Zaré at Fly Trap

28 01 2009

Mention Hoss Zaré to just about anybody and you will hear exactly the same thing, “Hoss is THE nicest guy,” and I couldn’t agree more.

What does that have to do with the food at Zaré at Fly Trap?  Well, in my opinion just about everything.  I believe that you can taste love in food, grandma’s spaghetti sauce was just about the best thing I’d ever tasted even though she was not Italian and there’s something to be said for food that has been labored over for hours and hours.  Hoss takes extreme pleasure in making people happy with his delicious Persian inspired Mediterranean cuisine as well as his warm and personable manner in the front of the house.  He treats you as if you were a guest in his home when you arrive at Zaré at Fly Trap.  I never quite understand how he can manage to be both omnipresent in the front of house while managing the quality of the food expertly.  Everything he does is thoughtful and his demeanor is always caring.  Eating there just makes you feel good.

Some of my favorite dishes are the most simple, for example the Fried Buffalo Mozzarella served with a perfect amount of baby arugula, salty black olives, red peppers and anchovy vinaigrette.  Other dishes are simple in theory but incorporate innovative techniques such as the not to be missed Smoked Trout with cucumber “linguini”, trout roe and dill creme fraiche.  I’m also in love with the Spice-Roasted Bone Marrow served with the most amazing preserved bergamot.  (For those not familiar with bergamot it is the beautiful citrus that scents Earl Grey tea.  It’s rare to find it fresh and made into this delicious candied preserve.)  The preserve is the perfect foil to the succulent marrow especially with a bit of bitter greens and a few flakes of black salt.

Entrees are also delicious, especially the “Drunken” half chicken which truly tastes labored over, and the Grilled Moroccan-style Wild Salmon which has a mixture of sauces including a cucumber raita that meld together for a truly exotic combination.  Marisa Churchill consulted on the fantastic desserts, Reza Esmaili crafts great cocktails and the wine list created by Master Sommelier Chris Blanchard is exciting and value oriented.

At the end of your meal Hoss will even send you home with a bone for your dog.  He’s just that kind of guy.

Zaré at Fly Trap 606 Folsom Street at 2nd San Francisco, CA 94107