Checking Back In at the Broken Record

james moisey.jpg
James Moisey
This week's review of Bruno's followed chefs Ryan Ostler and Katharine Zacher, who'd made a name for themselves revamping bar food at The Broken Record in the Excelsior. Right after Ostler and Zacher left the bar last July, John Birdsall talked with Zach Braff lookalike James Moisey, who took over after they left. After I'd spent a few evenings eating ― and enjoying ― the Bruno's chefs' food, I thought it only fair to check out their old place to see where Moisey has taken its menu.

So one foggy night last week, a friend and I stopped by for sandwiches and pints of Trumer (Side note: God, is it good to be able to drink the pilsner on draft again, when it tastes like a bouquet garni has steeped in the brew). The sausages and Texas toast Moisey talked up to SFoodie weren't there ― that's normal, says bar owner Jason King, since they rotate the menu every season ― but it also seems like the menu, and its ambitions, have been stripped back down since July. We ate a bowl of farfalle and cheese, and it had none of the opulence of Zacher and Ostler's current version; a pulled-pork sandwich with radishes and slaw was decent but not memorable.

But Moisey's serving a destination burger. Not only does he toast high, light brioche rolls on the griddle so they crisp up and develop a sort of inverse tonsure, a neat round brown mark, the chef adds whole chunks of bacon into the beef when he grinds the meat. The fat keeps the patty juice-laden and a bit smoky. If that's not enough bacon for you, you can get bacon on the mac 'n' cheese too, with another side of bacon fries.

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