Charles Phan did the neighborly thing and invited Fillmore District residents in Thursday night for a first look at his newest San Francisco venture -- OTD Bush Street. (Previously, we referred to it as Out the Door.)
Under any name, the space has a good feel. It is urban and sophisticated, not unlike his Slanted Door at the Ferry Building, though in a significantly smaller space.
Despite being small, the space at 2232 Bush St. has an openness brought about by the minimalist design and furnishings. The long eastern wall is light wood wainscot, and the back wall is simple ceramic tiling, as is the floor.
The food was phenomenal. Waiters worked the room steadily plying the guests with trays full of succulent, bite-sized samples and the sauces to go with them. Among the offerings were a deliciously doughy pork-filled dumpling, a veggie spring roll with a big shot of mint and a small shot of peanut sauce, sweet bacon quiche and a shrimp and pork eggroll.
What caught the biggest attention of our eyes -- and our palates -- were the lamb lollipops. Lamb chops grilled and flavored with a distinct honey-hoisin barbecue sauce that lingered nicely after the dishes were cleared.
Chef de Cuisine is Grace Nguyen, who has moved over from a role at Slanted Door. She will be serving breakfast (including a duck egg dish that I can't wait to try), lunch and dinner.
It was a glorious party, the first of several introductory gatherings and one that set the tone for OTD becoming a destination establishment in the Fillmore District. Official opening is next Thursday (Oct. 1).