Hazel piles on a Southern comfort during Mid-Market

Hazel piles on a Southern comfort during Mid-Market

June 30, 2017
Updated: Jun 30, 2017 10:07am

People sup and splash during Hazel Southern Bar and Kitchen in S.F Photo: John Storey, Special To The Chronicle


It’s always engaging to investigate a dynamics of because one grill fails and another succeeds in a same space. Many people contend plcae is key, yet other factors apparently play a some-more critical role.

One of a many divulgence box studies is a acclimatisation of Cadence to Hazel.

Cadence non-stop in Jan 2016, hailed as one of a many expected openings of final year. Located in a Mid-Market area, opposite a travel from a Uber domicile on Market Street, it was a prophesy of a organisation who had a proven line record with Maven in a Haight. They spent millions on a considerable interior that featured discriminating timber accents, gentle banquettes, finished walls and carpeted floors. They also hired obvious cook Joey Elenterio, a former Chronicle Rising Star, who combined a bound cost and a la grant menu that enclosed a whole fish filleted list side, and a roulade of duck with both baked and proposal shaved asparagus.

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It sealed after usually 6 months — an epic fail.


Nine months later, a space became Hazel Southern Bar Kitchen. Just about all that tangible Cadence’s complicated interior was ripped out. The intoxicated support columns and a behind wall were lonesome in section veneer. Two billiard tables transposed a artistic timber slats that arched over upholstered booths, and 16 monitors were commissioned to promote sports.

Rather than stylized Northern California food and a bound cost menu, Hazel is now cooking adult rib-sticking fare, including boiled chicken, ribs and catfish.

On a new Friday night a 96-seat place was filled with guys in billed caps, women in brief dresses and gaggles of people who drank, talked, toasted, checked in on a outward universe on their intelligent phones, and spasmodic glanced adult to watch a Giants. It’s a ideal place to observe San Francisco’s amicable multitasking.

Patrons during a pool tables were preoccupied to what was on a shade as they racked a billiard balls. The tables loosely apart a some-more grave dining area from a loll where congregation stretch on a rope chairs, snacking on boiled duck and honeyed potato waffles ($15) with scotch maple syrup.

The Tater Tot Nachos during Hazel Southern Bar and Kitchen in San Francisco. Photo: John Storey, Special To The Chronicle

The bar area, where a movement is quite intense, offers some-more than 170 whiskey selections and a horde of well-made cocktails, mostly labelled between $9 and $11. The bartenders know how to make classics such as Sazerac ($10) and Vieux Carre ($11), yet they are also skilful during others such as a Watermelon Smash ($9) with rye, lemon and mint.

The grill is an loyalty to owners Jamie Boatner’s mother; there’s a outrageous 72-panel designation of photographs of Hazel in 1973, a year that Boatner was born. Many of a menu’s recipes are ones Hazel schooled flourishing adult in Shady Dale, Ga.

Chef Casey Hatwig, who worked during a Lark Creek Restaurant Group, also understands American comfort food. She knows how to qualification an permitted menu, lightening adult things a bit for a California palate. The prices are also significantly reduce than they were during Cadence, where categorical courses were around $28. At Hazel, a half boiled chicken, golden and luscious ($19; also accessible in a quarter, $15, and whole, $27), arrives in a expel iron skillet with slices of dill pickles.

Owner Jamie Brown, left, and Chef Casey Hatwig during Hazel Southern Bar and Kitchen in San Francisco. Photo: John Storey, Special To The Chronicle

Each of a 4 or 5 categorical courses comes with your choice of dual sides, that embody collard greens scrupulously proposal with puckery vinegar; thick and tawny mac and cheese; immature beans with caramelized onions that on dual occasions were some-more proposal than cooked; buttermilk cornbread muffins; and cheddar poblano biscuits.

While Cadence’s judgment seemed foggy, and it was never transparent who was a aim diner, during Hazel there’s no doubt that this is Southern food: a blackened trout strap ($18) presented on boiled cabbage, or chunks of oxtail ($21) on a bed of unwashed rice, thickly blanketed with gravy.

The chunk of ribs ($18 for a half rack; $23 for whole) are a work of a rib master, caramelized and descending off a bone with a sweet-vinegary sauce. Once in a while you’ll get a blast of feverishness from a cayenne-infused piquancy rub. The ribs are initial smoked for 3 hours and afterwards solemnly baked with a sauce, that also has a sharp kick. These are some of a best ribs I’ve eaten in a Bay Area.

Most appetizers are geared toward a celebration crowd. Tater-tot nachos ($11) is a form of plate you’d have after downing 3 beers and are looking brazen to 3 more. They are a becloud mashup of potatoes, boiled okra and preserved jalapeños doused in pimiento cheese sauce. Gator bites ($16), chunks of cornmeal-battered alligator, minister a greasy component; they are served with a cocktail salsa and an glorious tartar salsa studded with dices of dill pickle.

In fact, usually about all during Hazel is fried. An example: a hush puppies ($9) with chipotle aioli. These go down good with a swill of a boozy, vanilla-spiced Old Fashioned cocktail ($10), that is served on a singular ice cube.

The Collard Green Dumplings during Hazel Southern Bar and Kitchen in San Francisco. Photo: John Storey, Special To The Chronicle

Brussels sprouts ($7) are charred during a edges yet still lustrous in oil, and collard immature dumplings ($9) are boiled pastries filled with a brew of collard greens, ham and green cream set on honeyed pink chutney. They were hot, greasy, tawny and sharp — a gratifying accompaniment to one of a 9 drafts such as a St. Archer white ale ($7). There are 10 bottles for all tastes, from Coors Light ($4) to Hitachino white ale ($10).

Of course, each San Francisco restaurant, even those that offer Southern specialties, contingency offer salads. Here we get three: kale Caesar ($9), that has so most iron season that we know it has to be good for you; a pleasing arugula with goat cheese, comfortable beets and hiss vinaigrette; and a contingent of cucumber, onion and tomato ($8) you’d find on many a Southern buffet. It would have been improved if a green cream sauce was reduction sweet.

For dessert, there’s a important banana pudding ($6) with chunks of vanilla wafers, and an glorious Key orange spicy ($7) that superbly walks a sweet-tart line.

And not usually a food strike a Southern mark. On my initial dual visits, a use aptly channeled Southern hospitality, and on a third a attract was on full display. What was blank were a use skills: All a dishes — hush puppies, cucumbers, Brussels sprouts and 4 pieces of duck that were labelled during $10 during happy hour (5-7 p.m. weekdays) — showed adult during once. The usually object that didn’t was a ribs. The servers also forgot to move portion utensils and purify plates. When we got a bill, we were charged $12 instead of a advertised $10 for a chicken, yet we didn’t comprehend a upcharge until we got home.

I won’t protest too most given it was still a good deal. At Hazel, we ate too most — portions are inexhaustible — had cocktails, boxed some duck to take home and still spent reduction than $100. At Cadence my check was $131 for dual people though any alcohol.

Cadence, while splashy, had a attract of eating in an dull bowling alley. Now during Hazel, it feels like each line is full. The thesis might be Southern, yet a grill feels accurately right for a area.

★ ★ ½

Hazel Southern Bar Kitchen

Food: ★ ★ ½

Service: ★ ★ ½

Atmosphere: ★ ★

Price: $$

Noise: BOMB

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