State Bird Provisions

27 10 2012

For real, this time.

Ok, so, I may have gotten a bit frustrated with the reservation process and popularity of State Bird Provisions recently. But, in response to my sad/ranting/obnoxious blog post, my good friend and personal savior, Ms. Mala B. won the refresh-the-reservations-webpage game. The day after my “I’m so grumpy that I can’t get a rezzo at SBP” post, I received a text:

“Holy crap”

Ms. Bingham had won the culinary lottery; the stars had aligned to reveal a reservation at SBP the following Friday at 5.30pm for two people. And she, being the most kindhearted, loving, awesome, beautiful (not relevant, but still true) person ever, bequeathed this reservation to me.

Obligatory above the fold photo. Carry on.

Remember that episode of My So-Called Life when Angela’s dad gives her Grateful Dead tickets? Subsequently she sells them in an effort to impress/have some excuse for contact with Jordan Catalano and to piss off her dad, but Rayanne’s words on the matter still ring true: “He’s still the type of dad that would lay two Dead tickets on you out of nowhere”. And in this case, Angela’s dad is Mala and my date was super excited and not all pissy about it like Rayanne. End scene on ridiculously drawn out analogy. The point is: Mala is amazing, I love her.


It was awesome. And, since my little camera (Canon S100, buy one!) is broken (uber sad face), I rented a lens just for this night. Canon 28mm fixed f1.8. It did the trick. The food was so good and the pictures are so beautiful, I am overwhelmed. Let the visuals begin!

First, half of the items on the menu are not actually on the menu. Look at their website menu. See all the things called “provisions”? Those aren’t on the menu at the restaurant. Instead, they’re served dim-sum style on carts and trays that servers circulate throughout the restaurant during the night. So you don’t even know what’s up that night until it’s at your table. And, you have a hard time pacing yourself because it all sounds/looks SO GOOD. We started the night off by saying yes to the first three items that came by on a cart:

Shrimp and avocado with crispy nori. Amazing. In the running for my favorite for the night.

Raw ahi tuna with quinoa and bonito flakes. Mild, cool, fresh — delicious.

Seafood ceviche over creamed avocado.

At this point we actually did order off the menu. There are three sections on the menu: pancakes, commandables, and dessert. We ordered the two vegetarian pancakes (sourdough, sauerkraut, pecorino & ricotta pancakes and sweet corn & garlic chive ‘shortstack’ with mt. tam). Each order came with four approximately two-inch diameter savory pancakes. They were delicious, needless to say.

The sourdough and ricotta pancakes tasted like sourdough grilled cheese sandwiches. Possibly in my top three favorites for the night. So good.

Sweet corn short stack.

For a “commandable”, we ordered the breaded cauliflower with beet jam, which was beautiful and yummy:

Breaded cauliflower

And then we snagged two more items off passing trays: tofu tagliatelle and garlic knot bread with buratta. I said “yes” to the latter before the waiter had even finished the description. I want it for every meal ever. Easily my favorite of the night. So ridiculously good.

Tofu tagliatelle

Garlic knot bread with buratta — WINNER

Lastly, we went out on a limb for dessert and got the chocolate gingersnap pudding with crispy coconut pecans. I do not like many of these ingredients, but I was urged “not to be so goddamn picky”. And the waiter recommended it. The pudding was too ginger-y for me, so I left that to my companion. But the crispy coconut pecans had chocolate involved and were amazing. Finale:

Chocolate gingersnap pudding with crispy coconut pecans

And this was just the beginning. There were so many dishes that passed us that we had to say no to because there was just no way to eat it all. Suggestion: bring four people so you can try more things. The lesson: DO NOT GIVE UP on refreshing their site to get a reservation. Totally worth it. Fun, delicious, amazing. Thank you for having us, SBP, we will be back.

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6 responses

27 10 2012

Holy SBP, batman. Looks just as fantastic as we dreamed!

29 10 2012

Looks fantastic. Was it ridiculously expensive?

29 10 2012

Hi Jen! I meant to mention — no, it wasn’t ridiculously expensive, which was awesome. We paid $117 for two of us, including 4 glasses of wine and all the food I listed. Which, granted, isn’t cheap or anything, but if you take away the nearly $40 in wine, it was about $40 per person for a wonderful dinner. So, I would say it’s on par with any other nice restaurant in the City.

Each of the “provisions” (the small tapas-like dishes that are served on carts and trays) were $5-$8 each, the “commandables” were around $18-$28 or so, and the desserts were like $10-ish. It was entirely reasonable in my opinion for being in SF and for how good it was.

29 10 2012

What a wonderful evening! Everything looked so good!

28 07 2013
Grace Chen

Wow, your friend is definitely something! Giving you the impossible reservation to the best new restaurant! :)!

6 08 2013

I know, she’s the best! :)

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