Saturday, August 29, 2009

Oyster Omelets: O-Ah-Jian Versus Hangtown Fry from Tadich Grill

Before I start the comparison, a few thoughts and updates.
1. How can Tadich Grill, a San Francisco institution, not have Anchor Steam?
2. The recent fire was confined to the roof.  No biggie.  A little fume got in the dining area.  If they really wanted to, the restaurant could have opened for dinner on the same day as the morning fire.
3. When Tony Bourdain stopped by recently to tape his show No Reservations, the highlight was supposed to be Tadich Grill's cioppino.  Instead, Tony looked at the menu and said: Let's go with the Hangtown Fry.

Now, to the review.  O-ah-jian, a Taiwanese oyster omelet, is one of my favorite dishes.  When those rascally Dutchmen were trying to put down an insurrection in Taiwan centuries ago, they imposed a blockade.  The only ingredients available to the locals were eggs, starch, and oysters.  The rest is history.

Given the recent fire at Tadich, I decided to go back (after a decade-long hiatus) and try the Hangtown Fry.  The genesis of this platter also arose from hardship.  It's named after a town in California's Gold Country.  A man struck it rich and wanted the most expensive entree available.  It consisted of eggs (which were expensive because they were hard to transport), oysters (from the Pacific Ocean), and bacon (from the East Coast).  This was definitely not a dish for the Eat Local fans.

The Hangtown Fry at Tadich Grill, my first non-Taiwanese oyster omelet ever, was superb.  It consisted of a fluffy three egg omelet with whole strips of bacon and medium to large deep fried oysters inside.  It came with a side of roasted halved potatoes (not fries like the picture), and a useless leaf of lettuce and two slices of tomatoes.  

I think I like this more than o-ah-jian.  There are no extras like the gooey texture from the potato starch, no messy savory sauce, and no vegetables in the oyster.  The Hangtown Fry just has my two favorite ingredients: eggs and oysters.

The question is, is it worth $20.50?  I'm still debating that.

1 comment:

Charles said...

OMG, that's top photo looks so gross.