Friday, July 8, 2011

San Francisco: Smoked Salmon at the Swan Oyster Depot

Sometimes a dish is so simple yet so delicious you do a double take. The Smoked Salmon at the Swan Oyster Depot is such a dish.  The salmon is silky and is served on rye bread with capers and onions.  The bread that is used is small so the smoked salmon drapes over it.

I encountered this dish at Swan Oyster Depot on a recent visit on a Saturday morning with a member of the Australian diplomatic corps.  The restaurant is quite popular and often fills up with a line forming down the block.  All this can be avoided by coming in the morning for breakfast rather than at mid day or the afternoon for lunch.  At 10 am on a Saturday, half of the seats were empty and there was no line to be seen.  Note that all the seating is at stools at a long counter and that Swan Oyster Depot is closed on Sundays.

The smoked salmon plate is $17.50 and comes with your choice of shrimp salad or more smoked salmon.  I opted for the smoked salmon.  There is never too much of a good thing when the good thing is smoked salmon of this quality.  Despite living in San Francisco for several years, I had never been to the restaurant before because I did not know they served items that were not shellfish, which I do not eat.  It turns out that the smoked salmon is the exception to this rule, fortunately for me and anyone else lucky enough to get their hands on a plate of the fish.

Swan Oyster Depot: 1517 Polk St @ California.  (415) 673-1101.  Note - Cash Only.  Hours: Monday - Saturday 8:00 am - 5:30 pm

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