Once a month, usually on a Wednesday, four women get together in SF (sometimes in Oakland) to laugh, share, and eat. This is called Book Club. The books we read are usually good picks, but the main attraction at each event is truly the food, and the company. Kara couldn't join us this time because she had to go to Brazil for her honeymoon trip to the World Cup (womp womp) but we ate in her honor. Don't worry K, we got you!
This month we picked Tres in SOMA. Tres is a restaurant I had walked past on a few occasions (I don't spend much time in SOMA so usually I'm on the way to a specific place) and had noticed, but never been in. The first thing you should know is how, once you actually look for it on the block, the brick facade and large overhead sign truly stand out against the row of white, concrete buildings. You know this is going to be something different.
(Warning: eat a snack before reading this post, unless you have the capability to run directly over to Tres afterwards. I'm salivating just writing this.)
First, we started with drinks and guacamole. I got a michelada (which, of course, I pronounced wrong. It's a hard "ch"!) - a combination of tomato juice, spices, and beer. It's like a Bloody Mary with Corona instead of vodka! Refreshing with a bit of a kick.
It went perfectly with this mound of guacamole the three of us demolished. Never let it be said that three normal women can't take down an entire tasting menu.
We also ordered a flight of salsas - the orange one on the far end was my favorite! Camille doesn't like spicy so we were trying to get her to try some of these without killing her taste buds. Evan preferred the smoky burgundy sauce on the opposite end (nearer to me) so we had lots of almost-chip-collision moments. Hey, you do what you gotta do when salsa's involved.
Tres's focus is on food, sights, and sounds from Jalisco, the state that second-largest-Mexican-city Guadalajara calls home. In their own words,
"TRES’ mission is to help you discover the wonders of Jalisco, Mexico. From the food, to the music, to the extraordinary products that derive from the amazing agave plant – we are so passionate about the gifts that this region of the world has given us. We want you to experience them as well, which is why we try to bring a bit of Jalisco to you. [...]It is also the birthplace of much of Mexican culture, including Mariachi music and of course, Tequila. TRES represents the three types of 100% Blue Agave Tequila (blanco, reposado, ańejo)."
You can see where Jalisco is on the gigantic map on the Tres wall:
We were seated in the bar area at the end of a long, family-style table, which worked out well, because the hustle and bustle of the bar covered up some of the lengthy catch up discussion we had. There was also a man seated to our left on his laptop the. entire. time. we were there - so if you need a study place, Tres is good for that too!
The best part of the evening (let's be honest) was when a man at the bar overheard Camille and came over to say hi. Why was this the best part? Because he turned out to be the best friend of Camille's roommate who recognized her, told us he works at Tres, and then brought us food. DELICIOUS. FOOD. For example, these albondigas:
These small, completely juicy (no better description, sorry!) meatballs cooked in a tomato sauce with spices and topped with a mound of cilantro made all of us go silent with chewing. I must learn how to cook these someday, or at least some approximation of these, so that I can eat them far too often. I need to go running, y'all.
He also brought us the enchiladas we were eyeing - chicken enchiladas with verde sauce on top, my favorite! These were great too, but honestly, nothing could follow up to the blissful taste of the albondigas.
Then, we ordered some more food (which we actually paid for.) Because, just, because. That's how we roll. It's not a good night if our stomachs aren't aching from the myriad dishes being shoveled down our gullet.
Too descriptive? Whoops.
The pork tacos were incredible, topped with a light avocado sauce and freshly chopped onion...
...and I made sure to try the tortilla soup, as it's an option I often forget about in my haste towards beans and cheese when frequenting Mexican restaurants.
It had a bit of a punch to it but I couldn't stop eating it! I'll definitely be getting this citrusy "sopa" more often!
Then, the real party started. We got the dessert menu.
Honestly, need I say more? Alright, I'll say this: the vanilla bean and chocolate ibarra ice cream was remarkably flavorful for "typical" ice cream, and we left nary a scoop in our wake. But the real winner of the night, besides those darling meatballs, was the plate of churros with caramel dipping sauce.
I don't think anyone even touched that cup of hot chocolate - we didn't have time, as we were busy clamoring at the gates of the kitchen for more churros! Oops. Next time, we'll have to remember to try the mexican hot chocolate in the adorable stoneware.
...If the rest of the meal is any indication, I'm sure it was finger-licking, bowl-scraping delicious. Tres has three new fans for life!