House-Cured Anchovies at Zuni Cafe

Categories: SFoodie's 92
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No need to drown these in pizza sauce and melted mozzarella.

As a daily windup to the Weekly's Best of S.F. 2010 on May 19, we've teased out 92 of our favorite local dishes that taste like here. All the tasty details after the jump.

Number 14: House-Cured Anchovies at Zuni Cafe

Much has been made of Zuni Cafe's roast chicken, its Caesar salad, its burger. But we love another Zuni staple: a lattice of Judy Rodgers' house-cured anchovies bathed in fresh, new olive oil and served with Parmesan shavings, tiny niçoise olives, and finely shaved celery moons. Back in the mid 1990s, one of our former chefs sent us to the restaurant to marvel at their delicate flavor (and the prep work involved in cleaning the tiny fish), and they're still a revelation to people who think of anchovies as pungent salt bombs. The ocean is still present in the velvety flesh, but in its deep-water, foam-flecked guise, not the putrid depths it vomits back onto the land. 

Zuni has settled into its status as a San Francisco institution with the same grace that Swan Oyster Depot and Chez Panisse have, coming off as classic rather than dated. Perhaps that's because Judy Rodgers' technical prowess and streamlined, seasonal food have become the norm here, or because she just hasn't let the restaurant slide. (In fact, some things have improved: The service, once infamous for its rudeness, has grown sweetly accommodating.)

Sure, there are more amateur photographers than there used to be stalking the sunlight gleaming off the copper bar, and more four-tops from Topeka embarking on a San Francisco culinary adventure with matching Caesar salads. But there are just as many of the impeccably casual Pacific Heights matrons you've always seen at Zuni, relaxing over misty glasses of white wine and oyster plates. We always leave feeling like this town possesses a hidden glamour that we never see on BART.

Hungry for more? Click on the links in our countdown so far:

No. 92: Cracked Half Dungeness from Swan Oyster Depot
No. 91: Pastrami Sandwich from Orson

No. 90: Coconut Bun from Out the Door on Bush
No. 89: Brown Sugar-Black Pepper Biscuits from Little Skillet
No. 88: Spit-Roasted Porchetta Sandwich from Il Cane Rosso
No. 87: Indian Pizza from Zante
No. 86: Tamales from All-Star
No. 85: Chilaquiles from Nopalito
No. 84: Poc Chuc from Poc-Chuc
No. 83: Chocolate Beignet from Arlequin Cafe
No. 82: Scallop Crêpe from Ti Couz
No. 81: Gin and Tonic from Pizzaiolo/Boot and Shoe Service
No. 80: Quesadilla from Rico Pan
No. 79: Turkey Kati Rolls from Kasa
No. 78: Emperor's Pancake from Suppenküche
No. 77: Lasagna from Zuppa
No. 76: Chicharrones from 4505 Meats
No. 75: Langka Ice Cream from Mitchell's
No. 74: Bacon Potato Chips from Who's Your Daddy
No. 73: Lamb Dumplings from Kingdom of Dumpling
No. 72: Chile-Braised Carnitas Sandwich from Bento 415
No. 71: Chili from Mission Burger
No. 70: Croissants from La Farine
No. 69: Xiu Mai Banh Mi from Saigon Sandwich
No. 68: Creme Brulee from Sweet.
No. 67: Limon Cebiche from Limon
No. 66: Chicken and Waffles from Brown Sugar Kitchen
No. 65: Brioche Bread Pudding from Tartine Bakery
No. 64: Turkish Salad from Old Jerusalem
No. 63: Ribs from Bruno's
No. 62: Prupisceddu in Umidu (Stewed Octopus) from La Ciccia
No. 61: Hot and Spicy Beef Jerky from Marin Sun Farms
No. 60: Pozole from Chilango
No. 59: Lobster Roll from Sam's ChowderMobile
No. 58: Dry-Fried Chicken Wings from San Tung
No. 57: John Campbell's Scones from Lovejoy's Tea Room
No. 56: Prahok from Angkor Borei
No. 55: The Garden-Fresh Pie from Pizzetta 211
No. 54: Pata Negra Ham from Contigo
No. 53: Stone Bowl Bibimbap at Han Il Kwan
No. 52: Green Papaya Salad from Green Papaya Deli
No. 51: Egg Puffs from Shanghai Dumpling King
No. 50: Cactus Tortillas from La Palma
No 49: Thai Barbecue Chicken from Manivanh
No. 48: Salt and Pepper Crab from R&G Lounge
No. 47: Aztec Chocolate Cupcakes from Mission Minis
No. 46: Octopus Tostada from Mariscos La Costa
No. 45: Pan con Chicharron from El Perol
No. 44: Burmese chicken-noodle soup at Yamo
No. 43: Roast Duck from Cheung Hing
No. 42: Rotisserie Bird from Goood Frickin' Chicken
No. 41: Franklin's Teleme Cheese
No. 40: Pho Dac Biet from Turtle Tower
No. 39: Sea Salted Dark Chocolate Caramels from Hooker's
No. 38: Dottie's Famous Pancakes from Dottie's True Blue Cafe
No. 37: XXX Chocolate Cake from Baker and Banker
No. 36: Carnitas Burrito from La Taqueria
No. 35: Little Fried Fish from Nopa
No. 34: Marlowe's Burger
No. 33: Crispy Pata from Patio Filipino
No. 32: Jam Thumbprints from Piccino Coffee Bar
No. 31: Slow-Cooked Egg from Commis
No. 30: Pulled Lamb Sandwich from Wexler's
No. 29: Cornmeal-Cherry-Rosemary Doughnut from Dynamo
No. 28: The Rising Sun from 15 Romolo
No. 27: The Cholle Bhature from Vik's Chaat Corner
No. 26: Plant Burger from The Plant Café Organic
No. 25: Stuffed Pasta from Flour + Water
No. 24: Potato Vareniki from Katia's Russian Tea Room
No. 23: Tokyo Ramen from Suzu Noodle House
No. 22: Margherita Pizza from Tony's Pizza Napoletana
No. 21: PB&J from Mission Street Food
No. 20: Sam's Sundae from Bi-Rite Creamery
No. 19: Timballo di Maccheroni from Quince
No. 18: New Orleans Iced Coffee from Blue Bottle
No. 17: Xiao Long Bao at Yank Sing
No. 16: Tacos from Taqueria Vallarta
No. 15: Caribeño Cocktail at Smuggler's Cove

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Zuni Cafe

1658 Market St., San Francisco, CA

Category: Restaurant

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