Cockscomb restaurant, San Francisco- 4/25/2015

We talked about going to Cockscomb a while now so I am really excited we finally got to dine there tonight.   

Cockscomb opened their door in December 2014 and is the brainchild of Chef Chris Cosentino, located in the SoMa (south of Market) district in San Francisco.

Chris Cosentino is an American celebrity chef who gained national fame for his TV appearances.  On the Food Network  Chris was a competitor on The Next Iron Chef, 8 competitors and Chris was the last to be sent home before the final battle.  Click on LINK to see a video of his exit interview.  Chris was also a co-host with Aaron Sanchez on the popular show “Chefs vs. city” witch lasted for 2 seasons but he is perhaps best known as the winner of Top Chef Masters, season 4 on Bravo TV - click on LINK to see the moment he was announced top Chef Masters.

 Chris is know as the "offal king" and is recognized in San Francisco as a leader in whole animal butchery by popularizing offal cuisine, a sustainable style of cooking that utilizes unused parts of animals.  When Chris started at Incanto in 2003 he cured meats and they proved so popular that he could not keep up with demand,  so he opened Boccalone, an artisan shop with all types of cured meats using sustainable raised, heritage-breed pork. Tonight it is all about Cockscomb so let's start!


The 125-seat restaurant has an address on 564 Fourth Street but the entrance is tucked away on Freelon Street, which is the small street on the left side of the first picture and just around the corner from the pioneering Fringale.

This is the entrance on Frelon Street.

Our reservation is at 6:00PM and as soon as we walked in the restaurant it if already filled with people.  The place has a friendly and energetic vibe and it looks like people are having fun here.

The focal point is the open concept long and narrow Chef's kitchen and a long wood counter which contributes to a relax, and friendly atmosphere.

The restaurant has high ceilings, giant wood beams and concrete walls, the décor is vibrant and contemporary.

 Behind the counter you can see at least 8 to 10 white-coated chefs and Chris stands in the front facing his chefs overseeing every single dish that comes out of the kitchen.

Next to the open chef kitchen is a long dining counter and at the end is an oyster bar.


If the bar on the main floor is full you can go to the 2nd bar installed upstairs, with balcony seats overlooking the dining room below which is pretty cool!

We were seated at the communal table, on the immediate left at the entrance overlooking the kitchen, and we occupied half of the table (6 people in our party).

On the menu you will find Chris’s extensive background in butchery and his love of offal is apparent. The menu is separated into 4 sections: Oysters & Shellfish, starters & salad, Supper (mostly meat)-shared supper and Offal & butchers cuts sections.

Plate setting with Cockscomb's logo.

As soon as I spotted Chris I requested to take a picture which he gladly did and with a nice smile!

Isn't it funny we got photobomb by one of Chris's chef!



Decorated wall with a large buffalo head of top of our table


Our table is really close to the kitchen so we get to see all the action.


Wood-fired oven is blazing!

What you see grilling is a bunch of 4 pound pin bone steak.


The heat was very intense and it is probably the best way to get a nice charred piece of meat.

We ordered a bunch of cocktails to start the evening.

Our waiter was really knowledgeable of the whole menu and he was also very good.


Hoa ordered a Martini (Old Tom Gin, Noilly Prat vermouth, Castelvetrano olive), Ryan ordered a Pisco Punch (Pisco based punch with pineapple gum, lemon), Justin ordered a beer, and I think Tuan ordered a boothby  (peach infused bourbon, sweet vermouth, bitters & sparkling wine).


Close look at the Martini

Chris at work, checking and making sure he is satisfy before the dish goes out to a customer


For appetizer we ordered the crudo of the day ($15) which changes on a daily basis depending on what's available at the market.


Tonight the crudo of the day is a combination of squid and fresh fish in a ceviche sauce.

The ceviche was tasty and refreshing with the perfect amount of acidity and spiciness.


For our main course we ordered one of the most talked-about item in the menu: the wood oven roasted pig's head ($65).

You basically get half of a roasted pig's heat, crispy skin, a fried crispy ear, with the added effect of gold leaf melted on the tip of the snout served with a large portion of arugula salad and brainaise (combination of brain and mayonnaise).

Side view of the roasted pig head.

 I asked the server how many head do they serve per night and he told me it depends on how many head they can get.  Tonight they only have 8 pig's head = 16 portions and it is usually sold out by the end of the evening.

Our second dish is a staggering 4 pound pin bone steak ($110) served medium rare and grilled from an open flame oven which you saw earlier.

The steak was cooked perfectly the way we like it: medium rare (but more of the rare side) and has a nice charred crispy layer on the outside.

The pieces I got were perfect but Hoa and Justin commented that some of the meat they got  were a bit salty!

The skin was pretty crispy!

When our waiter brought out the pig's head, the people seating next to us asked if they could take a picture.  Apparently everyone talks about it, it is a carnal showpiece so we had to try it.

After cutting the head into pieces we realized that it has a lot of fat in it and you basically has to scrape out the fat (just way too much to eat).   

We finished the head but you can see we left most of the fat (top of picture) in the pan .  It was so fatty that you can only eat a few bites.  Good thing we shared it with 6 people.

The meat however was falling of the bone, tender, tasty, perfectly seasoned, and I like it combined with the crispy skin.


Very tasty piece of beef.


By the time we are done there is nothing left on our table!

Tuan and Hand asked our server to wrap the bone so they can bring it back for Louie (their dog), nothing is left to waste. 


We ordered coffee with our dessert.

None of us like their coffee, they use a medium roast with has an acidic taste.  We prefer dark roast which has a bold and deeper flavor.

Chris stopped by our table for a few words and Hoa took a picture with him.


We ordered a classic with is a cake with macerated strawberries, rhubarb, crispy bits and a panna cotta with berries.

The panna cotta was served with a butter cookie in a shape of a rooster.

Both desserts were good and it was a perfect ending to our meal.

 San Francisco is a city full of great dinning options but Cockscomb offers a different dining experience with bold choices (Pig's head and offal) so if you are an adventurous eater stop by with some friends.

Come with healthy appetites, make sure your friends love meat, and they don’t have to watch their cholesterol too closely, and I am sure you will have a great time here just like we did.

Our server was great and I would not hesitate to return to try the beef heart tartare, the tripe, bone marrow, Quail Tetrazzini, Meat pie and maybe the branzino..



564 4th St., San Francisco


If you have 2 minutes watch opening night at Cockstomb- click on LINK to see video.

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