Saturday, March 24, 2007


mussels eaten on 3.23.07. photo by ellie.

you can't get any simpler than naming your restaurant after an alphabet. located in the inner richmond on clement street, Q is simple american comfort food with a southwestern twist. Q's menu is vasts with a hamburger, pork chops, fried chicken and daily seafood specials. what makes Q so unique about their menu is the listed wine pairing with each item. this is the third time i've eaten here. their brunch is an egg lovers' heaven with your usual omelet to poached eggs on corn beef hash.

my friends janel, ellie and myself went to Q after an art opening at the park life gallery across the street. like usual, there's a line at Q with a 45 minutes wait. yes, 45 minutes. after a few minutes of wondering around waiting, we decided it was too cold to be outside and we settled at the bar. Q has a huge wine list with several beers on tap. janel orders a north coast scrimshaw pilsner while i ordered a deschutes black butte porter which she said was really good. as for ellie... well, she was still looking through the wine list. the porter was really gentle, smooth and hints a bit of chocolate. most porters tend to have a quick bitter kick finish but this one didn't. i took a little sip from janel's pilsner and i was WOWed. this philsner was so crisp, clean, light and hoppy. this is a wonderful pilsner for summer-in-the-sun drinking. janel and ellie took a sip from my porter and gave a nod of approval. eventually, ellie makes a move and orders a glass of wine. but the bar gave her a little hassle for wanting a taste. they were pretty stingy. but we couldn't figure out why. they had a few opened bottles of the same label. the wait was long and filled with a random conversation between the three of us. i finished my porter and ordered a pilsner.

thirty minutes has passed and the waitress seats us. Q is very eccentric. one wall near the bar is a painted blackboard with their specials. along another wall is a series of steel sheets with magnetic letters. there's wrought iron artwork with stringed lights of chili peppers. with whatever letters we had, the girls spells out: "who r u texan."

while we were waiting at the bar, we looked through the menu. so when we were seated... we knew what we wanted. janel ordered the catfish and chips. [i know i mentioned janel was a vegetarian in a previous posting but vegetarianism doesn't mean no fish.] ellie ordered the pork chops. and i ordered the sesame crusted ahi tuna with coconut rice. without any disagreement from janel and i, ellie ordered a dish of mussels.

the mussels were gralicy and spicy. it was worth every bite. i noticed ellie fighting a every single mussel but she resisted and shared. in previous conversations, she mentioned she once hated shellfish (she still does) but grew to love mussels after a trip to france. with all the mussels done, we ordered some more bread to dunk into the sauce.

janel gave me a bit of her catfish which was very light. the taste of catfish is subtle. it's very gentle and not too oily. i generally eat catfish the chinese way: steamed with green onion and coated in a soy sauce/sesame oil sauce. surpringly the frying of the catfish didn't overwhelm the flesh. ellie's pork chops were tender and juicy.

i really like my ahi tuna. i mean really liked. "like it? i love it? ... i want to take it behind the middle school and get it pregnant."* the tuna was thickly crusted with sesame, surrounding really tasty coconut rice, and topped off with wasbi mustard. the presentation was amazing with its pea pods pretending to be sun-rays.

after finishing our meals, we tried to decide on dessert but i think we were take too long. the restaurant crew were cleaning up and preparing to shut down the kitchen. eventually, we told one of the waitress that we're done for the night. B+/A-

* quote from tracy jordan (tracy morgan) in 30 rock from the episode, "hard ball."


MoNKeY said...

Well, I don't hate shellfish, I'm just very picky when it comes to them. But mussels, yes, they are very special. It was only hard to share because I was starving!

Janel l'a dit... said...

Glad you enjoyed your Ahi Tuna!!! :-)

Despite Q's stinginess, they do make some really good food, and I think all of us really enjoyed our meal.

I love how their specials are so extensive, that you rarely have to ever order from their regular menu. They always have fresh ideas which I tend to find is a rare thing in SF. Restaurants here often follow trends, yet Q seems to break them a little, by uniquely and tastefully combining ingredients.