Last Updated on October 10, 2022 by The Noms
Hilda and Jesse is a lovely brunch and breakfast themed place in San Francisco that we went to for dinner. Check out the delicious foods that we got to taste!
The first meal of the day is the most important, right? Well in this case, have your breakfast for dinner!
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San Francisco has a brunch only restaurant, Hilda and Jesse, that prizes themselves on making sure you can enjoy breakfast and brunch for dinner.
Chef Kristina Liedags Compton and operations director Rachel Sillcocks as co-owners of this fun North Beach restaurant, have jumped leaps and bounds ahead to the new way to brunch. At night, for dinner. (They are also open for brunch Friday-Sunday 10-3). This is where we found ourselves on a Monday night in December.
Compton and Sillcocks had a great concept with a brunch tasting menu, and making sure you order off of the tasting menu to get the full experience. They opened November 1, 2021.
Hilda and Jesse San Francisco Atmosphere
The vibe inside Hilda and Jesse San Francisco is retro yet modern. This includes checkerboard floors, red chrome diner chairs, teal striped walls and avocado vinyl banquettes. Interior designer Noz Nozawa includes framed mirrors, like mirrored walls in mid-century diners, pastel tiles and bright vibrant murals. The entry mural is done by Maya Fuji, and the bathrooms murals by Terrance Eubanks, Jr.
Plateware is retro and vintage, but with modern jadeite bowls from Mosser Glass. It’s a quirky and fun space with just 30 seats.
History of Hilda and Jesse
Hilda and Jesse opened in 2021, but Compton and Sillcocks have been doing popups with this theme in mind since 2019. The restaurant is named after Compton’s hardworking and no nonsense grandmother Hilda, who lived to be 100, and apparently greeted customers at Sam’s Club with free food samples until she was 80, and for Sillcocks’ grandfather Jesse, who took her to diners as a child. He also dipped Portuguese rolls into a hot cup of black Sanka at these diners!
Hilda and Jesse Menu
They always offer a tasting menu of 3 items for $45 and at the time of typing this, it is a Shrimp Toastie, Chicken with fermented grains and banana pudding. Very different than what we ate in December, which means this menu is always changing and stays exciting! Our server told us that we should probably add items to the tasting menu to get the full experience, so that is what we did.
The drink menu is small, but interesting. With a focus with more wine than cocktails or beer, this is a true brunch drink offering. Beverage Director James Butler (“Bottle Boss or Guarantor of Guzzle!”) has put together an interesting and delightful list. The drink list is small with options by the glass, including mead, sake, champagne, sparkling wine, and a red, white and rosé each. There is also an offering of white vermouth, sherry and dry cider to start your meal with.
There are offerings of all wines as bottles for the table, and to finish your meal, some different choices of red vermouth, Madeira or vintage Madeira.
Out Dinner at Hilda and Jesse San Francisco
To start out our meal, we got a few of the limited drinks. We got 2 of the “Show Me the Honey” which was Heidrun Sparkling mead, Jasmine Oolong tea and Meyer Lemon. We also ordered the Funky Cold Madeira: a delightful mix of Leacock’s Rainwater Madeira and Fever Tree Tonic. As well as a dry cider.
We had decided early to order the brunch tasting menu, as well as 3 more plates of food off the a la carte menu. This may have been a BIT too much, but we were so glad we ordered what we did, and it was all so tasty! The above picture was our Amuse Bouche for the evening, but none of us can remember what it was, but it WAS delicious!
The Tasting Menu is seasonal, and we definitely enjoyed what was offered on our visit. We started with the Cured Trout with creamy cabbage eggplant escabeche. The Chicken and the Egg was next with nettle soft scrambled grilled matsutake and fermented black bean.
We finished the tasting menu with the Whipped Cream of Wheat, but this was at the end of our whole meal, after the a la carte items, to keep the sweeter things at the end. The Whipped Cream of Wheat was a “meringue”, and also had apples, black sesame and coconut fluff topping it.
The á la carte menu delighted as well. The “Avocado Toast” has no toast. Instead, its base is crisp, tempura fried sweet potato topped with horseradish and dill.
To keep with the seasonal menu, they were offering Dungeness Crab. This crab was served in a bowl with a turnip and apple salati. Accompanying it was Satusuma mandarin and chervil. It was light, it was briny and it was the PERFECT dish for the crab season!
This is when we had our Whipped Cream of Wheat, and then finished the meal with the pancakes.
Compton’s signature Pancakes Without Boundaries is a buttermilk stack topped grilled cranberries and swimming in maple butter. We didn’t do it, but if you want to splurge, ask for shaved white truffles over the top of this dish ($55 upcharge). I can only imagine how decadent that add is.
Hilda and Jesse San Francisco is a must visit gourmet breakfast restaurant, so we encourage you to put it on your list! They are only open weekends and Monday nights, so plan accordingly!
One thing of note is that Hilda and Jesse San Francisco practices equitable wages, so no extra tipping, but they do charge a 20% fee for your meal.
If you go, let us know what you try! Cheers!
Reservations online at Hilda and Jesse San Francisco. 701 Union Street at Powell.
Friday-Sunday 10-3, and Monday 5:30-9:30 p.m.
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