. Delicious.

Egg noodles, blistered tomatoes, túró cheese, bottarga
Irual ‘Bloom Phase’ Grenache + Pinot Gris, Oregon 2022
This was probably my favorite dish of the dinner. The sauce on the bottom was an emulsion of tomato with the túró cheese, and the egg noodles were a bit like skinny späetzle. This was topped with some bottarga/cured mullet roe from a mullet that chef Balla’s father had caught about ten years ago. Delicious!

Sofia Salad, lentil sprouts, whipped feta cheese
Abeles Cabernet Franc + Zweigelt Rosé, Somló, Hungary 2021
A salad named after the capital of Bulgaria. Quite a hearty salad, with a base of whipped feta with dill, and then tomatoes in a light vinaigrette, and then sprouted lentils. Very nice.

Gulyas - short rib, potato, pepper, onion, paprika
Peter Wetzer Kékfrankos, Sopron, Hungary 2021
The last savory dish was a gulyas made with short rib cooked 48 hours sous-vide, Jimmy Nardello peppers, and a broth of chicken and beef stock with lots of paprika. Also delicious, kind of a light stew. The short ribs were quite tender but still had some chew to them. Big hit of paprika from the broth.

Madártej, peach, noyaux
This is apparently based on the Hungarian version of a floating island. It had a sweet potato custard, an “egg soufflé” which I think was a meringue, and some peach sauce.

Palacsinta crêpe, pink pearl apple, sorghum, hazelnut
Barta Furmint Sweet Szamorodni, Tokaj, Hungary 2013
A crêpe made with sorghum grown by the chef with hibiscus, filled with a hazelnut filling, and a sweet apple thing on the right. Pleasantly rough textured crêpe, tasted a bit like a buckwheat crêpe.

An “everything” foraged cookie, and a mango coconut truffle.



Great photos as always and (also as always) I am deeply, deeply envious of your capacity. And yay for YOLO!!


We are going later this month. We used to LOVE Bar Tartine. Not just the food but the warm service and non-pretentious relaxed atmosphere. Looking forward to our upcoming meal at Lord Stanley with Nick Balla.


Last guest chef at Turntable at Lord Stanley this month before they will become a “regular” restaurant again - Nick Balla of fermentation and Bar Tartine fame.
He has an interesting background as he lived also in Hungary when in high school and so this night was an unique exploration of eastern Europe cuisine with many fermented components.
Overall very good dishes throughout the tasting menu, perhaps a little bit heavy on the bread based dishes (but not surprising with the eastern Europe theme). The desserts were good but didn’t reach the high level of the savory dishes.
Now we are looking forward to the return of Lord Stanley and also a future visit to Nick Balla’s cafe in Big Sur

Koji rye sourdough, smoked onion miso butter, pickles - cucumber, mushrooms, dill brined vegetables

Rainbow trout, beet, horseradish, roe

Liptauer paprika cheese, sesame cracker

Tsar Nicolai reserve caviar, potato bread, onion, dill, sour cream

Beef tartare, buckwheat sprouts, preserved eggplants, sesame, sumac

egg noodles, blistered tomatoes, turo cheese, bottarga

Sofia salad, lentil sprouts, whipped feta cheese

Gulyas - short rib, potato, pepper, onion, paprika

Madartej, peach, noyaux, fig

Palacsinta crepe, pink pearl apple, sorghum, hazelnut

“Cheese cookie”


FYI: Turntable is back to a pop-up, as Lord Stanley’s has reopened with a new menu and new chef. Per the LS website:

Beginning Thursday, October 5th, LORD STANLEY is back as a ‘Californian Bistro de Luxe’. Chef de Cuisine Nathan Matkowsky will create a rotating house menu showcasing his love of French cuisine with Asian influences. Both à la carte and tasting menus will give homage to Old School Bistro de Luxe style.

As always, check out our to-go options including comforting food that Nathan likes to eat, such as Korean Fried Chicken. Pastry Chef Harper Zapf will present an extensive selection of Parisian chocolates, patisseries and cakes. Our natural wine list will continue to be curated by Wine Director Louisa Smith. Highlighting small producers, adding in wines on tap served by the carafe, and fun twists on low-proof cocktails.


Turntable is on the road again… We are popping up in Santa Rosa at the FLAMINGO RESPORT Lazeaway Club!!! Reserve for the month of October featuring Chefs Susan Kim (10/2 - 10/15) and Amanda Maneesilasan (10/16 - 10/29).

Come and visit us in Santa Rosa!

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