Our Best of lists may have the Bowers Museum down as a place to stare at art, but we like strolling through their sculpture garden and stopping for a bite at Tangata. Originally serving French-inspired California cuisine, a change in executive chef is taking the restaurant in a different direction.
Previously working under Ross Pangilinan at Leatherby's Cafe Rouge, Chef Donald Harris began transitioning the menu earlier this year. His preference is more Pacific Rim — think Japan, Thailand, South America and Philippines. Utilizing ingredients and cooking methods from these and other regions, Tangata's selections have come a long way since salmon Cobb salads and tuna melts.
We stopped in recently to notice the dining room has made a few updates of its own. Less Patrick Nagel, more streamlined in whites with red accents, the space's best quality was still an ability to completely brighten the space using natural light. It made for excellent food porn, as you can see from our dessert.
We couldn't decide between Korean skirt steak or Thai BBQ chicken, so it became an appetizer kind of afternoon. Sriracha crema and seaweed salad cut thru the richness of our mini Spam tacos (Oh yes, we did!). Anise vinaigrette and togarashi pepper dressed our candy stripe beet salad, one of chef's favorite dishes. For dessert, banana and jackfruit spring rolls over coconut ice cream. And if you're Filipino, you knew we meant turon.
Serving every day except Monday for lunch dining only, they've got a Thanksgiving afternoon spread lined up that's more traditional– except for a cranberry orange cheesecake in an Oreo crust. May we order one of those to-go?