Owner Matt Semmelhack and Executive Chef-Owner Mark Liberman have a playful way when it comes to naming their San Francisco restaurants.
Their first? AQ, which stands for “As Quoted,” the phrase used in place of a specific price on a menu for seasonal, specialty dishes.
Their newest? TBD, which of course stands for “To Be Determined.”
It’s a nod to the fact that fire’s tamability decides the dishes. That’s because the main mode of cooking here is by live fire via a massive, hand-cranked, multi-adjustable grill.
You get a sense of the powerfulness of this, particularly if you sit at a table opposite the flames. Even on a very chilly night, as when I dined there, I was plenty roasty-toasty as I sat with my back to the blazing grill.
Imagine a hipster lumberjack as the ideal customer, and you get an idea of the vibe here. There are animal heads on the wall, dramatically stacked cords of wood, and specially designed wood tables with drawers that pull out to reveal your menu and silverware.