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Weekend Trip Report: Cotogna, Commonwealth, Koi Palace

Porthos Feb 3, 2013 11:51 AM

Back in town for the weekend. Wanted to try something different this time like La Ciccia or SPQR but the call of The Porchetta was irresistible.

Cotogna-

What a great restaurant. I made sure I requested a serving of porchetta be placed on hold as it looked like they were running low. Good thing I did. Ended up with the last order.

We got:

Trofie verde with mushroom ragu. Nice whole pieces of baby chanterelles. Excellent pasta shape, little spiral, very al dente.

Pappardelle with duck and escarole. Nice and earthy. The pappardelle was a bit on the softer side but still delicious.

Porchetta. Amazing crispy outside. Wonderful fennel/spice rubbed moist loin inside. Perfect pairing with a 2008 Jerome Chezeaux Vosne Romanee off of the Quince wine list.

Wolf Ranch quail. Deboned and flattened. So flavorful and well seasoned. The toasted pistachios also accented the dish nicely

I'm not a dessert fan but the stracciatella torta with hazelnuts and apple-quince crostata were pretty stellar. Slight edge going to the crostata with a crust so flaky and buttery it reminded me of a nice Parisian croissant.

Ferry Building-

My favorite Saturday activity in SF. Had the chilequiles at Primavera. Decent, but I prefer a different style. Line at Roli Roti wasn't too long so I grabbed a 1/2 lb porchetta and some potatoes. Porchetta was okay but the skin was charred while the inside was red (not pink). Cotogna is the clear winner. Potatoes were outstanding: browned and flavored with porchetta fat. Settled into Wine Merchant with a couple of bottles of burgundy, a Mess Piggy, and some left over potatoes. Life is good.

Commonwealth-

A favorite when I lived here. I wanted to see how it was doing these days and it appears they are still doing great cuisine. Met up with some friends. We had:

Geoduck with hearts of palm, and I think a smoked panna cotta. Superb.

Pickled herring with chicken skin bread crumbs, beet miso purée. Wow. Reminds me of perfectly marinated kohada at the best sushi restaurants. Delicious.

Artichoke salad with black olive candied citron, goats milk gel. Good but not approaching the heights of the other two dishes.

Cedar grilled mussels, pork belly, and broccoli bread pudding. As good and delicious as it sounds.

Young hen and carrots roasted over konbu with puffed barley and pea shoots. Perfectly cooked roulade of breast. Extremely moist and excellent with the barley. Pea shoots were so fresh and sweet.

Pork jowls. I forget the accompanying elements but the pork jowl was about 90% fat. A bit too much fat for my tastes but oddly not cloying. One or two bites were enough though.

Warm oxtail terrine. Delicious terrine with rich flavorful oxtail.

This is one of those places where I would gladly pay more. The cuisine still manages to be cutting edge and delicious.

Koi-

Couldn't leave without dim sum at Koi Palace. The whole crab XLB is consistently stellar. Everything else was high quality as usual. The roast duck is at least as good as LA's best. Wonderful all around.

Always good to be back.

 
 
 
 
  1. j
    jaiko Feb 3, 2013 12:17 PM

    Nice! And you had great weather, too!

    1 Reply
    1. re: jaiko
      Porthos Feb 3, 2013 01:13 PM

      Gorgeous weather

       
    2. Windy Feb 3, 2013 01:09 PM

      Porchetta weekend : )

      Thanks for the reminder to try the latest menu at Commonwealth. Somehow it's never that tempting on paper, but so delicious in real life. Did you order the tasting menu or a la carte?

      What style of chilaquiles do you like (and where do you get them in LA)? I prefer mine with chicken and salsa verde, but most SF restaurants serve them with eggs and red salsa.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Windy
        Porthos Feb 3, 2013 01:18 PM

        A la carte all the way at Commonwealth!

        I also like my chilaquiles in salsa verde with eggs. Favorite version is of course when a friend's mom makes it.

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