I’ve dined at numerous restaurants in San Francisco and the East Bay but I never venture down the peninsula.
Since I was in the South Bay for an event, I decided I might as well have dinner there since I rarely have the opportunity. A former coworker of mine used to work at Bird Dog, a fairly new modern American restaurant in Palo Alto, that really caught my attention. The menu sounded exciting and innovative so I was most definitely intrigued. The menu is divided into small plates, main courses, and sides dishes that are recommended to go with your entrées. Portions are on the smaller side and prices are slightly steep but I was excited to try the food.This was a fun and different way of “bread” service. The roti were warm with a soft interior that was seasoned with herbs. They offered three types of crudos on their menu and honestly I could have eaten them all. I decided on tai because I really like sea bream/snapper raw and this dish was really nicely prepared. The crunchiness of the pecans and the raw watermelon radishes complimented the delicateness of the fish. I especially loved the heat from the Peruvian chili sauce that added that necessary kick to the dish. Sablefish, also known as black cod, was moist and the meat melted in my mouth. However, the skin could have been crispier which is a difficult thing to accomplish correctly. The strands of celtuce, a kind of hybrid of celery and romaine lettuce, was crunchy and fresh while the sorrel sauce added a hint of acidity. This side dish screamed spring and freshness. The asparagus were the star of the show and the salty crunchy pieces of gribenes (cracklings) were a fun addition. Beautifully charred on the outside, this wagyu was delicious and a really fun combination of flavors. The creamy sweet red kuri squash purée complimented the tartness of the limequat jelly and the slight bitterness of the coffee crumble. Definitely recommend this. This potato side dish was fire. I love potatoes and this took it to another level. These morsels were covered in a heavenly brown butter sabayon that was a flavor explosion.
Now no meal would be complete without dessert and they all sounded bomb so we ended up getting three for the two of us!Moist rich chocolate cake with juicy segments of blood orange and slightly tart ice cream, a nice modern approach to a typical chocolate dessert. This pudding was so silky and rich and with the salted caramel ice cream it was divine. The chewy financier at the bottom with the vibrant pieces of rhubarb went so well with the aromatic jasmine tea broth. This was probably my favorite dessert because I love when tea is incorporated into desserts.
I was more than pleasantly surprised and satisfied with my meal at Bird Dog. Sometimes when the menu looks creative, they can go overboard and forget that flavor should always come first. However, everything we ate was beautifully presented and prepared so my rating is a 8.5/10.