If you’ve ever wondered what lamb lollipops and pea mash have in common, here’s your answer:
They both appear on the same menu of one very inviting and satisfying San Francisco dining establishment. After numerous occasions of walking past the Castro-adjacent corner of 16th and Sanchez, examining the window-posted menu, and telling myself I need to give this place a go, last night it finally happened. Excellent company in tow for an early (17:30) sitdown, Tangerine deliciously delighted our evening.
As you’ve certainly heard me say before, I always love a restaurant that instantly earns a return visit. Unfortunately this is all too often not the case. As such, after a couple rather forgettable meals in the same neighborhood over the past week alone, last night’s last-minute selection proved all the more refreshing.
Lamb lollipops, intriguing by name alone, come through as a creatively substantial though thankfully not-too-filling starter. Butternut squash soup, rich in both flavor and portion, in itself might satiate a light consumer. Tangerine’s fried calamari is nothing unusual, rather bland in fact, while their standard yet still-zesty whole romaine caesar salad lacks whole anchovies. Both have their places on the table nonetheless. My spicy seafood gumbo emerged a clear winner, striking a pleasing balance of salmon, shrimp, calamari and diced vegetables. The most visually stimulating presentation of our meal was the large salmon fillet, nestled into a bed of richly seasoned pea mash that looks just like, well, pea green mashed potatoes! So full were the three of us, that we regretfully passed on the coconut sorbet, this time.
Tangerine wins, and your dissatisfaction would come as a shock. No doubt the pleasant staff will be seeing me again before too long. Quite likely it will be on another Wednesday for that complementary glass of wine!