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Jul 20, 2013 10:20 AM

State Bird Provisions closing Aug 10 - for how long? [San Francisco]

I'm an NYCer coming into town for the first time in mid-Oct. I was hoping to check out State Bird Provisions but just saw on their website that it will be closing August 10 for an undisclosed amount of time.

Does anyone have a clue for how long they will be closed for?

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  1. They're expanding into the space next door.

    They said "a few weeks" but they'll have to pass some inspections before they can reopen so you never know.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      Okay, thank you very much for the info. I'll just have to monitor the situation and hope they reopen by October. It seems like a very exciting place.

      I'll be in SF for 3 nights - I booked Atelier Crenn the first night, and La Folie the 3rd night. Hoping to make an SBP sandwich

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Just checking in and wondering if there is any news on State Bird Provisions. The website still says opening in "Early October" but I'm going to be in town next weekend and don't feel optimistic. Thanks.

        1. re: bnowell

          Reopening this Friday, the 18th...

          Only walk-ins for the first two days (18th and 19th)...

          Will be talking reservations for the period from October 21st to December 19th starting on Wednesday, October 16th...

          Just go to their site... It's been updated with all the info...

          Good luck! ^^

          1. re: slew


            Just realized it won't reopen in time for your visit...

            Since that already occurred...

            1. re: slew

              That's too bad. I was really hoping to check this place out (flew back to NYC Monday)

              I was able to somewhat sate my urges for peking duck that night instead at M.Y. China. The place is good to pretty good but definitely not great. I would have gone somewhere else if I had a do-over.

              Atelier Crenn was excellent. I'm glad we picked it over the other super high end places in the area (though would have loved to check out Saison but wasn't about to throw that much down).

              La Folie was superb. I'm not one to really care much about plating and presentation but his stellar presentation just added to the whole package. Portions were large and everything was delicious - had the tempura duck egg, warm pigs feet, goat cheese tatin, scallop, cod, rabbit and duck between the two of us. Not one miss.

              Swan Oyster Depot was good but felt so expensive for what it is. Wish I could have tried that crab fat thing that Tony Bourdain had when he went there. It was worth the experience.

              Thanks for all your help. Hopefully I'll be back to SF and be able to check out the Bay Area again fairly soon

        2. SBP's website came up for reservations for the new space - then went down under the load - and finally 60 days of reservations were made in 90 minutes, it's all booked, folks.

          4 Replies
          1. re: bbulkow

            Grr I've wanted to check this place out for a while and was hoping to snag a table...slow on the draw again. From reading around it seems they take walk ins but with waits of over an hour. Is that right?

            1. re: shizzy

              When I went 9 months ago, if you showed up 1 hr in advance you were virtually guarenteed first seating. If you showed up 30 mins in advance you might get first seating, or they might take your phone number and call you (hang out in any area bar).

              No intelligence on the new geometry....

              1. re: shizzy

                I've also seen people use Task Rabbit to have someone get in line for them to put themselves on the list for the night..
                but yes once I tried to get on the list around 6pm, and it was pretty much full for the night already.

            2.'s email today said that today's opening and tomorrow are for walk-ins only.

              1. So, I went back the other night. First time since the close and reopen.

                The place is a bit bigger but not much.
                But here's why I'm writing. I'm curious if anybody else feels the same way I do....

                I have not been for several months, of course. The food is still delicious, though not terribly different than before. The service is great, the atmosphere is fun.
                I would recommend it without reservation to anybody going for the first time.

                But here's the thing: I felt like, good as it is, I hit an eating wall really really suddenly. It's kind of the dim sum effect I guess, except this time we did pace ourselves relatively slowly. Nonetheless, at a certain point, a bite went in my mouth, and I was unable to eat another thing. No more, no dessert, just a check please.

                And in the aftermath, even though I enjoyed the meal and don't regret a thing and still have warm feelings about the place, I kind of feel like I never want to go back. Can't imagine eating it again. It's like a reverse craving, my body telling me please-don't-do-that-to-me-again. I kind of felt this way after my previous experience, to a lesser degree, but so much time had passed, and because of the reopening I wanted to go again.

                It's weird, and I cannot recall this happening at a place I enjoyed so much. Maybe it's just because the food is so rich? And because it starts lighter with oysters and crudos but before you know it you're eating burrata and pancakes?

                Anybody have a related experience?

