1760 Polk St (at Washington) SF, CA 94109 | (415) 395-1212 | website
My friend Jaytee and I went to 1760 for a quiet birthday celebration (hers) a few months ago, sorry for the late report! The restaurant is located at 1760 Polk (thus the name), and is a lovely casual dining venue that opened last year by the owners of Acquerello Restaurant, which is considered to be one of the top high end restaurants in the Bay Area. 1760 seems more like a place to stop by for a midweek informal dinner and a drink, while Acquerello is more for special occasions. It has a slightly industrial feel with high ceilings, a cool curved front corner embellished with rows of glass bricks, cushy booths, sleek banquettes, a long communal table and a lively bar along the back wall.
The restaurant was basically empty when we got there for our early reservation, so we were pampered and enjoyed being able to chat comfortably although once the restaurant filled up, we had to cup our hands around our ears and practically yell to be heard…
In the kitchen is chef Adam Tortosa, who trained as an apprentice under master sushi chef Katsuya Uechi at Kiwami Restaurant in Studio City and also worked in Michael Voltaggio’s restaurant ink in L.A. Everything on the ingredient driven menu sounded good, the list begins with caviar, crudo, cevich, then burrata, ribs, pastas and belly, ending in a fried duck sandwich. Dishes on the menu sound creative and intriguing with the flavors of Korea, Thailand and Japan, using classical european as well as modern preparations. The pastry chef, Riccardo Menicucci is a native Florentine who’s worked at Michelin three-star Enoteca Pinchiorri, will also oversee Acquerello’s baking program. And the cocktail menu was created by Christopher Longoria, formerly of Aziza, has crafted cocktails that pair well with food. The flavor profiles are fresh, approachable, interesting, and balanced — incorporating flavors and techniques often used by chefs into his cocktails by adding spoons of straight spices into drinks to making sous-vide shrubs to creating flavored ice cubes. Here is our amuse bouche of compressed pink lady apple slices with hibiscus and meyer lemon. It was densely crisp, tart and mysterious.
Our beautiful server was always on top of things and seemed to appear whenever we looked up. We began with a vegetable dish, I liked the sound of Lollipop Kale with guanciale ($12), it came with a smear of vibrantly red currant and ginger sauce and topped with a pile of crispy breadcrumbs. Lollipop kale is a cross between kale and brussel sprouts, it looks like miniature kale and was tender and delicate and utterly charming with the fresh tasting and slightly spicy sauce.
We both loved the chewy Bucatini with uni, garlic, red pepper, breadcrumbs ($21), although I always wish that there could have been more uni, because under that mountain of breadcrumbs, there were only a few tiny bites… Bucatini noodles are fat tubes (have a hollow interior), which gives the noodle a springy light texture.
We couldn’t resist ordering the Fried Duck Sandwich ($16) which was dramatically presented impaled by the knife which you remove in order to cut it in half. We collectively sighed, ooh la la!
This is what it looked like inside, a pile of slaw, pickles and a good dose of aioli, over the breaded and sexy fried duck confit patty in a decadently buttery bun. It was delicious but immediately fell apart, leaving our hands a greasy finger-licking mess, very rich and filling. The confit was luscious but I had to search for it and the bits of delicately battered and fried crust which were almost buried in the piles of indulgence. Best tackled with a knife and fork…
We were stuffed but had to soldier on with dessert – we were there to celebrate Jaytee’s birthday after all! She let me choose, so I ordered the Chocolate Ganache ($10). The festive plate arrived decorated with two poufs of hickory ice cream, a swirl of extruded chocolate ganache, on top of a delicious puddle of bourbon caramel, the crushed graham crackers added a lovely crunchy texture and I scraped every single blob of artistically piped toasted marshmallow off the plate. The swirl of ganache was pliable and creamy and I swore every bite was my last but couldn’t stop…
Over the course of our meal the restaurant filled up and starry lights began to twinkle overhead. I took this photo from the back of the bar which was festive and full of revelry.
We enjoyed the vibe, the friendly professional service, and of course the food. Although it was a bit of a schlep for me, I want to come back to explore the seafood on the menu: hamachi crudo with pluots, yuzu kosho and puffed rice; or lobster ceviche with caramelized coconut, pineapple and kaffir lime; crispy octopus with roasted peanuts, avocado and potato… that all sounds incredible.