Tucked behind an industrial labyrinth of automotive, furniture and repair shops a few clicks from Café Cruz, the Kitchen is run by talented chef Santos Majano, who creates a steady stream of irresistible dishes, plates and ideas that play cultures, culinary styles and spices off one another. All of it seems perfectly designed to go with Discretion’s fresh brews.
Seated outdoors under an arbor of honeysuckle, bordered by strawberries ripening on a hanging garden, we struggled to decide on lunch orders. “There’s nothing on this menu I wouldn’t want!” Ellen confessed before succumbing to snack platters of sweet-and-spicy chicken wings ($16) and a dish of killer tempura eggplant ($12). Betty and Bev split a knock-out salad of melon and peaches ($11) and two beer-battered local rockfish tacos ($16). I went for a serious main course of beer-braised pork shoulder with black rice and marinated cherry tomatoes ($21). A half-pint of IPA for Bev ($3), and a San Pellegrino Limonata ($3.50) for me. There was a lot of food, and in the interests of total transparency, we demolished it all (except for some of the pork and two chicken wings that I took home for the resident guy.)
Majano is a wizard at using contrasting flavors to heighten the dishes he creates. As exciting to the eye as they are to the tastebuds, each bite produced a shameless chorus of oohs and aahs from the four of us. In a deep, round bowl, a salad of thinly sliced peaches and squares of melon arrived bathed in fresh basil and olive oil, topped with ricotta salata cheese and a fistful of sunflower sprouts. Plump, piquant chicken wings came with various kinds of fresh pickles—pale yellow, green and pink—and a bowl of buttermilk dressing. Everything sprinkled with spicy togarashi. The tacos were spectacular, again inventively topped by cabbage slaw, cilantro and sriracha aioli, plus fat wedges of lime. Betty went for the slivered jalapeños (“I like it spicy!”)
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