Nate Keller and Mirit Cohen were two of the most talented chefs at Google, so when they sent me an invite to the launch party for their food service, Gastronauts, I got very excited and immediately blocked off the evening.
The meal served was absolutely outstanding. When I visited Paris last year, I noted how various restaurants, despite being really good, were outdone by various Google cafetarias. Well, this restaurant won't be outdone any time soon, that's for sure. We started out with a mushroom bisque with toasted garlic and fried almonds, which was then followed by smoked salmon on a bit of bagel bread with fried capers and wasabi, were bedazzled by a triplet of fruit pairings --- guava with pear, cactus fruit with pear, and pomegranate on a grape jelly. The explosion in my mouth with the guava and pear pairing was an out of body experience. The main dish was ribs on polenta garnished with tomatoes with a chocolate sauce. I think I started salivating with the description and didn't stop until every morsel was off my plate and in my tummy. The desert was a pumpkin panna cotta, cream, and nutmeg, with a cookie. You had to take the panna cotta, add the cream, put it in your mouth, bite of a piece of the cookie, and then sip the nutmeg, a complicated sequence that paid its rewards in the form of a burst of flavor in your palate.
Mirit and Nate say they'll be launching a retail operation soon, so if you live in San Francisco, I think you should plan on a visit! Highly recommended.