By Michael Bauer
September 18, 2014
The first thing that occurred to me as I was standing at the bar at Trick Dog, waiting for a table upstairs, was that a great bartender is like a great chef — a person who can take seemingly disparate ingredients and make them into a unified whole.
At Trick Dog, the subject of my Update review in today’s Chronicle, I was as blown away by the cocktails as I was the bar-centric food. Who knew that you could take bourbon, apple, lavender, kombu and horseradish, and make it into something special? If attempted at many other places, it would probably be a disaster.
The restaurant has been open less than two years, and it completely changes the menu twice a year using a clever delivery system for inspiration. The original cocktails were named after colors on the Pantone wheel; that was followed by concoctions named and printed on record jackets. Next came horoscopes. The current one is a map of San Francisco, with each cocktail named after a landmark.
The food under new chef Michael Logan is more straightforward than it was originally but hits all the right notes for the venue. The Trick Dog rises to the top of the burger heap; it’s a log of ground beef served in a sesame hot dog bun, with shredded lettuce, onions, pickles, cheddar cheese and house sauce. The kale salad, rich with an egg yolk dressing with loads of Parmesan cheese and avocado, is equally as appealing. You can also get Nashville-style fried chicken and other things that soak up the alcohol and prepare you for another of the staff’s creative cocktails.
By Michael Bauer for Inside Scoop SF