Spice Kit's Short Rib Ssam Wrap
After glimpses of four-star glory, Fred Tang and Will Pacio are ministering to the $10 lunch crowd. Opening yesterday: Spice Kit, their quick-casual spot in the office zone where FiDi fuses with SOMA. Tang and Pacio are likewise seeking to fuse rice paper wraps and white bread, in a move to make the banh mi and Korean ssam rolls as appealing as a Toaster Oven turkey sub to a wide demo of downtown office workers.
Our banh mi yesterday was a careful study in crossover. The roll was right, the house-made pate (available for an upcharge) delicious, and the vinegary clutch of carrot and daikon was appropriatey vivid. But cubes of five-spice grilled chicken (all proteins are customizable) came across more Mixt Greens than Lee's, and a copious smear of mayo seemed to nod too decisively in the direction of the deli. Nevertheless, a Korean ssam wrap, filled with hunks of braised and grilled short rib, was perfect: delicately elastic rice-paper wrap, stretched around rice, mung sprouts, lush bits of beef, and moderately spicy kimchi.
John Birdsall Banh mi with five-spice chicken and pate ($7.65).
If anything has the power to turn skeptical admins away from the tuna melt, it's that.
Spice Kit 405 Howard (at First St.), 882-4581