I know I’m a little late to this party, but I finally made it!

State Bird Provisions has been getting write-ups left and right, from Michael Bauer, to SF Weekly, to fellow blogger Foodhoe. It only took a few friends raving about it (thanks Kev and Chris), to get me to make some reservations– I’m typically a casual diner and only make reservations when family or friends are in town. This was an exception.

State Bird Provisions San Francisco Menu and Meal

Top: Menu and table setting, Bottom (from left to right): Duck Neck Dumplings, Glazed Pork Ribs, Green Garlic Bread w/ Burrata

State Bird is located in the Fillmore District, just south of Japantown. Situated in a tiny unassuming building marked ‘Provisions’, State Bird is not much of an eye catcher, but don’t be fooled– the energy inside is vibrant and cool. I was only able to make a 10:30 reservation (yes, 10:30!), which was great since the place wasn’t packed, but it would have been nice to dine with the buzz of other conversations.

The food is daring and playful, served dim sum style as waiters push carts from table to table, explaining each offering. Each dish is reasonably priced, but once we started tasting plate after plate, we realized we were racking up one heck of a bill. Don’t get me wrong though– everything is worth it. WORTH it.

From the Duck Neck Dumplings to the Rock Shrimp Salsa Tortilla Salad (not pictured), each dish was perfectly prepared and ridiculously yummy. Alex’s favorite was definitely the Green Garlic Bread, which was a crisp fry bread topped with burrata and whole peppercorns for a silky, doughy, and surprisingly bright flavor. My favorite dish, was the awe-inspiring State Bird w/ Provisions (below).

State Bird Provisions San Francisco Quail

State Bird with Provisions

The restaurant is appropriately named State Bird Provisions after this single crowd favorite. It’s a deep fried quail sitting atop a stew of sinfully tart onions. The bird was crisp and juicy, with a mouthwatering onion side that stood firm against the salt and meatiness of the bird. I might have muttered the phrase “best fried bird I’ve ever eaten” a few times, and it still rings true. I’m not a particular quail fanatic (more of a fried chicken fanatic), but the State Bird was perfectly balanced in flavor, texture, and size. It was the perfect main entree to our meal of small plates.

We finished off the dinner with a delicate (and tiny) chocolate black sesame crunch bar that was out of this world. Thanks to State Bird, I’ve definitely broken my habit of not making reservations– especially when they’re worth it. And for those of you who are reading all of the hype about this place, I say this: Read it all and work yourself up over it. There is still no way this place could disappoint.



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  1. March 27, 2012

    Oh, you’re not late to the party because I still haven’t tried this place either. (And you know, the party never starts until I get there. Ha!) I’m a bit mixed about this place. I feel the small plates might mean big bill at the end. But the food does sound amazing from everyone I hear who’ve gone. I may break down and go. Your photos look delicious!

    • Sandy H. #
      March 28, 2012

      HAH! Love that, Ben! The small plates do add up, but its really quite an experience. It was absolutely amazing (even if you don’t have the fried quail)!

  2. March 27, 2012

    Glad to hear you liked it, clearly Andrew and I will have to check it out ASAP. I’m drooling over that green garlic bread/burrata combination.

    • Sandy H. #
      March 28, 2012

      Yes– it was amazing :) That garlic bread (not really a garlic bread at all– more like crack bread) was a flavor explosion!

  3. March 28, 2012

    Hmmm looks delicious and I need to remember this place and check it out. Thanks for the well written review on this place!

    • Sandy H. #
      March 29, 2012

      Thanks, Nami! It’s definitely worth a taste. Don’t forget to get the bird!

  4. March 29, 2012

    I am dying to try this place. I’ve interviewed and written about Nicole and Stuart many times over the years. They are such a talented and gifted husband-and-wife chef team.

    • Sandy H. #
      March 29, 2012

      Yes– go try it! You’ll want to try everything on the menu (trust me) so make sure you go hungry!!!

  5. Row #
    April 5, 2012

    I stopped at the pic of the State Bird and stared and stared… and drooled a bit. Oh my, so yummy.

    • Sandy H. #
      April 5, 2012

      Yes, Row– it’s even better in person! That stewed onion is outrageous!

  6. April 5, 2012

    Can’t wait to try this spot! It’s at the top of my list.
    You know a meal is good when you find yourself muttering praises like that ;)

    • Sandy H. #
      April 5, 2012

      I highly recommend you check it out ASAP! Don’t forget to get the state bird :)

  7. April 30, 2012

    Hey, thanks for the linky love! If only it were a little closer to BART… I just loved those dumplings!

    • Sandy H. #
      May 2, 2012

      YES– I wish it was more accessible too. I still crave that delicious bird!

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