"Get in there and really smash it with a fork."

That's David Bazirgan's advice for breaking up the soft-boiled eggs he uses in his deconstructed take on sauce gribiche. It's his favorite topping for the season's first asparagus, now appearing in a greenmarket near you (see the recipe).

As head chef of the fancypants Fifth Floor in San Francisco's Hotel Palomar, Bazirgan is no stranger to the world of "market-driven" cooking, but now he's closed the restaurant and is opening something that's more cocktail-driven.


The new restaurant, Dirty Habit, is set to open May 1 and will feature food gutsier than the composed, coursed-out menus of old: charred octopus with pine nuts and cherries, a burger with bourbon-smoked onions, plus a tricked-out drinks menu from head bartender Brian Means.

Barzigan's asparagus dish is typical of his new approach: dead-simple but with soul.

There's the vinaigrette-y egg sauce is silky and studded with bits of meaty, salty chorizo.  And a searing hot grill pan brings out the sweetness of the asparagus and the char gives a hint of smoky warm-weather barbecues to come.