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Food & Drink

I found San Francisco’s best white pizza—it’s from this pop-up

The Keak Da Leek pizza is a masterpiece. Plus: why your next noodle soup obsession should be mohinga; and sampling oysters, Palm City-style.

White leek pizza at Jules
The spring-inspired “Keak Da Leek” pie hits hard at the Jules pop-up. | Source: Morgan Ellis/The Standard

This is All Things Consumed, a column by The Standard’s eater-at-large, Omar Mamoon, featuring three great dishes he’s eaten, one thing he’s drunk, and one other food product he’s stoked on. 

Leek Pizza at Jules 

I’ve been on a big white pie kick lately, and the one I recently had at Jules, a pizza pop-up from Max Blachman-Gentile, a former culinary director for Tartine, hit hard. Comically called Keak Da Leek, this pizza utilized every part of the long allium. The tops were caramelized with butter and dijon. The bottoms were braised in white wine and seared in brown butter. Instead of tomato sauce as the base, there’s garlic confit-infused cream. It’s all topped with a blend of cheeses—mozzarella and taleggio for some funk, as well as little bits of preserved lemon scattered throughout that pop and cut through all the richness. It’s finished with a final flourish of parmesan and fried shallots for a sweet crunch. 

White leek pizza by Jules
The "Keak Da Leek" pizza uses every part of its namesake for a rich and buttery experience on every slice. | Source: Morgan Ellis/The Standard

Blachman-Gentile pops up all over, baking his thin and crispy, slightly sour, inventively topped pies out of a trio of portable pizza ovens; check his Instagram to find out where he’s popping up next. But he’s at Buddy in the Mission on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Grab a seat at the bar, and also consider supplementing your pizza with some other small sides like roasted miso carrots with salsa verde or a chopped salad.

💰: $22
📍 Buddy, 3115 22nd St., San Francisco

Oyster on the half shell at Bar Jabroni

The folks behind the popular Outer Sunset sandwich shrine Palm City Wines opened a new wine bar last week in the Lower Haight called Bar Jabroni. I’m such a huge fan of what owners Dennis Cantwell and Monica Wong have built with their first spot—turning a sleepy corner deep in the Outerlands into a destination for sensational hoagies and wines—that I was excited to see what they’d do in the city’s center.

Their new spot is also located on a corner, this time a busier one along The Wiggle bike route. You can’t miss it—they painted the outside bright banana-yellow. I visited on their first day last week, and the small bar was buzzing, packed with excited patrons sipping on wine. But unlike at Palm City, there weren’t any forearm-sized hoagies in sight; instead, people were feasting on small plates of beef tartare and crispy cornmeal-battered artichokes—both delicious.

Oysters on a half-shell from Bar Jabroni
Bar Jabroni’s oysters are topped with cubes of pickled kohlrabi, whole coriander seeds, brown rice vinegar and coriander blossoms. | Source: Omar Mamoon for The Standard

To help lead the kitchen at Bar Jabroni, Cantwell and Wong tapped Chef Robert Hernandez, a former chef de cuisine at Octavia, to build a menu of playful-yet-elevated small plates. I love the way Hernandez adorns his raw oysters with perfect cubes of pickled kohlrabi for texture and acidity, whole coriander seeds that provide an unexpected and pleasant earthy pop, and brown rice vinegar to counter against the oceanic liquor coming from the tiny briny bivalves.

Pair it with a glass of champagne and you’re off to a good start. I can’t wait to go back to eat my way through the rest of the menu, particularly the larger share plates.

💰: $4.50 per oyster
📍 698 Haight St., San Francisco

Mohinga at Bay of Burma

Mohinga, a Burmese breakfast noodle soup and the national dish of Myanmar, hasn’t caught on in America in quite the same way other Asian noodle soups have, like ramen or pho. But trust me when I say this: mohinga should be your new noodle soup go-to, especially the bowls at Bay of Burma.

Mohinga soup at Bay of Burma
Mohinga is a Burmese breakfast noodle soup and the national dish of Myanmar. Bay of Burma’s version uses white carp in the base, red chilies for heat, pe kyaw (a cracker made from fried lentils), and slipper rice noodles. | Source: Omar Mamoon for The Standard

I grew up eating a lot of mohinga—my mom moved to California from Burma in 1979—and this one tastes just like the version she used to make. The broth is super savory, slightly sour, not too thick nor too thin in body, and most importantly, isn’t overly fishy in flavor or aroma. The restaurant uses white carp in the base, which is a bit milder than the typical catfish. A squeeze of lime adds acidity, red chilies bring the heat, and pe kyaw (a cracker made from fried lentils) delivers a rich, salty, crispy textural contrast to the soft-slipper rice noodles.

Bay of Burma, which opened last May by Burmese immigrants Kay and Ryan Zin (who also happens to be a Burma Superstar alum), is located on Folsom in SoMa and has a few tables and counter seating in the small white-and-gray-walled minimalist space on Folsom. The chicken and beef curries are also worth trying; they’re based on Kay’s grandmother’s recipes. They’re super heady and aromatic, slightly spicy, a little bit oily (as a good curry should be), and pair amazingly well with coconut rice.

💰: $17.50
📍 1174 Folsom St., Unit B, San Francisco

A bottle I’m loving 

Graham Shelton of Slow Dance Wines makes zero-zero wines, a subcategory of natural winemaking, where nothing is added and nothing is removed (not even water). His 2022 Sauvignon Blanc, or Fume Blanc as he labels it, is a cloudy, pale-yellow wine that comes from grapes grown in Redwood Valley in Mendocino. It’s got good texture and weight and has a zippy, racing acidity that helps cut through rich foods when pairing—like the merguez and lentil stew that I enjoyed with it. Slow Dance, 2022 Fume Blanc, $36, Ruby Wines, 1419 18th St., San Francisco
🍷 Slow Dance, 2022 Fume Blanc
💰 $36
📍Ruby Wines, 1419 18th St., San Francisco

And one more thing I’m stoked on

I’ve been a fan of tortilla master Emmanual Galvan’s beautiful multicolored-heirloom Bolita masa de maiz for a while. I’ve bought his masa many times in an effort to nail that oh-so-elusive tortilla puff on my home stove. (I mostly failed.) But it was only recently that I experienced his tortilla game in person at a pop-up at the natural wine festival Brumaire, where Galvan was making plump shrimp tacos inspired by the famed Mariscos Jaliscos in Los Angeles. Keep an eye on his Instagram to see his pop-up schedule and find his masa at Tahona Mercado in Nob Hill ($9/lb).

Omar Mamoon is a San Francisco-based writer and cookie dough professional. Find him on Instagram.