Umami Mart Sake
Tucked in the back of Jack's Bar in Potrero Hill, Yats takes over the kitchen during the daytime hours, and serves up all the NoLa classics. Started by a New Orleans native (via 7x7), it is truly a Louisiana food-lover's dream- casual, cheap, and calls on all the flavors of the bayou.

When three good friends swear that Yats makes the best oyster po'boy they have ever had, you've just gotta try it for yourself. Yats has gotten some great press, but remains super low-key, at least when we went in on Saturday afternoon.

To order, you walk up to the little kitchen window in the back of the bar. Their menu is pretty extensive considering they have a relatively small setup- they've got all the traditional cajun dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, red beans and rice, etc. I hear their crawfish Etoufee is awesome too.


But first things first- gotta try this oyster po'boy. Besides the oyster, there's also shrimp, catfish, crawfish and sausage. "The Original" has french fries and some roast beef gravy. Awesome.

You can order a half sandwich, or a whole, and for the seafood, you can order half and half. Choices, choices. I kept it simple with the whole oyster po'boy for $12.99. Gave her my name and ordered a beer at the bar. Hell yes!


Out came the poboys in about ten minutes. It was literally overflowing with oysters. Look at it, they certainly don't skimp here!


Along with the oysters were pickles, tomatoes and lettuce, smeared with horseradish mayo. This, in po'boy lingo, is considered "dressed".

They serve their po'boys on bread from the famous Leidenheimer Bakery in New Orleans, which was started by two brothers in 1896, and who by legend coined the term "po'boy". Reading about the history of the sandwich on Wiki, the main distinction between the po'boy and other sandwiches is the bread- flaky on the outside, fluffy and cottony within.

The bread was indeed crusty and airy, but what impressed me most were the perfectly cooked, jewel-like oysters. They were plump and just barely cooked through so you really got the flavors of the sea. They are dunked in a magical batter conisisting of black pepper and cornmeal. When fried, this combination of bivalve and coating was sublime- light and crispy, yet meaty. It was a well-rounded, well-balanced, superbly-executed sandwich.


We also go fries and the spinach side. Both good.


They also have Crystal Hot Sauce here, which I guess is also a New Orleans staple. I really need to learn more about Cajun food, I do think that it's America's #1 culinary genre- at least that's what I thought when I visited NoLa seven years ago. It's just got so much depth and unique plays on traditional european dishes. And of course all the seafood is a plus.

The motto here is Be Nice or Leave. I suggest everyone abide by this because Yat's deserves nothing but respect for this great sandwich. They are celebrating their one-year anniversary this Saturday with a crawfish boil from 12-5pm. Happy Birthday Yat's!

Yat's (inside Jack's Club)
2545 24th Street (at Utah)
San Francisco, CA
T: 415.282.8906

In an effort to eat out more frequently and try new places, I've started this column, EAT OUT THURSDAY. I am increasingly disillusioned with the dining scene these days, but have to get back in it and find places worth writing about, like Yat's. If you have any suggestions of where I should be eating, do drop me a line at umamimart@gmail.com