Txoko, the Basque-inflected restaurant in the old Enrico's space in North Beach, has been turning out some solidly interesting food and drink since last year. Just recently chef Ian Begg decided to reformat the menu, moving away from the pinxtos-and-small-plates idea they started with, and offering a more traditional selection of starters and mains, that still includes some standout dishes. Our favorite is this warm lamb-tongue salad, which came mixed with soft boiled potatoes, manchego, and topped with crispy shoestring potatoes.
The tangy, gaminess of the lamb is a strong counterpoint to the cheese and frise, and the texture is of the same, crumbling tenderness of the braised potato.
It could serve as an entre, and it's a fantastically balanced, satisfying, and dare we say manly salad, with the added bonus of a condiment of smoked tomato on the plate, adding some necessary acid.
We'd order it again and again, especially with one of the bar's well-mixed cocktails, but sadly we note it's been cycled off the menu, at least for tonight. Look for it soon, or beg Chef Begg to make you one.
Earlier on Actually Pretty Awesome:
The Branzino at AQ
Dinner at Local Mission Eatery
Suckling Pig Sandwich at Sweet Woodruff
Crudités at Saison
The Roasted Broccoli Sandwich at Split Pea Seduction
George Mendess Partridge in a Pear Tree
The Buffalo Burger at Double Decker
A Preview of Dishes at Haven
Alicia's Tamales Los Mayas
The Cocktails at Outerlands
The Meatball Gigante and the Honey Pie at Tonys Pizza
Three New Gins from St. George Spirits
The Date Night at Sneaky's BBQ
Crab and Dumplings at Pican
The Fried-Chicken Sliders at The Lookout
The Tripe and the Pickles at Bar Tartine
A Dinner of Small Plates at Frances
Fried Chicken and Cornmeal Doughnuts at Beast & the Hare