‘Gator not only appears on the menu, but on the barstools next to the snaking zinc countertop (don’t worry, it’s fake). Choose from a dazzling 20 brews (and six wines!) on tap, or imbibe one of the reds or whites scribbled on the colossal chalkboard, all while admiring the Douglas fir panels, reclaimed Monterey cyprus tabletops, and hip, six-foot-diameter chandeliers.
Executive chef, Justin Simoneaux, hails from southern Louisiana and plans to fuse traditional techniques and NOLA recipes with NorCal fixins. His California Cajun dishes are reasonably priced with bar snacks at $5, apps hovering near $10, and mains from $14-22. A huge plus: the kitchen stays open until midnight on weeknights and until 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, a rarity for Hayes Valley establishments.
The fried alligator is first on my wish list at Boxing Room. Alligator, for sure, must taste like a cross between chicken and shrimp. The closest flavor I had was probably munching on grilled crocodile around a fire in the middle of a dry billabong in the Australian outback, dozens of fiery red croc eyes gazing my way from the distance. Wow, that croc was tasty. I would follow the alligator with the grilled Monterey squid appetizer. Then it’s a toss-up between the po’boy and the fried chicken with a side of grits. Dessert most certainly involves peaches, pralines, and beignets.
Photos: Boxing Room