You know you want to break that egg.
Farm & Market salad.
Pâté en croûte.
I heart lunch. One spot that has me wanting to make up excuses to have a lunch meeting is ~LOCAL MISSION EATERY~ over on 24th Street in the Mission. First-time restaurant owner Yaron Milgrom has partnered with chef Jake Des Voignes for this friendly neighborhood venture. I was a fan of Des Voignes’s cooking when he was at Fifth Floor, so it’s nice to see a talented chef go out on his own and do his thing.
And let me tell you, he makes some hella tasty sandwiches, which are composed like total chef sandwiches. Example: a corned beef brisket with red onion marmalade, marinated cucumbers, and a decadent touch from a Pt. Reyes blue fondue—it came with a potato salad on the side that tasted like my mom’s (i.e. fresh, tangy, and good). I once had a juicy roast pork sandwich with housemade cherry catsup—what a great condiment. And if you’re an egg fan, their seasonal egg open-face sandwiches also rock—especially when the perfectly runny yolk spills over asparagus spears or a medley of mushrooms. Meow. And here’s the big decadent bonus: they come on a thick slice of brioche made by Knead Patisserie.
About that patisserie… Des Voignes’s wife, Shauna (RN74, ubuntu, Fifth Floor), is behind that buttery madness. She runs a pastry counter in the back of the restaurant, serving coffee and sweet treats—insane treats, some of the best in the city. One bite of the pomme d’amour and you’ll see. It’s like a French crème brûlée version of an egg custard tart. Just try not to make a noise upon your first bite. Cookies, fantastic. Honkin’ eclairs. Wicked croissants. All kinds of sugary and buttery things to make you horny and want to go home and crawl back into bed with your honey.
Whew, okay, so back to the restaurant… I like the space’s natural-artsy look, with reclaimed wood, cheerful blue tile, and cool plants hanging on the wall at the entrance. You can sit at the counter overlooking the kitchen, some tables in the front, or the communal table in the middle of the room. There’s a nice vibe during the day (note: there’s also weekend brunch). Thing is, during dinner service, the room is so lit up that it feels really casual, especially with the music cranking. It’s a spot where I’d swing by for some bites and wine with pals, or a low-key “I don’t want to cook” night, but not for a special date.
The concept, true to its Local name, is all about using fresh and well-sourced ingredients from California, with some being grown by the restaurant on Shauna’s family’s Lodi farm. The menu features a lot of seasonal produce, beautifully presented in the Farm & Market salad ($8/$14) with beets, melon, avocado, and arugula. Although the poor beets in the salad were a bit overdone. Sorry about that, beets.
In the bites section of the dinner menu ($4 each/three for $10), you can get items like lavender almonds (brill), Padrón peppers over a bed of romesco and feta, and the impeccable chicken liver mousse capped with a green apple gelée—you can see Des Voignes’s French culinary background come out in this dish. And in this one: the pâté en croûte ($11/$19). How often do you see this dish on menus? Almost never. So get it. (How nice to be able to use the wife’s brioche scraps to wrap that puppy up.)
Everything comes in two sizes, so whether you’re game for sharing, or dining solo, you can scale your own meal. The rock cod was a standout main dish ($12/$22), cooked perfectly, and so savory with charred early girl tomatoes, plus a hit of fennel and saffron. Some other dishes show some creativity with ingredients, like the raisins, walnuts, nepitella, and aged Gouda in the purple cauliflower cazuela ($7/$12), but did it all come together? Not quite seamlessly. Desserts can also be a bit experimental, like the peanut butter gelée ($8), but it didn’t really speak to me. Maybe I needed to erase my mind of the knowledge that there was a pomme d’amour lurking in the back.
The wine list, put together by Terroir Wine Merchant, is on the natural tip—I immediately gravitated to the food-friendly Occhipinti 2006 frappato ($57), even better after a quick and light chilling. There are well-priced wines by the glass, and some excellent beers as well.
They’re doing some cool things here, from the lending library of cookbooks, to ongoing “labs“/classes (like an upcoming one about puff pastry with Shauna). I like all the thought they’ve put into making this place a unique part of the neighborhood—it’s the kind of spot you want to support, even if you have to cross town to get there.