As SF enters the next phase of the food delivery app wars perhaps to be known as the post-Sprig era, RIP it may be important to mark the launch of Young Fava, the latest delivery-only concept from the mind of chef Anthony Strong, who cut his teeth as the executive chef of Locanda in its first five years. As I discussed last month, Young Fava is Strong's attempt to shake up the delivery universe by preparing and plating food more in the style of a restaurant, despite only being available by delivery apps like UberEats they've got an exclusive deal for just this week, starting Wednesday, and Strong expects to open up the floodgates on Caviar and others starting Friday. The project, he tells Eater, comes out of his basic mission as a chef, "Approaching the familiar in new ways, and making magic happen within constraints." And he says the name derives from that too a nickname he earned from the kitchen staff at Locanda after he decided to deep fry some young fava beans without shucking or shelling them, accidentally creating a runaway springtime hit at the restaurant.
The concept of next-level delivery is one that seems to be a defining trend of this year following the opening of Rich Table's RT Rotisserie, which has a brick-and-mortar location but is also is available via Caviar and others, and the launch of Tacolicious's MF Chicken, which is tonight.
What sets Young Fava apart from virtually anything else you can find on the local delivery apps these days is both the inventiveness and market-freshness of Strong's menu items, and unique high-end flourishes that include a torchon of foie gras; caviar service for an at-home date-night that will run you anywhere from $88 to $200; and the fact that he's offering to deliver bouquets of fresh-cut flowers along with the meal for $14 (though that item doesn't appear to be on Wednesday's UberEats menu).
As for price points, they aren't bad considering the quality and what you'll pay for much worse in the current delivery sphere: entrees currently top out at $21, and starters range from $12 to $17.
Strong tells SFist that that idea came from the fact that he always tries to put fresh-cut flowers on the table when he's cooking for his girlfriend, and, he says, "I was talking to one of my sous chefs and she said she had a side gig selling flowers, so it was perfect instant access to the wholesale Flower Mart."
Standout dishes from a preview event last week include Strong's spring-onion burrata dip, which comes boxed in a tin alongside freshly grilled bread; his excellently named SF AF Salad, which promises to always be a farmers' market mix of seasonal stuff topped with edible flowers; the delectable beef cheeks stroganoff served with pappardelle, English peas, and creme fraiche; a perfect box of crudités with kefir ranch dip; and his Chicken Lettuce Wraps, "Parma-Style" which can be best described as like an Italian twist on a Thai larb, with a beautifully seasoned minced chicken Bolognese with pancetta, ready to be spooned into pieces of radicchio, Belgian endive, and Romaine, served with a parmesan crisp for added texture.
It's clear that Strong has had a lot of fun with this project, and he's creating food that is both easily crave-able and a bit whimsical. Friend and press rep Kyle Hughes says, "Anthony is cooking the food he's always wanted to cook," and the results show off both his sense of humor (e.g. the "90s-Style Crudo" and menu categories like "Dance Party" and "Freaky") and his Italian training.
Strong is working out of a commissary kitchen, borrowing the kitchen of Turtle Tower the Tenderloin, which closes at 5:30 p.m. each day. So Young Fava is going to be dinner only for now, Wednesday to Sunday this week from 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., with hours expected to expand to six nights a week shortly, and expanding to other delivery services besides UberEats.