Although their space is enormous – three floors – their dishes are small and intimate. The small dishes in the grand space encourage sharing, which makes a meal at E&O a true "foodie" experience.
And that's really the theme of this energetic restaurant conveniently located near Union Square: sharing flavors between dishes to create a whole new experience for the adventurous diner.
Interior of E&O Kitchen and Bar — Photo courtesy of E&O Kitchen and Bar
Unlike many Asian restaurants that stay contained within one specific culture, E&O Kitchen and Bar takes great delight in mixing and matching all of the wonderful influences of Asian cuisine, an incredible legacy of food that spans thousands of years.
It's difficult to find one restaurant that offers such a wide variety, but Executive Chef Sharon Nahm never strays too far from the original flavor.
"We stay true to the original influences but use locally sourced food," Nahm explains.
E&O's delectable firecracker chicken — Photo courtesy of E&O Kitchen and Bar
And the inventiveness doesn't end with the food. The cocktail menu offers an equally satisfying journey for all your senses, as well.
The leader of the cocktail portion of your food tour is Bar Manager Marcelle Gonzales, whose impressive resume includes stops at Hog and Rocks and Tres Agaves. It takes about 10 seconds to realize she knows her way around a cocktail.
You can take her at her word when she explains how she makes something as sweet, spicy and delightful as their signature margarita.
"If you use too much tamarind, the drink can get brown, almost muddy. And unless you thoroughly puree the tamarind, you get a real pulpy liquid, which isn't conducive to a cocktail shaker," Gonzales says. "People often try to smother the spice with the sweet, which really just ruins both flavors."
E&O's wicked, spicy sweet margarita — Photo courtesy of E&O Kitchen and Bar
One of the best ways to experience this one-of-a-kind restaurant is to hit up their happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and order the PuPu Platter: fritter bites, two sliders, two ribs, two chicken satay, two ahi tartare, taro chips and pickled veggies.
Wash that down with a signature cocktail, and you'll want to stick around for the main course, which includes Drunken Noodles (with broad rice noodles, ground pork, Chinese broccoli, chiles and basil) and Grilled Flatiron Steak (with Korean BBQ marinade, housemade kimchee and Gochujang sauce).
Tasty dishes and intelligent cocktails – and it's all under one enormous roof within easy walking distance of Union Square, the hub of downtown San Francisco.