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 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).
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.