My mom can be kind of cool sometimes. Not all of the time, I'll be honest - she has her motherly moments where I get frustrated with her mothering ways (mostly because she's sometimes right and it drives me nuts) and revoke her cool card, but often she hits the nail on the head. This happens most frequently with restaurants. She reads all the reviews, she asks friends where they go, she looks up weekly openings online. And then she drags my whole family there, usually against our collective will, and then we admit later it was awesome and she is queen of the world (alright, maybe that last part doesn't happen, but she probably wouldn't argue against implementing it.) My saving grace in this world is that I know I a) have my mom's genes, which apparently don't age; and b) hopefully have her ability to find new and interesting places to eat.Most recently, she used her magical mom powers (I can't reveal the trickery, but I can say, she does not hold back when it comes to getting into a restaurant. Ok that sounds sketchy - she used her friend's rez. Not sketchy! There you go mom, your reputation is clear.) to get us into State Bird Provisions, a dim-sum style American restaurant in the Fillmore district. It was pretty fantastic. I don't know if it was the kind of place I would go regularly, but the atmosphere was entertaining and comfortable at the same time, and the overall experience was great. I'm sorry, it's 10pm, I can't think of a better adjective than "great" right now. Give me a bye on this one, please?The walls were filled with "arts and crafts" style decor like these strings on pegs - the entire back is patterned with what looked, to me, like birds from afar. I was so excited. I think the waiter said they were abstract fruit, but, I'll keep living my bird dream.Garlic bread Burrata. Incredible.Tuna tartar on a seaweed cracker. I hate tartar, it freaks me out, and this was delicious.I don't remember what this is. It looks like a scallop of some kind.Fried State Bird - Quail! Apparently I didn't eat the delicious part. My parents could not stop fawning over this one.Some kind of cold quinoa dish. I didn't love it.Oysters! I loved it! (them) Seafood ceviche! My parents liked it. I was too chicken. Ceviche freaks me out, okay? Steak carpaccio! I swore I wouldn't try this either, similar to the tartar scenario, and then I ended up finishing it off. Really, really, well done. (What is that, the opposite of a pun? Is there a word for that?) This duck was, NO BONES ABOUT IT, my favorite dish of the night. I really don't like duck that often (okay at this point you might be asking why I even come to restaurants if I don't like so many things - see "mother dragging me around" bit above) and I wanted to bring this home with me and eat it for my next seventeen meals. I wanted to order three more of these at the table right then. This duck was incredible. Yum. I am in love with all things ricotta, but these ricotta dumplings had a lot to live up to after the duck, so I don't think I was as impressed with them as I ordinarily would have. They tasted fine! Maybe it's a weird thing with me a ragout? I should look into this. I really do normally like ricotta. Tyler! Clearly he's thrilled by the experience. Just kidding... He had to drive up in rush hour traffic, so at that point I think he was just starving enough to try anything we handed him. We should have saved more of the ceviche for him! Ha. Orange, lime, and Asian pear granita! This was a little too tangy for my tastes but well done and worth trying. This ice cream sandwich was my second favorite after the duck. I can't even. Earl grey ice cream? Game over.
Overall, it was a fantastic restaurant that everyone should try, if you can even get in. I think it was some miracle of the culinary angels above that allowed us to get this reservation and I am definitely thankful for the experience. Even so, it's not like a favored place you take everyone you know who comes to San Francisco, it's more of a special occasion meal, as the process is part of the charm. Or maybe I just feel that way because I have a deep and abiding love for the hushpuppies at Kate's Kitchen, a love I feel the need to share with all friends near and far, that cannot even be stopped by the likes of crispy duck...the things I would do for more of that duck! Luckily, all I actually have to do is get into the resto again. Well, easier said than done, my friends. Easier. Said. Than done.