Sons & Daughters – San Francisco, CA

In a short year after opening, Sons & Daughters garnered the highly acclaimed Michelin Star. Their menu is inspired from seasonal ingredients harvested from their very own garden located in Los Gatos. Chef/Owners Matt McNamara & Teague Moriarty started out serving a simple menu w ala carte and prix fixe but have now stuck to only one prix fixe menu. Price has continuously changed over the year and will continue to change as they have stated in their website. Serving no particular cuisine or style but a menu inspired by the ingredients they get.

The restaurant is a small 29 seater with an intimate open kitchen. Dimly lit and quite romantic~

Menu offers only the prix fixe option at $86 person for 5 courses, 2 items to choose from per course. In between each course is a bread serving, which was so good that I have to document that as well.

The food:

Amuse: Cardoon Smoked Creme Fraiche Caviar

Crispy little morsel. This was literally two tiny bites of heavy. It was super crispy with a nice smoky creamy filling and salty caviar. It got me excited for the rest of the meal – amuse bouche for sure!

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Buttermilk Biscuit w Honey Butter

All this was setting the stage for the rest of our meal. The biscuit was crumble and buttery with delicious honey butter that melted the moment it got in contact with the warm biscuit.
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Egg Bottarga Baby Bok Choy Dill

Such a pretty dish! The rest of the meal was as interesting to look at as it was to eat. This was the prettiest but also the most underwhelming. I enjoyed the little quail egg that is cooked to a nice 62/63 degrees. The baby bok choy was very lightly blanched. All the other components were interesting, especially with the salty bottarga (cured mullet roe) and sweet citrus-y puree. But a little too complicated for my palate.
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Foie Blood orange Oats Geranium

I was quite confused by this dish. The foie gras mousse was delicious on its own but the blood orange gelee on top was overpowering and made it very dessert like. Along with the sweet sorbet (apple??) and oats – I felt like I was going between dessert or savoury. Very confusing. Individually, each component was good but together – very muddled.

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White Toast w Buttermilk & Yoghurt Butter

Best bread of the night! I wish this little mini toast was triple in size. It was buttery with nice golden crust and soft centre. The butter was superb – so creamy and subtle, not as heavy as the typical sweet cream butter.
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Broccoflower Maitake Celery root Bronze Fennel

I was not sure what broccoflower  and felt totally ignorant when I realise it was just green cauliflower! Another pretty dish; our meal was a progression of artwork on plates~ Very simple and all the natural flavours of each item definitely shone. The dish was drizzled with a light vinagrette that was delicious but I could not identify what it was composed of. I really enjoyed the maitake mushrooms and broccoflower.
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Sea urchin Sea Beans Cauliflower Dashi

I am not the largest fan of uni so this was not my favourite. That said, it was one of the best quality unis that I have tasted. I also don’t really like how the texture of foam feels in my mouth so I was not wowed by this dish. The dashi was in a form of soft gelee and gave the dish the “natural sea water” flavour with hints of seaweed.

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Sourdough w Butter topped with crushed herbs & pepper

Not my favourite but still way better than the average sour dough. Nice crust with dense tangy dough and creamy salty butter with hints of some kind of herb.
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Abalone Burdock Prosciutto Castelveltrano

I am not the biggest fan of olive but the greatest fan of abalone so this was an interesting dish for me. I was pleasantly surprised. Castelveltrano is just a type of olives, with flavours more subtle that the usual black or pimento olives but similar and it added a nice acid to the rich salty abalone. The abalone was tender and well seasoned and the prosciutto added an extra dimension.
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Wild Boar Apple Hay Pink Peppercorn

Not what I expected – the wild boar was braised and made into a “galantine”. It was packful of flavour but texturally a miss – stringy and not very appetising looking. The sauce on the other hand was sublime – creamy, rich, sweet n salty; complimenting the meat rather well.

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Croissant w “Butter”

Crispy, flaky and buttery. I loved the sweet creamy butter that it was served with. It was more like a sweet jam instead butter but I honestly can’t remember what it was made of.
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Squab Pistachio Fennel Quinoa

The squab was delicious! Skin was really crispy and tender breast cooked to a nice med rare. The sauce was rich and full bodied and the shaved fennel added a nice crunch. I can’t detect the specific flavours used in the dish but it was amazing!! Hands down the favourite at the table.
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Venison Hedgehogs Brussel sprouts Charred onion ($10 supplement)

We had to ask what hedgehogs were when we were ordering, and was told it was a mushroom. When we were served, I found that hedgehog mushrooms are very much like oyster mushrooms visually and texturally.

I didn’t realise how red and bloody it looked until I took the photo (w the help of light from SK’s phone). I presume the boar was cooked sous vide and then seared because of how evenly cooked it is and even with the garish redness, it was not bloody and pretty much rare/med rare ish. It was tender and well seasoned (I expected the boar to be a tad tough since it is so lean but this was not the case). As odd as it is to say, it was very comforting – the puree was very much like like fluffy mash but not and the brussel sprouts added great texture and another element – a touch of bitterness and freshness. One of my favourites.

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Intermezzo: Kumquat Yoghurt Citrus Mint

Definitely a palate cleanser – the tiniest bite that burst with flavour in the mouth and cleansed the palate with the citrusy kumquat gelee and sweet meringue.
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Doughnuts

Very strange, it was dusted with salt, pepper and sugar – the combination of flavours were so odd that my palate was majorly confused. The dough itself was nice – airy and fluffy and served warm with a nice brown crust.
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Yuzu Popcorn Sesame Passion Fruit

The little cubes are yuzu custard that is served chilled; tangy, rich and creamy. The sesame tuilles were sweet and crunchy, giving the much needed texture to the dessert. The popcorn ice cream definitely tasted like popcorn, which was quite trippy! It all worked well and was a refreshing end to the meal.
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Chocolate Salted Caramel Milk Macadamias

Meep mentioned that this reminded him of a giant rolo that has been microwaved. I have never had Rolos but I am sure Rolos don’t taste this good.

The gooey salted caramel inside the chocolate shell was not overly sweet, rich and buttery (loves!!) with dark chocolate coating that was melting in front of our eyes – bitter and smooth. The milk ice cream was one of the best ice creams I have had in a long time – not overly sweet and so smooth. I loved everything on the plate~

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Petit Fours: Honey Thyme Truffle

Best end to the meal – the chocolate was dark chocolate with the most intense creamy centre. It was delicious and everyone was so full that I are 3 out of 4! Yummm…

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Total Damage: ~$462 (including tax & tip). This is a rough estimate because dinner was on SK (Thanks again!!!)

Personal Rating: 4 out of 5 (Great)

The highlights of our meal was the bread & sauces, which was unanimous with all the diners. I made a comment about how they probably have a pastry chef that exclusively bakes everything and the server confirmed this when she overheard us. Kudos to the pastry chef!

The main elements of most dishes were delicious and exquisitely prepared eventhough I found them forgettable. Nothing stood out but the menu as a whole had good progression and flavour profile. All that said, Sons & Daughters is definitely worthy of the Michelin star it garnered.

Service was very good – took a while after being seated to get our orders in. But each course was delivered fairly timely with detailed descriptions (which helps with such a ambiguous menu). Plates cleared, water refilled and table cleaned of crumbs consistently throughout our meal.

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Sons & Daughters

708 Bush Street
San Francisco, CA 94108

(415) 391 8311

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