by Tiffany Maleshefski

It’s Monday night. You somehow managed to get yourself through the workday after spending the entire weekend testing the true capacity of your liver. There's a new airing that night, and Sunday evening, you had the good sense to stop in at Trader Joe’s and fill your freezer with teriyaki rice bowls and crab quiches.

Good luck getting your butt out on a Monday night.

Well, Fly Trap's executive chef Hoss Zarè has seen your game a million times before, and he’s just beaten you at it. How? Meatballs. Yes, meatballs. Giant, two-pound, holy-mother-of-god meatballs that taste as marvelous as they look.

On Mondays only, patrons can order what Zarè claims to be, the Bay Area's largest meatballs. We don’t dispute his claim. This culinary marvel brings together Niman Ranch beef, veal, Persian rice, apricots, prunes, and something like 10 different spices, all gloriously molded around (in our case) a rack of lamb. (Though on other days, the surprise in the center can be braised short ribs, duck confit, or a small poussin, aka Cornish game hen.)

Believe it or not, these imaginative and labor-intensive meatballs called Kufte Tabrizi is actually indigenous to Tabriz, the second-largest city in Iran, and where Zarè grew up.

And truth be told, when Monday swung around, these weekend warriors weren’t thrilled to haul ourselves over to the SoMa for din-dins, but that reticence quickly washed away with the arrival of our first course.

See, besides the balls, Zare’s unveiled an entirely new menu since he took over the reigns of the famous 102-year-old restaurant in August.

So some of his Mediterranean and Persian influence obviously makes its way into the menu, such as the Seven-spices mushrooms, a kabob of king trumpets and mixed wild mushrooms (hen of the woods, shitake, etc.) grilled alongside grapes, citrus and tomatoes. This dish’s simplicity is part of its brilliance, and we started talking about the absolute necessity of having a grill on our wedding registry, and we aren’t even engaged.

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