We ate at MoNo last night, down by Jack London Square. This space used to be a lunch-crowd stalwart called Cuckoo's Nest, a place I'd never eaten at but that I knew of indirectly - having worked at a place that did some concrete table tops for them. That place was Concreteworks Studio, which moved a few years back - incidentally, the old Concreteworks space is now Linden Street Brewery.
My nostalgia for the neighborhood, the proximity to home, and the availability of crudo all factored into our looking past a menu that seemed to promise what the East Bay Express described as,"standard global-fusion, small-plate, local-purveyor razzmatazz."
And the food was pretty good. We stuck to small plates and had the salumi, a watermelon salad, asparagus with eggs and prosciutto, and two of their three crudo. They were out of the arctic char, which I'd been wanting to try largely so I could compare it with the arctic char at Bar Crudo in the city.
The day boat scallops were tasty, but the micro bulls blood green contributed a taste which A. immediately identified as muddy. The ahi tuna crudo didn't work so well for me (a lot going on, way too much soy sauce, etc.) but it was topped with a show-stopping jalapeno granita.
We were so enthusiastic about this granita that our waiter confessed to sneaking it by the spoon-full, and then brought us a small bowl of it to go with dessert.
Truth be told, the bowl of granita was probably exchange in kind for our sitting for nearly 10 minutes while each of the waiters thought the other had our table. If you're familiar with either Cuckoo's Nest or Mono you will appreciate how odd this is. It's a very small space for folks to lose track of a table in. In addition to the granita, we were treated to marcona almonds and olives and two rounds of drinks.
Photo credit, Yelp user Pooh T.