Proposition Chicken Falls Just Shy of Passage

Pete Kane
If you're only really going to do one thing, you'd better do it well. And if that one thing happens to be chicken, it had better be pretty damn terrific. The flipped chicken sandwich at Proposition Chicken, now open in that liminal zone on Market and Octavia that's technically Hayes Valley but not really part of any neighborhood, falls a bit shy of that standard.

It's a simple menu, with three principal cooking methods, lettered like California electoral ballot options, each of which may be served three ways. For the chicken, you choose from fried, flipped (that is, rotisserie) or fake (as in tofu), and get it as a sandwich, salad or an entrée -- that last with a buttermilk biscuit and honey butter. You can also get brown sugar Brussels sprouts, chicken soup with matzo balls and four types of wings, and the breading can be gluten-free.

Full disclosure: Mayonnaise (and its derivatives) are one thing I am simply not a fan of. And between mayo proper, slaw, and buttermilk, it's more or less unavoidable at Prop Chicken. But it wasn't moistness that this sans-mayo sandwich lacked; it was flavor. This Amoroso roll held Mary's Chicken, with lemon, garlic and Italian parsley marinade, and thyme, and still it felt under-seasoned.

Pete Kane
The exterior and the neon chicken-tinged interior of Proposition Chicken.
It's a cute space, though, full of cheery red chairs, portraits of glamorous poultry, and a red neon chicken that does bring to mind a certain Seinfeld episode, and it's on a stretch of Market that could certainly use more comestibles. But at first bite, this measure might require a return to subcommittee before it's brought to a plebiscite.

Proposition Chicken, 1750 Market St., (415) 864-2454.

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how is mayonnaise involved in any way with buttermilk? maybe you just don't like white foods?

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