Mission Street Food – Cuisine Of The Ottoman Empire

Tonight I finally made good on a long-standing promise to myself and ate at Mission Street Food. MSF is an organization that rents out a Chinese restaurant on Mission street every Thursday and Saturday in order to host a different guest chef every week.  The extremely reasonable prices(i.e. most plates less than $10, and everything less than $15) and the $5 corkage fee make this a relatively cheap way to experience great food. This week, the kitchen is staffed by Jeff Harpel, Bryan Harpel, and Kirstin Dau, who presented a menu inspired by the Ottoman Empire–think pan-Mediterranean, with an emphasis on warming, Moroccan spices.

Obviously, what with corkage at only $5, we had to take full advantage:

The Lineup

Guess which one we didn't drink?

Since we had four at the table and the prices were so reasonable, we decided not to decide.   One of everything, please!(1)

Clockwise from left:

Clockwise from left: Cucumber, cauliflower, chickpea, and arugula salad, Almond-Chicken with saffron-currant cous cous, and Crispy Dolmades

Starters part 2

Foreground: Mezza Plate: carrot-filo cigar, smoky eggplant puree, scallions, olives and pita Back: Mussels with charmoula, fried polenta crumbs, and cilantro

Mint Soup with chickpeas, and rice

Mint Soup with chickpeas, and rice

Almond-Chicken with saffron-currant cous cous

Almond-Chicken with saffron-currant cous cous

The clear winner of the evening was the chicken.  The skin had been coated with a sweet, sensual mixture those spices I mentioned earlier and crisped to perfection. I could (and nearly did) eat several platefuls of the stuff.  The close runner up was the Lamb Belly, roasted beet, chorizo, mache and goat cheese-tatziki (which sadly disappeared too quickly for the camera to catch a glimpse), served street-food style in a red gingham-printed paper tray.  Frickin’ delicious.

Rumor has it that these folks are seeking investors to finance the opening of a new restaurant.  I hope they’re successful… San Francisco needs a restaurant like this!

2234 Mission Street (@ Lung Shan Restaurant)
San Francisco, CA


(1) Note to MSF first-timers: You probably don’t want to order “one of everything”. Because “Lung Shan’s Vegan Delight”, which appears on every week’s menu and is not prepared by the guest chef, is both a stylistic mismatch with everything else you’re eating and the kind of thing you could very easily duplicate at home.

One thought on “Mission Street Food – Cuisine Of The Ottoman Empire

  1. Pingback: Mission Street Food – Fred Sassen « Blogging a Fog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *