Upscale pub fare is commonplace in San Francisco, home to foodies who prefer reclaimed wood to white tablecloths. But chef Max Snyder takes elevated bar food to new heights thanks to his command of classic culinary techniques, honed at institutions such as Saison, Coi and Eleven Madison Park. But his fine-dining pedigree is just the co-pilot to the playfulness that defines the new Old Bus Tavern. A perfect example is the $8 (service and tax included) pickled quail egg appetizer that's quickly becoming a favorite at the casual Bernal Heights brew pub.
Four sous vide quail eggs, cooked at 85 degrees for five minutes, rest overnight in a housemade pickle juice that imparts subtle notes of mustard, coriander and bay leaf to the creamy, delicate morsels. The eggs are than placed haphazardly on a bird's nest of fried onions and hot paprika, a totally realistic presentation that looks storybook-perfect and begs a moment of reverence before your fork punctures the delicate tight white, freeing the yolk to soak the crunchy onions. Order two and pair it with the other staple of the bar: one of the shot-and-beer combos on the cocktail menu.
3193 Mission St.; 415-843-1938