My friend Cuong Pham, the founder and owner of Red Boat fish sauce, came to dinner with his family a few weeks ago. One of the first things he mentioned was that they’d celebrated their daughter’s birthday the night before at State Bird Provisions in San Francisco. “You got in?” I asked, telling him that one time we arrived around 6pm and the line was 3 hours long for a table for two. We went for pizza up the street instead.
Named 2012 Restaurant of the year by Bon Appetit magazine and with only 50 something seats, State Bird Provisions is in high-demand. Nabbing a table is hard, unless you’re patient or I suppose have an in. I was jealous of Cuong. Seeing as how I live a good hour and a half away from San Fran, I wasn’t about to be dinning there soon. Currently, there are no reservations available for 60 days.
Rather than stew in envy, I decided to make something from the restaurant. I’d seen a couple of its recipes in San Francisco’s Chef’s Table by Carolyn Jung, an award-winning food journalist formerly of the San Jose Mercury News.