Chronicle’s Brandon Watson ventured to dine and drink at the Native, where he found that the East Side upscale hostel seemed more concerned with appearances than with its food. The highly stylish establishment, where the restaurant is helmed by chef Virginia Pharr, formerly of Hard Luck Lounge’s Lady Luck trailer, opened in March.
Watson’s visits were marred by bad service, from no one noticing that he and his party were unsure of where to sit to being served drinks in smeared glasses. Brunch wasn’t good either, with mushy Scotch eggs and burnt sweet potato latkes (see below). He did note that the weekend meal was a new addition, so there was room for improvement.
The sweet potato latke was an altogether sad affair, festooned by two strips of fatty bacon, a ring of grilled pineapple, and a floppy poached egg. The pancake itself spread over the plate like a clump of sod, fibrous and burnt on the bottom.
He fared better with lunch and dinner, where he was impressed with the burgers and fried chicken sandwich:
[T]he Tavern burger edges out the Flat Top with a fist of pimento cheese and a dense Moravian Lovefeast bun (a necessary stopgap for the grease). That bun also plays a pivotal role in the fried chicken sandwich – a better version of Chick-fil-A's trademark, given extra kick from pickled pepper rings. Both are served with a side of waffle fries and an exemplary dill ranch – a holdover from Lady Luck.
The other dishes, though, weren’t as great. There was no kick to the deviled eggs and the duck confit salad would've been excellent if not for the sad lettuce. Cocktails were fine, including the "serviceable" Bloody Mary. Watson concluded that the Native isn't paying attention to the details, which make for a big difference when it comes to dining out.