Myriad has only been around about a year and a half, but it somehow feels like it’s been here longer. It moved into the old Nombe space, and dolled the place up. It’s billed as a gastropub, which to me means it’s a pub, but with good food. That’s not quite the vibe I get, though I do know that that term is thrown about quite wildly these days. The bar area is a little cold for my taste, while the dining room – a long narrow room done in burnt-orange, brown, olive green shades, with a flowery, carpeted wall that reminds me of a dress I had in the 7th grade, and wrought iron chandeliers – has more warmth; it’s a nice mix of rustic 70s, industrial/modern. There are a couple of long tables for bigger parties in the front windows on either side of the door, and they also have outside seating now, though I swear I’ve never seen anyone out there.
As for the food (and that’s what we’re here for, isn’t it?), Trish Tracey, formerly of Thirsty Bear, conceived an international menu of snacks and casual but elevated main plates. The website says the menu changes daily, but what struck me when the BF and I came to eat a couple of weeks ago was that many items on the menu were the same as when we first visited: the deviled eggs, housemade chips, the lamb sandwich, the Jersey wedge, cochinita pibil (which I didn’t love when I had it)…. I would have thought there would be more new items.
To be honest, though, some of these dishes do deserve to still be on the menu. The burger, for instance. The BF had the burger the first time we came, all those months ago, and then again on our visit for this review, because he couldn’t remember it. I could. It was great.
And it still is! (Sorry for the dark pics – the lighting was not conducive to taking them.) It’s a grass fed patty, with loads of flavor; besides the beef being beefy, it’s slathered in their secret “MGP Sauce” – which concoction I’m pretty sure means “Ketchup and Mayo” – but it’s good! – and topped with cheddar cheese. Served on a delightfully squishy seeded brioche bun, and with really great steak fries on the side. It also came with pickley things. I want to say this is maybe my 3rd or 4th favorite burger right now.
But I’m getting ahead of myself, with all the excitement of the burger. We started off with the deviled egg:
Note that is singular. Deviled EGG. Cut in half. Yes, it’s on the “Snacks” menu, but an egg split in half (that’s mine, above) is really more like a nibble. It needed salt, too, but the yolk blended with salsa verde was nicely creamy and the radish added a good crunch. Still, I would have liked to have been told “Hey, if you’re sharing that, you might want to order two.” Who eats half a deviled egg, fer chrissakes?
We also ordered the Market Salad, which this night was composed of lacinato kale, pomegranate, persimmon, Pt. Reyes blue cheese, and spiced pepitas, in a port vinaigrette.
Beautiful! We loved the mix of the crunchy pepitas with the earthiness of the kale, the tart pom arils, the salty/funky cheese, and sweetish persimmons. It was perfectly dressed, too, and the BF tried to mimic the vinaigrette at home the next night, but forgot the port. You gotta have the port.
For my main, I had the grilled hanger steak with patatas bravas, cotija, romesco, salsa verde, and grilled spring onions.
This was delicious, although the steak was a bit chewy – but it’s a hangar steak, and you have to expect that. Really good sauces, and the potatoes were again, perfectly fried. Lots of flavor on this plate. I felt that I would have liked maybe another slice of the steak, but all in all, I enjoyed this quite a bit.
And because we’re oinkers, and because I owe it to Mission Local readers, we also ordered the Cheesy Anson Mills Grits as a side (as opposed to the small plate that comes with spicy shrimp.)
Cheesy goodness, but not too cheesy; they actually tasted like grits. For me they needed a bit of salt, and then they were perfect.
We each had a delicious Barbera. The BF doesn’t usually drink wine with dinner but he liked mine so much he ordered a glass too. Myriad actually does a nice job with its cocktails, especially since they don’t have a liquor license. They get away with a lot, using port, bubbly, amaros and soju, and come up with some great combinations. They’ve also got a tasty little wine list, with Spanish, Italian, and French offerings.
On my second visit, I went with a friend, and we pretty much ate our way through the rest of the menu. I started with a cocktail, the Old Timer – Dolin Blanc, lime, thyme, Carpano Antica, Angostura Bitters. I asked the bartender if it was sweet, and he said it was, a little, but that he could make it less so for me. And he did. It was a good drink, perfectly balanced tart, sweet, and bitter.
My friend had a Spanish Albariño.
We shared a couple of snacks, a couple of small plates, and then split a main. We started out with the pot o’ pickled veggies and house-made potato chips…
The veggies were very crisp, and not too sour, as I often find pickled vegetables. We really loved them. The chips were lightly spiced and came with a with tart horseradish-chive crema – good chips, if a little dark. A nice start.
Next, we got the Jersey wedge:
I’d actually had this salad the very first time I came here, and adored it. The BF wasn’t as thrilled as, for him, wedge means blue cheese. Their wedge is the typical iceberg lettuce, but with a smoky Thousand Island dressing, pickled onions, bacon, croutons, and shredded dry jack. It’s refreshing, crunchy, and the smoked paprika is genius with the bacon and onions. A great salad, and from now on I’ll never not order it again.
Next up, potted chicken-liver mousse.
Served in a cutesy canning jar, topped with a port-wine onion jam and served with crostini – dreamy and creamy. I’m a sucker for livery mousses, and this was a good one.
Our last small plate was the crispy fried chicken sammies, topped with a creamy Mexican cole slaw, drizzled with a little honey and chipotle mayo, and more of those pickled veggies (we wished they’d told us we were already getting pickled veggies when we ordered them as a starter. They’re good but we didn’t need two orders.) The fried chicken was crispy and juicy, though it needed a little salt, for me. (I know that’s a running theme for me, but please people – season your food!)
Aren’t they too cute? Super crunchy!
And once again, we got the side of cheesy grits, because my friend had not had them and I can’t say no to cheese.
For our main, we split the salmon.
Oh my! This was the best of any of the entrées I’ve had here. It came with crispy guanciale, a lentil ragout, cooked with sherry, whole grain mustard a fabulous aioli, and topped with small herb salad. Fantastic! The salmon was crispy but also tender – just perfectly cooked. And I loved the earthiness of the tender/firm lentils. Really a great fall dish, which I don’t usually expect from salmon.
We were more than full, but my friend had a hankering for dessert, and apparently I can’t say no to that either….
It was apple and dried cranberries, with a pecan crumble, and caramel/crème fraîche ice cream. So very good, and I don’t even care about dessert, and even less about a crumble. It took a little while to come, but our bartender took it upon himself to apologize and treat us to a tawny port to go with the sweet.
So nice! Above and beyond the call of duty, but very appreciated.
I’m not sure if this is a destination restaurant, but it’s a really decent neighborhood spot, especially the snacks and small plates, and if they change up the entrées some, I think they’d be golden. And ok, sure: A gastropub! I hope they get busier, because sometimes that’s what feels is missing here, the buzz of people.
Read more Mission Local Reviews – Find Out where to Go and What to Eat when You Get There
Myriad Gastro Pub
2491 Mission St. at 21st St.