Big Flavor at Little Gem

I recently had the pleasure of dining with two beautiful and talented women I am lucky enough to call my friends. The mission? A trendy restaurant in San Francisco capable of handling all of our dietary restrictions. Between the three of us, we were gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, and pescatarian, with an affinity for positive social impact and environmentally sustainable eating. I was up for the challenge. But just then, I had an idea...

 Main Dining Room, Little Gem. 400 Grove Street, Hayes Valley, San Francisco.

Main Dining Room, Little Gem. 400 Grove Street, Hayes Valley, San Francisco.

While holding open a fabulous condo in Hayes Valley the previous weekend, I remembered a visitor mentioning they had just come from brunch at Little Gem, a chic and modern California eatery serving small plates & coffee-shop fare in a polished cafe space with outdoor seats. (Her words? Google's words? Whatevs.)

 Curried Cauliflower & Sweet Potato Rice Bowl.

Curried Cauliflower & Sweet Potato Rice Bowl.

Further investigation revealed the food on their menu is naturally raised, responsibly sourced, and free of additives, preservatives, harmful chemicals, and GMOs. WHAT!? And it gets better: It also happens to be free of gluten, dairy, AND REFINED SUGAR. I can't take the excitement. The menu items include dishes such as Curried Cauliflower & Sweet Potato Rice Bowl (this is what I ordered) with jasmine rice, preserved lemon, coriander NON crumbleGaucho Steak with Five Dot Ranch Petite filet, charred tangerines & onions, broccoli di ciccio, whipped yukon potatoes with celery root, shiso chimichurri, and King of Hayes with Ora King Salmon, red quinoa, kalamata olives, almonds, wilted spinach, lemon scallion vinaigrette. MIND = BLOWN. The restaurant has a relationship with Marin Sun Farms, a pasture-raised, grass-fed meat company that is certified organic, and Animal Welfare Approved. 

 Lemon Custard with Glazed blackberries and toasted oat crumble

Lemon Custard with Glazed blackberries and toasted oat crumble

What's more, the space is sustainably built with natural materials like marble, concrete, and black iron. Their furniture is locally crafted and all of the wood on their bar, shelves and ledges is reclaimed American elm from a single tree sourced in Marin.

The food was incredible, allergies were skirted, and we topped it all off with the Lemon Custard for Dessert. Only one of us ate most of it. It was me.

Mission Accomplished.