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Dirty Habit's Brand New Menu, in Pictures

By Tamara Palmer
April 30, 2014
Photo by: Douglas Zimmerman

Tomorrow (May 1), the Palomar Hotel's former Fifth Floor restaurant officially reopens as Dirty Habit, a new bar and restaurant with a more modern and accessible feel than the buttoned up decor and high-end tasting menus of the previous incarnation. Seattle's Dawson Design Associates achieved a fresh film noir feel for the interior with the use of black steel, concrete and stone. The firm also created a new, adjacent outdoor patio area that seats 50 people with a fire pit, couches and small and large tables. It's going to be an instant hit in the Union Square area.

Further proof that the Palomar is putting its serious fine dining days behind it: a menu full of cheekily named dishes. From a Cheech and Chong-inspired appetizer to a carbonated cocktail called Spritz & Giggles, the returning Fifth Floor dream team of executive chef David Bazirgan, pastry chef Francis Ang, bar manager Brian Means and sommelier Emily Wines ensures the same high standard of consumables, but there's a more playful edge than was ever possible before. Take a look at some of the whimsical creations to eat and drink in the slideshow below. 12 Fourth Street; 415-348-1555.

  • Photo by: Tamara Palmer

    Here's a glimpse of the patio, which is going to be the new it spot very soon. Not pictured is a dramatic water sculpture, tables and a communal standing table. Dirty Habit accepts reservations via OpenTable for the tables in the front area of the restaurant, but the bar and patio seating are all for walk-ins.

  • Photo by: Tamara Palmer

    Brian Means' cocktail program literally has something for everyone - whether you're a hardcore enthusiast of rare brown spirits from places like Taiwan and Tasmania or you're someone who just wants something fun and fruity. The Lovable Trixter is a good example of the latter, a verdant combination of Plymouth Gin, fresh lime juice, blackberries and sage served on a cloud of ice pellets.

  • Photo by: Douglas Zimmerman

    David Bazirgan is poking fun at the Dirty Habit concept with dishes like this. A starter of goat cheese fondue, seasonal raw/roasted vegetables (right now radish, snap pea, artichoke and onion) and brioche is called Up in Smoke, a reference to the Cheech and Chong movie from 1978.

  • Photo by: Douglas Zimmerman

    But Bazirgan hasn't retired his serious focus on refined flavors. Case in point: this charred octopus with eggplant, pine nuts and cherries.

  • Photo by: Douglas Zimmerman

    The menu features a number of snacking plates, such as the housemade steamed bao with fried lamb belly and peanuts. There are also a few larger format dishes like aged ribeye with Béarnaise and asparagus and black cod with spring vegetables and tapenade.

  • Photo by: Douglas Zimmerman

    Part of the old Fifth Floor wine cellar is now Bazirgan's new meat room where he's creating all of the offerings on the charcuterie plate. Right now, he's serving his own pate, spicy salami, pancetta, chorizo, speck and chicharrones.

  • Photo by: Douglas Zimmerman

    One of the city's most masterful pastry chefs, Francis Ang balances elegance with a keen instinct for what's deeply satisfying. If you want to go all out for dessert, try this croissant bread pudding with thyme creme anglaise, creme fraiche, pickled blueberries and candied cashew crumble.

  • Photo by: Douglas Zimmerman

    On the lighter side of sweets, there is a vanilla cremeux that will be gone in a few swipes of the spoon. Crushed olive oil sables, cubed olive oil gelee, a drizzle of olive oil and fresh strawberries give it lift and body.

  • Photo by: Tamara Palmer

    The Spritz & Giggles is a lightly carbonated, bottled cocktail. Means detects notes of chamomile flowers, orange oil, strawberry preserves and roasted corn in his mingling of Belvedere vodka, strawberry shrub, Sutton Vermouth and corn tea.

  • Photo by: Tamara Palmer

    If you want to hide your dirty habit on the go, tell the bartender, "Get Me a Juicebox!" You'll receive a lunch box with a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon, a thermos containing some swigs of hot toddy and chicharrones or spiced nuts.

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