Food & Drink

Mediterranean small plates in Fremont

Establishing your independence is an important step toward cementing your legacy, as evidenced by LeBron James' position as leader of the Heat, provided that Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Juwan Howard, Udonis Haslem, Mario Chalmers, and possibly Penny Hardaway all get simultaneous jury duty. From a crew doing the opposite of LeBron, hit Hunger

The first independent offering from a pair of Seattle resto vets (Zoe, Fish Club, etc.), this Spanish-grubery's serving up a menu of mostly Pan-Mediterranean-flavored small plates from the storefront that used to house Persimmon; inside's got a communal-tabled back room, and a red-walled 27-seat main room dominated by a tile topped bar backed with beaten metal panels taken from a Catholic school, though the nuns claim they're really only "well disciplined" metal panels. Tapas-style offerings include garlic aioli/Manchego cheese Short Rib Sliders w/ sweet potato fries & harissa ketchup; chorizo/harissa butter Roasted Mussels & Clams; Pressed Duck Confit Salad w/ Crisp Hempler Bacon & soft boiled egg; and Spanish paprika spiced Hot Nuts, also how the Insane Clown Posse refers to themselves when the AC goes out on their tour bus. Bigger dishes range from the chorizo/piquillo peppers/saffron/harissa/mussel's/clams/shrimp Jaime's Paella, to Wild Boar Osso Bucco w/ saffron currant cous cous & green olive gremolata, to Seared Ahi Tuna w/ sweet corn, truffled beans, and vinaigrette -- a simple recipe that involves herbs, spices, and capers, which almost certainly come from the Pirate's Devil's Peak.

On weekends Hunger's got brunch, and behind the bar they're slinging specialty 'tails like a house-produced Absinthe service; the tequila/cucumber/raspberry honey Velvet Bullfighter; and the Trocadero/house made rose vermouth Morning Glory, which unlike Mourning glory, is something LeBron actually has a shot at getting.