In San Francisco, the Marina is my old stomping ground. A place where people meet to eat and drink in a quaint little local neighborhood. Not much has changed; there are many many bars per block, each with their own crazies and each with everyday locals. Scotland Yard provides a new take on the concept; drink till you drop. This British Inspired bar and restaurant is both a drinking spot and a new fabulous place to eat. They offer a cozy, fresh new take on the ever-popular watering hole that the Marina has always been known for.
Chef Jason Raffin is a smart hip, who really knows his business. At 25 he is a wealth of culinary knowledge beyond his years and will delight you with his fun repartee. He has a lot of stories to share about his take on gastro pub food as well as his own personal life, all of which are equally entertaining. Chef Raffin acknowledges his prior positions with some famous chefs along the way, but now wants to deliver food that is fresh and has never been done before. For that I commend him, he is very young but has so many aspirations, it is just worth the trip to get to speak with him about all of his passions.
Scotland Yard has been opened for 5 months, and was previously called Bin 38 where Jason was the executive chef. Most of the press said Scotland Yard was highly anticipated. There is a sister restaurant called Noir Lounge, but Jason’s food is not a part of that establishment. Did I mention that Jason is also really funny, he said about Scotland Yard that he wants to do slutty food. What that means I could never really figure out but it sent my imagination into a tail spin. Customers are mostly locals, but some are coming from other part of the Bay Area. There has been a lot of buzz about their burger, which I totally understand. They also do events and catering, and prefix menu nights.
Here is what I tried:
Pickled Vegetables with herbed goat cheese, I really like the way this dish is done and it made me like beets for the first time.
Cool Ranch Fries Herb Aioli, and house ketchup. This is a fun rendition of a popular staple.
Sirloin Tartare with remoulade, champagne mustard, quail egg, and BG Worcestershire. Every dish that Chef Raffin prepares is complicated, but that complication does not take away his achieving amazing food, this dish is just that. He sat with me to discuss all of his ingredients and with this dish he just could not hold himself back, he dove right in with me tasting his fine accomplishment.
Crispy Tuna Ceviche Tacos with strawberries, watermelon radish, & avocado cream. These are mini tacos served in a fancy wooden dish, which keeps them upright and in full view. The presentation is astounding and the flavors are hard to beat as well.
Pan-Seared Seafood Dumplings with golden pea sprouts and kaeshi sauce. You don’t get big hints of seafood with this dish, but the overall flavors are delicious.
The Yard Burger with bone marrow aioli, aged cheddar, and cornichon remoulade. This burger is simple and to the point, you really get what all the fuss is about. The bone marrow aioli takes it to another level.
Coca-Cola Spareribs with toasted almonds and cilantro. Now this, my friend is what creativity is all about. These ribs are almost candied and the meat just falls right off the bone, probably my favorite ribs ever!!
Clam Chowder Puff Pie, with charred corn, poached potatoes. The presentation of this soup is the best part; I have never seen such a brilliant execution of a puff pastry ever. When you pop the pastry the soup is steaming hot and might I add very very wonderful!
Vadouvan Market Vegetables, butternut squash, golden raisins and toasted pistachios. This is a lovely version of a butternut squash medley. It is flavorful, with a balance of sweet and savory.
Pork Belly Wontons, thousand island, red shiso leaves, and Serrano sriracha. A little spicy and little meaty, but really fantastic.
Here are the wines I tried:
Domaine Carneros, Brut, Tattinger, Napa 2011, a little sip of this and your world becomes all happy and bubbly. It did not disappoint with the Crispy Tuna Ceviche Tacos, in all its glory.
Rose of Pinot Noir, Acrobat, Oregon, 2014. It is pink but don’t let that fool you, a really nice light blend that worked great with the Pan-Seared Seafood Dumplings.
Fruilano, Villa Locatelli, Friuli, 2013. This wine worked well with the Vadouvan Market Vegetables, just the right amount of acidity and sweetness to go with it perfectly.
Chardonnay, Cambria, Santa Barbara, 2013. This is more of a fruity Chardonnay and I liked it with the Clam Chowder Puff Pie, especially with the cream in the soup.
Zinfandel Angel’s Vineyard, Seghesio, Sonoma County 2012. You just can’t go wrong pairing this wine with the Coca-Cola Spareribs, with all of its berry nuances.
Tempranillo, Duende, Alexander Valley, 2012. Save the best for last, pair this wine with their very famous The Yard Burger; it will make you very happy.
With indoor and outdoor dining available, Scotland Yard blends Victorian style dark and rich interiors, with San Francisco flair giving the space a feeling that exudes both class and comfort. Scotland Yard has an old-school vibe serving mid-priced Californian fare plus local and small-production beer and wine. Casual and classy, the space is decked out in hanging chandeliers, heavy beams, dark wood, vintage wallpaper and metal accents along with bar, banquette and table seating. It’s a fun ambiance that will inspire good food accompanied by good beer and wine.
Jason Raffin Graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management. He gained valuable experience working and interning for premier restaurants such as Morimotos and Scala’s Bistro. With over 10 years of experience, Jason, the former executive chef of BIN 38, sheds light on a brand new foodie experience that will become a hit up North.
Having lived in San Francisco for 10 or so years I know this neighborhood very well, and I can honestly say that Scotland Yard is a very welcomed addition!
3232 Scott Street
San Francisco, CA. 94123