This Restaurant is Permanently Closed

Slowly but surely, Nob Hill, the land of white tablecloths, tuxedoed waiters and $26 spaghetti, is starting to colonize the Tenderloin. There’s a slow creep of restaurants with sit-down dining options, no bars on the windows, and health scores over 50. And these places are churning out very, very good food at prices more in line with an up-the-hill Italian bistro than the pizza by the slice place on the corner boasting a reasonably well-behaved rat menagerie.

Huxley brings the excellent food at not low prices to the area, but ditches the tablecloths and fancy waiters for simple, sparse tables in a tiny space. It would also work as a hipster bar, because 1) Hipster bars thrive in semi-dangerous areas and 2) there’s a ton of bar space. Like, all the bar space. It’s a great place to eat alone, so should you happen to be stuck on a business trip and stranded in Union Square, take note. The service is great, maybe because the waiters only have to take seven steps to reach any part of the restaurant, and the food is fresh and unpretentious and holy sh*t is the avocado uni toast good.

Seasonal vegetables and meats, meanwhile, are interesting and unusual, without having to involve foam or dehydrated seahorses. No matter which farm is shipping to the table, Huxley will put it to good use. Even scapes. Whatever those are.

The menu changes pretty frequently due to seasonality, so who knows if these things will all still be on the menu when you make it there, but we’re pretty confident the avocado toast is always on the list.

Huxley bills itself as a neighborhood restaurant, which can be a bit of a stretch in a neighborhood many people have historically avoided. But it’s a start. Someone needs to blaze a trail, and we will gladly follow the Huxley wagon train.

Food Rundown

Avocado Toast

This could be a food group for us, so when we tell you that this is some of the best avocado toast ever, we are not messing around. Warm, thick Jane bread, a layer of uni aioli, hearty avocado slices, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds and seaweed on top. We’ve actually had a dream about this dish.

Sweet Potato Croquettes

As can happen with croquettes, the main flavor is “International Distress Signal I scorched the entire inside of my mouth”. Once they cooled down, they didn’t bring much flavor to the table.

Grilled Asparagus

Nicely charred, fresh, topped with cilantro and tangerine wedges, which was a pleasant surprise. Good.

Devil’s Gulch Lamb

Spring/winter is in the air, so it’s time for some lamb. This sausage is awesome, and the fava beans and chickpeas are a clean contrast to the rich meat. Sometimes it’s not a sausage and is just tender pieces of lamb. Either way, we’re happy.

Fried Polenta

Science: frying makes things better. A fried square of polenta, topped with a fried egg and heaps of greens, turnips and meaty morel mushrooms. Wild nettles are involved too, which personally we aren’t bonkers over, but points to you for wrangling a stinging plant into something edible.

Whole Fish

This dish changes too, but it’s always the entire fish, and it always has eyes. Do with that what you will. We can get down with a little extra fork and knife effort for some delicious fish, and the lemon olive sauce on this is super good.

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