Great meals are a mix of outstanding food, a memorable environment and spot-on service all wrapped in one. At State Bird Provisions, Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski have hit on all those items, plus added a uniqueness all their own.

It is truly hard to describe State Bird Provisions. The restaurant is part dim sum, part fine dining, part casual bistro. Provisions are served by carts and trays, as the staff walks around with various items to choose from. It’s basically an Americanized version of a dim sum restaurant. The hard part is turning down some of the small plates because they are all so appealing. Although Brioza often changes the menu, items such as “green garlic bread” with burrata, duck liver mousse with almond biscuit, oysters on the halfshell, seared scallops and asparagus fries are just some of the offerings. Save some room for the mains like the CA state bird with provisions (quail), rainbow trout, beef cheek salad and glazed pork ribs.

It would be foolish to not mention the desserts created by Krasinski. Items such as peanut muscovado milk, jasmine blossom tapioca and chocolate-szechuan pepper ice cream sandwich bring a sweet end to the evening.

The interior of the restaurant is dark and rather simple, with an artsy feel to it. The walls are covered in pegboards (I actually saw a coat hanger fall off it’s peg). The most unique aspect is the stand-up “seating” in front of the chef’s kitchen. In talking to Brioza, he said he wanted to create an area where customers could see what was going on in the kitchen and the dishes that were being created, but he also wanted to be able to stand up and talk to diners and look them face-to-face. It’s another unique aspect of the restaurant, one that many may call weird, but I think it adds a lot to the dining experience. Call it the quirky charm of State Bird Provisions.

It is easy to see where some people may be turned off by the cart service or unusual presentation of their food. Honestly, I think it’s brilliant and something we truly haven’t seen before in San Francisco. It’s a way for Brioza and Krasinski to showcase their dishes, which are so creative and unique in their own right, in a more casual manner. From food to service to environment and atmosphere, State Bird Provisions is a must-try for food lovers in San Francisco.

State Bird Provisions is located at 1529 Fillmore St., open Mon-Thurs 6-10pm, Fri/Sat 5:30-11pm and Sunday for brunch from 11-2:30.