23 2018 Jan

Around the corner from the busy heart of Hayes Valley is Nightbird. A quaint little restaurant picked out by our friend. It was her birthday after all and lucky for us, she has a knack for finding great eats around town. This time the restaurant was a little American bistro headed by Kim Alter. It was an early Tuesday night so it was pretty empty, empty enough to take a few photos of the place. The lighting wasn’t too good for pictures, but it’s perfect for an intimate dining experience. That is of course, if you’re dining for two, and not in a group like us. Yay birthdays!

I got here early and waited for others in the Linden Room. It’s a nice little bar located in the back. A good place to polish off a few drinks while friends message you about their plight getting there. I don’t know any area in San Francisco that’s easy to get to. Anyways, when everyone got there, we were kindly seated.

As part of their ever changing menu, they presented us with a sealed menu with the wine pairing inside. The waiter let us know we didn’t have to open and enjoy the courses as they come out. But don’t worry, on the back was a brief listing of the courses. It includes the core ingredients in case you may have food allergies. Though he did ask us before hand. Given we had none and we wanted to hop on the journey the chef prepared for us, we didn’t open the menu. And actually, I never had a peek inside. Even at the end of the night.

Yep, it’s a multi-course fixed menu. The cost is $125 USD per person excluding gratuity. One thing to keep in mind was that the whole meal will take over an hour. There’s no rush to get you in and out of the place. And that’s not to say there’s a long wait in between the courses. The timing felt like it was tailored to compliment our conversations throughout the night. Overall, it’s well worth the price and if you pair it with wine, it’s even better. There were several courses that were very unique and quite imaginative. I can see myself coming back here for special occasions. Definitely want to see what other creations are in store for the summer.


330 Gough Street
Hayes Valley
San Francisco, CA 94102
+1 (415) 829-7565

Verdict: Worth a visit if the price point suits you.

Quail Egg, Leek, Hollandaise

The bite was a wonderfully unique one. This was a soft boiled quail egg on crispened leeks topped with a light hollandaise sauce. This allowed the rich taste of the egg yolk to come through. So good!

Ox Impressions: 

Quail Egg, Leek, Hollandaise

Yeah, I had to cut it open to give you another look. That yolk!

Beet, Potato, Black Truffle

Next up was this modern plating of braised beets along with fried potatoes and black truffles.

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Between these courses, we had a selection of bread to accompany our courses. I only snapped a photo of this one because it was my favorite. I was a dense loak that was cut into four. You can't really see it but trust me, it's cut evenly.

Ox Impressions: 

Agnolotti, Black Trumpet, Hedgehog

I loved this pasta dish. The agnolotti was perfect and the mushrooms only made it better. The black trumpet, hedgehog, and shitake mushrooms gave the pasta much more depth in flavors.

Ox Impressions: 

Cod, Dashi, Sesame, Foie

One of the main proteins of the night was this filet of cod topped with a foie glaise. The sesame crisp on top was a nice touch, but it was more aesthetically pleasing than it's taste. Still a nice hearty dish.

Ox Impressions: 

Flannery Beef, Artichoke, Heart of Palm

Ah... here's where I learned about the "Jorge" cut, which is the cut from the chuck end of the prime rib. Interested to say the least. It's very close to the tenderness of prime rib, but still being a steak. I can't quite explain it. Loved this dish nonetheless.

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Tangerine, Mandarinquat

It's like I'm going to have two desserts. But to people with a real sweet tooth, this is indeed just a palate cleanser for the main dessert course.

Ox Impressions: 

Dark Chocolate, Pear, Hazelnut

And here we are, the last course, a decadent end to our meal.

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The OxPosted January 23, 2018 by the hungry ox

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