                12 Replies
                1. re: pauliface

                  Do you think it's the flavor combinations doing it?

                  Sometimes I wonder if it's not that it took thousands of years for a creative chef in SF to start putting sauerkraut on everything , or if there's scientific reasons validating why chefs would have considered it wrong. Not that all their food is a dorm room mix up of flavors, but they seem to be of that school walking a fine line.

                  I think any tasting menu that's not well thought out or well organized will do that.

                  1. re: pauliface


                    Not in SF, but in LA where I had a steak tasting menu, I sort of had the same experience.

                    I had to detox from red meat for a while. I'm ok now.

                    1. re: pauliface

                      I ate at State Bird in December, and I don't necessarily feel the way you do. If it were easy to get a reservation, I'd definitely consider going back, especially in a different season when the special items would presumably be different.

                      I do know what you mean though, and I have experienced the same feelings as you about certain *cities* I have visited. Venice comes to mind. So does Las Vegas.

                      1. re: pauliface

                        I just went to State Bird Provisions couple of days ago for the first time. The have finished the remodel. Accordingly to my friends, it is bigger, but noisier as well.
                        I absolutely loved the food. I like that you can try a variety of dishes, kind of like dim sum but with a wider selection of ingredients. I have tried lots of dim sum and Spanish tapas. It is very refreshing to me that they put the same spin on American dishes as well. I especially like their chocolate cake(, which has some crispy fried rice added for some interesting texture.
                        I definitely want to go back. Maybe you want to pause for couple of months before you go back? They will probably change their menu again. :)

                        1. re: pauliface

                          Are you sure it was the restaurant and not the cumulative effect of holiday indulgence? I've felt that way a few times recently.

                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            Actually, Robert, it may be the opposite. Since Xmas I've been eating very light to counterbalance the holidays and this was my first meal this heavy in a couple weeks.

                            Honestly, I kind of feel terrible posting what I did because the food is so tasty. But I was curious whether others had had the same experience and this site is, after all, in part for comparing notes.

                          2. re: pauliface

                            there's no need to share your age or medical history, but it's probably a good thing you experienced a physical reaction. everyone's organs, endocrine systems, und so weiter, age at a different rate, and begin to decline in efficiency at different life stages. what were you drinking with the meal ? were the courses high in fat, or were dairy ingredients prevalent ?

                            1. re: moto

                              There's something to that. Not so much as an age specific thing but how you're physically reacting to foods. Anyone who eats meat knows that feeling when you just need a burger. Or you've had too much dairy. It's a reason many of us start experimenting with different vitamins.

                              1. re: moto

                                I don't generally have a hard time eating anything. No allergies, little trouble mixing things, high tolerance for alcohol. We were drinking wine with dinner but honestly not much -- a glass and a half over dinner.

                                I do think it was because the foods were getting higher and higher in fat as we went on, though. My partner ordered the duck-liver-and-muffin thing at the end and I could not even look at it -- I made him eat the whole thing.

                                1. re: pauliface

                                  hmmm... did you take a big swig of water right before you became full? It's easy to take for granted that liquid takes up space in your stomach. During a very salty meal where the servers haven't been refilling my water, I've found it easy to accidentally drink too much water at once when the glass gets filled.

                              2. re: pauliface

                                In the one time I went there, I was severely limited by the "dim sum effect". It's easy to get blown out --- especially with the richness of the dishes and tastes. I suspect your difference had more to do with how hungry you were, your companions, the pacing, the dishes on offer that night....

                                Seeing the dish is very different from reading the menu entry. When I went there, I was "done" then I saw the main guy pulling out a new dish, something in cast iron crock pots, and saw the look on his face when he tasted it. I had to have some. And then ... desert. And then.... the next day. We had eaten too much.

                                Honestly, the food isn't as buzz-worthy as the experience. The food is interesting, solid, but ....

                                If it were easier to get a reservation, I would certainly go there more often, and just have a dish or two. It would become less of an "in place" and the food would be judged more fairly.

                                There is a very interesting point, that accepting the chef's ordering and pacing is important, and you can have a better experience giving the chef that control.

                                1. re: bbulkow

                                  We revisited this crazy busy restaurant not long ago.

                                  The State Bird Quail dish is worth the wait alone. The fried pork belly is one delicious piece of fat!

                                  It's great to come here with at least 4 people to sample a lot of dishes. The bill will add up and cost a lot more than you would expect.