UPDATE: This restaurant closed in late 2014.
You’d think that a restaurant that emphasizes local seafood would be along the Embarcadero or Fisherman’s Wharf, but Local’s Corner is found at Bryant and 23rd in San Francisco’s Mission District.
From the same people behind Local Mission Eatery – which focuses on sustainable seasonal ingredients from the area – Local’s Corner puts the spotlight on the nearby Pacific Ocean despite the fact that seafood isn’t the first thing you think of when you hear the name or walk into the tiny but comfortable restaurant at a quiet corner off the beaten path of the burgeoning restaurant scene in the Mission.
You wouldn’t think that this place offers seafood because there’s no raw bar on display, only a few wine bottles off to the side and a counter in front of a tiny open kitchen where two chefs fire up the orders from the main room. Despite the small room, the restaurant can be quite noisy once it gets filled up.
Bites from the Sea
I checked out Local’s Corner with my friend David, who happened to have a Blackboard Eats discount for the place. The menu by Chef Jake Des Voignes has a variety of small plates to order, which our server suggested would be good to share among the two of us. This whole “sharing plates” experience is starting to get to me, because while I don’t mind sharing a few plates, some of them didn’t seem to be enough to share, such as the cute but tiny oyster pot pie, which really looked like an individual serving.
While the menu is dominated by seafood (including a few raw oysters to order), there are a few meat selections, but just a few. We ended up trying the braised pork shoulder with Thumbelina carrots and winter greens ($18). The dish came out creatively, with the pork in one tiny casserole dish and the vegetables in another. David was especially excited by this, while I thought it was nice but not necessarily clever.
Because we’re talking about seafood, many of the dishes had delicate flavors but with a nice sense of the season’s best, including a Dungeness crab salad ($13) that had generous chunks of crab meat with the classic combination of fennel and citrus. Another salad was one of my favorites of the night. The Brussels sprout salad with shallot, almond, and capricious ($9) was a nice mix of texture and flavors.
An uni dish ($15), however, was disappointing when the briny uni (or sea urchin) was paired with Satsuma Mandarin oranges, turnip and celery. The uni was presented almost naked, which can sometimes leave the sea urchin bland unless pushed to the edge. That didn’t happen here.
The Last Bite
Local’s Corner provides a pleasant offering of seafood dishes, many of which would be perfect for a light dinner or pre-dinner where you’re drinking a nice glass of wine with tasty small bites. It’s not necessarily a spot to be fully satisfied because of the sizing of the plates, and it’s not creative enough to draw attention from beyond the neighborhood, but it’s a decent and noble venture.
Local’s Corner, 2500 Bryant St. (at 23rd), San Francisco. PH: 415.800.7945. Open Tues.-–Sat., 8 a.m.–10 p.m.; Sun., 8 a.m.–2 p.m. Reservations, major credit cards accepted. www.localscornersf.com
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