Mr Pollo

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Mr Pollo is a $20 four course tasting menu plus an arepa in a modest spot in the Mission.  This quaint restaurant only has a couple tables and some counter seating so come early to secure a spot since they don't take reservations.  The menu changes daily depending on the daily pickings in the farmer's market.  The only other menu option is the arepa, which is a must get.  They suggest to share, but after eating one I suggest one for each person.

The tasting menu started off with a farmer's market salad with seasonal fruits and vegetables including pomegranate, Asian pears, arugula, shaved fennel, mandarin oranges dressed in a pomegranate reduction.  Fresh and light tasting, it was a refreshing way to start out the meal.

Unfortunately, the dim lighting doesn't do justice on the beautiful, bright red color of the curry beet soup.  Beets are one of the few vegetables I'm not a huge fan of, but this soup made me a believer that beets can taste good.  The curry flavor was subtle, but tasty.  The Chinese mustard greens were a different story.  The bitter taste from the small clump was a little too overpowering. 

Mr. Pollo offers two types of arepas: chicken and lamb, but today's offering was chicken only.  They recommend sharing the arepas, but really you want to take one each.  They are that good and you will be angry you shared.  Not sure which is better:  the scrumptiously juicy chicken or the crusty cornmeal exterior that gives off little crispy bits.  Whatever it is, its absolutely delicious.  If you don't stop in for a meal, definitely get the arepas!
Grilled smelt with watermelon radish and squash.  Nothing really stood out in this dish, especially since it followed the arepa!
The pork tenderloin was the last dish of the $20 set course and I was a little disappointed that there wasn't a dessert course.  The pork was juicy and tender.  The cauliflower puree and roasted broccoli was fresh, but the whole plate was a little meager for my taste, especially since it was the last course of the meal.  Overall, the whole meal was good and a fun experience, but it left me still famished.  Thank goodness for Rosemunde (see post HERE) across the street,

Address:                  Mr Pollo
                                 2823 Mission St.
                                 San Francisco, CA  
Type:                        Latin American

Popular chomps:      $20 tasting menu

Chomp worthy:         arepa     

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