Slideshow: First Look: 1601 Bar and Kitchen, San Francisco

Sri Lankan Vegetable pickle, black pepper, galangal ($8)
Sri Lankan Vegetable pickle, black pepper, galangal ($8)
Seasonal vegetables pickled with whole Sri Lankan cinnamon and galangal. "I like to use the whole bark of cinnamon, not powder form. It's more savory this way," Fernando says. Served with tamarind paste, coriander, crushed red chilies, mustard seeds, and yeasted soil. Galangal lends a woody, peppery kick.
Raw Kale Salad, coconut meat, black garlic-lime vinaigrette, parmesan ($9)
Raw Kale Salad, coconut meat, black garlic-lime vinaigrette, parmesan ($9)
A Fernando favorite: Finely diced curly kale, matchstick watermelon radishes, and toasted coconut flesh all tossed, then topped with parmesan and grated coconut flesh. The vinaigrette is housemade lime-pickling (boiled limes cured in salt and sugar) emulsified with black garlic—a Korean ingredient whose fermented qualities make it familiar to a Sri Lankan cupboard. "I'm just a big fan of raw kale because of the health benefits," Fernando says.
Traditional egg hopper ($8)
Traditional egg hopper ($8)
Jidori egg soft-cooked and served in a thin basket crepe made from fermented rice flour dough, cooked in a pan shaped like a mini-wok, topped with red chili flakes and pea shoot sprigs. Another favorite of the chef, "I like that you can eat it with your hands and make it spicier by adjusting the amount of sambols you use," he says.
Fried heirloom potatoes, turmeric, maldive fish, fenugreek ($7)
Fried heirloom potatoes, turmeric, maldive fish, fenugreek ($7)
New potatoes boiled with Maldive fish chips, then fried in vinegar and tossed with the chips in powder form, serrano chili, fenugreek and curry sauce. Fernando is making his own curry sauces and powders from his dad's recipes. Maldive fish chips, similar to Japanese bonito flakes, are his dad's favorite seasoning to use when cooking.
Quail, marinated coriander crusted, toasted buckwheat, almonds ($15)
Quail, marinated coriander crusted, toasted buckwheat, almonds ($15)
Roasted quail with fresh sunflower sprouts on a bed of almonds and toasted buckwheat. "This portion of the quail is correct for what I'm doing," says Fernando. "I just love the way the one quail looks on a plate." The quail is brined overnight in a black pepper, Sri Lankan cinnamon, bay and curry leave blend, cleaned, tied, and cooked in a water bath at 140 degrees, then dusted with chai spices and seared.
Coriander seared bavette steak, demi-glace, crispy shallots ($19)
Coriander seared bavette steak, demi-glace, crispy shallots ($19)
Sliced, easy-to-share, bavette steak is cooked in a water bath at 130 degrees so it's even throughout, and then seared. Served rare to medium rare with a red wine demi-glace and on top of a roasted yam puree - yams are boiled with bay leaves, steeped in Sri Lankan cinnamon, strained, and folded into brown butter, and pureed.