Dining

Classic Tables: The House

Reminding us why the 1990s were good eating years

The hands of the retro clock have spun again. Boy Meets World is back. Grunge-inspired dresses are appearing at New York Fashion Week.

For you youngsters who've asked us what 1990s food was like, we'll just send you to The House.

Larry and Angela Tse opened this North Beach bistro in 1993, part of the same Asian-fusion explosion that also launched the careers of Bruce Hill and Eric Arnold Wong. While those chefs' fusion restaurants closed, reservations are still required here.

Last week, we encountered dishes we enjoyed at The House in the Clinton years, like the tempura green beans with a sparkly pickled-ginger dipping sauce ($8), and encountered menu staples we'd almost forgotten, such as a sweet-tart beurre blanc that ringed a trio of seared scallops ($14).

Nostalgia flared brightest at the sight of a roasted black-cod fillet ($28), propped up on wasabi-spiked yu choy, with two carrot chips sticking out like antennae. Tower food!

The reason The House is still busy? The Tses' solid culinary technique hasn't wavered, allowing us to focus on the playful, brash flavors and bright colors that characterized the decade's best food.

Better still, the Tses haven't abandoned another 1990s trait whose appeal still endures: big plates.

The House 1230 Grant Ave. San Francisco CA 94133 415-986-8612

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