Vegetarian friends, look away. This isn't going to be your cup of tea...er, steak. This is a post dedicated to the night that I ate more red meat than I have in months. And cooked medium RARE? It was truly a sight to be seen. Luckily, my friend Debbie was there to witness me gorging myself on wine and steak and lobster tasters and little bitty chickens called Quail. And luckily for me, she invited me in the first place!
So read on, fair...readers (alright I couldn't think of a better word there) about The Palace, formerly known as The Palace Family Steakhouse, located right here in the Mission.
First, let me mention a little bit of history I've gleaned from this glorious thing called the interwebs. The Palace Family Steakhouse was a Mission restaurant that just couldn't keep its doors open. Chef Manny Torres Gimenez, also making headlines at Roxy's Café, decided to take over the joint and rename it The Palace, providing a place where he could "pay tribute to whole animals at an affordable price." Articles about him here, here, and here.
Let me just say...he did it. He wins. The dinner was not cheap, but it was by far one of the best restaurant experiences I've had in a long time. The BYOB didn't hurt, as a group of six of us downed about 3-4 bottles of wine and a few beers, but really I think it was the food.
The full menu (or at least what I could find online) is here, but I'll try my best to link dishes to pictures!
We started with an amuse bouche, made of a miniature melon ball, seaweed, tuna, and sunflower seeds.
Second was the "Local Pearl," an oyster with tobiko fish eggs and salsa.
Oh hey friend!
I caught a few snapshots of the chef in action...the most fun part about this resto (yeah, I went there) was how intimate it felt even while you were being fed these extravagant foods. It wasn't stiff or formal, but a celebration of these amazing combinations.
One of Debbie's friends doesn't like seafood so he got a lamb chop instead.
The rest of us had "Frutas del Mar" - lobster soup, grilled tail, and claws ceviche. I'll leave you to figure out which was which.
Next..."What Came First?" Fried quail eggs, braised legs, and grilled quail breast. Some part of it had "confit" in the name, which to my knowledge means "incredibly delicious crunchy meat thing." So, I was on board with that. I even ate the grilled eggplant - don't tell my family.
There was the option to get truffle shavings on top for a bit extra... only one of Debbie's friends went for it, and afterwards he said it wasn't that exciting. He's a truffle expert so I'll take his word for it.
The fourth course: "Chicharrón" - crispy pork belly, pork loin, and house made chorizo (the little sausage slice.) There was also a grilled piece of bok choy on top and some kind of fried potato. The pork loin (what I think was under the bok choy?) was really, really good.
I creeped up to get a few shots of the plating process - apologies that they're out of focus, I'm learning on a new lens!
Finally, the steak appeared. This course was "steak au poivre" called "Happy Cali Cow" and I swear to God (capital G) it is the best steak I have ever put in my mouth. It was tender without being chewy, flavorful without too much salt... I could eat this steak every night of my life if I wasn't pretty sure it would give me heart disease.
On top of that, Debbie ordered steak for the table. I'm not sure if this was the Kobe or the Chateau steak but either way, it was the most rare I've ever eaten my steak, and I still liked it. I think I may be a convert.
Finally, there was dessert. Two of them, rather - a roast pear with passionfruit ice cream, or bread pudding (my new absolute favorite dessert on the planet) with the same. Each dish, just, so good.
I sincerely hope this incarnation of The Palace Steakhouse fares better than its predecessor because I plan on making everyone I know go here at some point. In fact, what are you all doing tomorrow?
...I'm not joking.