Actually Pretty Awesome: Lobster Bread Pudding and Smoked Cod at Maverick

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The new lobster-cod-mussel "chowder" at Maverick. Photo: Brian Smeets/Grub Street

Friday the 13th marks the seventh anniversary of the opening of Maverick, which debuted on 17th Street at a time when the Mission was not synonymous with New American and Italian dining hot spots. Range and Delfina were around back then, but they're closer to the quieter Guerrero and Valencia corridors, while Maverick paved the way for places like Commonwealth and Saison to brave the grittier parts of the Inner Mission. Today we'd like to wish them happy birthday, and give a shout-out to one of the excellent new dishes on chef Emmanuel Eng's new menu, which is just about a month old.

Eng has updated things and returned to form with the menu, focusing on new twists on American-food classics like fried chicken, crab rolls, and grits. A standout on the menu is this new main dish of lobster bread pudding paired with tender, smoked true cod. The plate ends up being a clever twist on a Cape Cod chowder, with a rich and briny mussel-cream broth, mussels, clams, linguica sausage, corn, and sea beans. It's New England summer in a bowl, but dressed up in California clothes.

Eng says he wanted to focus on "American flavors and flavor combinations unique to the American landscape. The New England clam bake was the "inspirational starting point" for the dish, but Eng says he thinks he's "developed something that is not necessarily evocative of the original dish, but certainly influenced by it."

Join Maverick for a glass of bubbly on the house at tomorrow's anniversary, or sometime soon.

Earlier on Actually Pretty Awesome:
Sand Dabs at Bar Jules
Green Farro-Sausage Risotto at RN74
Vegan Charctuerie at Gather
Pickled Eggs at St. Vincent
Beef Tongue at Namu Gaji
Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken at Brasa
Green Garlic Bread at State Bird Provisions
A Dinner of Small Plates and the Duck Confit Salad at Frances
Duck Fat Chex Mix at Truck Stop Caf
The Lamb Tongue Salad at Txoko
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
Fried Chicken and Cornmeal Doughnuts at Beast & the Hare