Name Game

There's more to Hog & Rocks than its name intimates

Naming a restaurant can be problematic.

Take Hog & Rocks, a moniker referencing the new Mission restaurant's genius commitment to serving both country ham and oysters on the half shell.

So much has been written about that clever combination that you might think the casual spot begins and ends with hog and rocks. Wrong.

Chef-partner Scott Youkilis and his chef de cuisine, Ray England, have assembled a collection of bold, reasonably priced plates meant for sharing–and pairing with the restaurant's classic cocktails, keg wines and smart beer program.

The first section of the menu comprises superb jarred spreads, including zippy pimento cheese ($6) and chunky crab and artichoke ($8).

From there, the list swerves from sea to land with a rich oceanic incarnation of shepherd's pie, with steelhead trout and fava beans ($13), and a lively salad ($10) of spinach with crisp wafers of corned beef tongue.

Even a local cliché such as the fancified burger ($10) is transformed into fresh meat: Here, a patty is pan-fried and served as part of a smashing patty melt on rye bread with Emmentaler and Frisco sauce.

A name, it seems, isn't everything.

Hog & Rocks, 3431 19th St. (near Mission St.); 415-550-8627 or hogandrocks.com