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Betelnut

f
Fine Oct 22, 2010 07:45 PM

Since it's practically in our front yard, we've ended up here numerous times over the years.

Because of my preference for authentic (non-fused) ethnic cooking, I was not a great fan, though I occasionally enjoyed certain dishes. I also found it inconsistent in execution.

The other evening, after several months' hiatus, we found ourselves here staring at a startlingly changed-for-the-better menu, especially but not exclusively the day's specials.

There seems to be a new emphasis on the sustainable-organic-local triumvirate.

From the reg menu--Marin Sun Farms chopped, cumined lamb with buns--I love lamb, tolerate the spice, but give high marks to the appetizer.

The rest of the meal came from specials: Asian pear kimchee would have gotten even higher marks if not for--not sure what descriptive to use, but sometimes our home-grown garlic, if eaten too soon after harvesting, is somewhat nasty in its garlickiness, instead of mellow, and that was the one drawback to this otherwise amazing preparation. Definitely deserves a place on the regular menu.

Salt & pepper Monterey Bay sardines--excellent.

Malaysian (style, not imported) cured mackerel w. bittermelon, Valencia oranges, white soy--generous on the fish; not my thing, but BH loved it

I was so excited to see Cervena venison; it was served in tiny slices atop butternut, leeks, & king trumpets. Sad to say, the trumpets were meatier and tastier than the rather gushy-textured, low-flavor deer. Certainly not a bad dish and, I suppose, the luck of the draw, but compared to the venison and elk I eat on my annual trip to North Shore (why do these items turn up so rarely here?), a bit disappointing.

All in all, though, a pretty exciting change for the better.

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Betelnut
2030 Union Street, San Francisco, CA 94123

  1. s
    stephanieg Feb 25, 2011 03:59 PM

    Has anyone had more recent experiences here? We are debating between Betelnut, Ozumo, House and E&O, for a date night with my hubby, where great food is a must....

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    Betelnut
    2030 Union Street, San Francisco, CA 94123

    Ozumo
    2251 Broadway Avenue, Oakland, CA 94612

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