Tag Archives: SF dining

Unlike My First…

They’re called “wing bombs.”  I call them odd and complicated, despite a strong and tasty bolt of horseradish.  The “corn fritters” deserve marks for creative preparation, while their relatively bland taste falls flat.  Then come two entrees, New York steak “cubes” and sea bass edamame, both of which immediately cry out in embarrassment of their paltry quantity.  While the flavor stood its ground, to my dismay my stomach did not reach its necessary capacity.  Add to this one overworked waitress who clearly needed additional assistance, leading to overall service that was hurried and inattentive.  Thankfully the wine, a Lodi Zinfandel, was delicious!

My second dining experience at Tangerine painfully paled in comparison to my delightful first, I’m sorry to say.  Plus it’s not the place to go if you, like my dinner companion, are in search of a real steak.  Still, for the numerous appealing menu selections yet to be conquered, plus a more hearty dish I eyeballed at an adjacent table, maybe– just maybe– a third trip is in order.

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Posted by on December 9, 2011 in Restaurants, Reviews, San Francisco


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The Winning Tangerine

If you’ve ever wondered what lamb lollipops and pea mash have in common, here’s your answer:

They both appear on the same menu of one very inviting and satisfying San Francisco dining establishment.  After numerous occasions of walking past the Castro-adjacent corner of 16th and Sanchez, examining the window-posted menu, and telling myself I need to give this place a go, last night it finally happened.  Excellent company in tow for an early (17:30) sitdown, Tangerine deliciously delighted our evening.

As you’ve certainly heard me say before, I always love a restaurant that instantly earns a return visit.  Unfortunately this is all too often not the case.  As such, after a couple rather forgettable meals in the same neighborhood over the past week alone, last night’s last-minute selection proved all the more refreshing.

Lamb lollipops, intriguing by name alone, come through as a creatively substantial though thankfully not-too-filling starter.  Butternut squash soup, rich in both flavor and portion, in itself might satiate a light consumer.  Tangerine’s fried calamari is nothing unusual, rather bland in fact, while their standard yet still-zesty whole romaine caesar salad lacks whole anchovies.  Both have their places on the table nonetheless.  My spicy seafood gumbo emerged a clear winner, striking a pleasing balance of salmon, shrimp, calamari and diced vegetables.  The most visually stimulating presentation of our meal was the large salmon fillet, nestled into a bed of richly seasoned pea mash that looks just like, well, pea green mashed potatoes!  So full were the three of us, that we regretfully passed on the coconut sorbet, this time.

Tangerine wins, and your dissatisfaction would come as a shock.  No doubt the pleasant staff will be seeing me again before too long.  Quite likely it will be on another Wednesday for that complementary glass of wine!

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Posted by on August 4, 2011 in Food, Restaurants, Reviews


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Not Just Satisfied…

Spicy means spicy, and rare means rare.  Anytime these two vital culinary keywords prove themselves, I know I’ve found a dining establishment worthy of my repeat business.

The chicken curry is positively delicious, fire-breathing upon request of course, by far the best I’ve tasted in recent memory.  A half-fries-half-rice accompaniment works very well, yielding an overall portion that’s probably gargantuan for many, while nicely satisfying for yours truly.

The pepper cheese-jalapeno burger called out to me as well, or perhaps I should say it was mooing as the big rare patty arrived to the table, nestled in a soft, round sourdough bun, alongside a heaping mound of crisp mixed greens.  Having asked beforehand if the chef would walk the cow past the stove, the answer from the waitress was an immediate and emphatic “oh yes.”  I knew I was in the right place, even before discovering the weekly liver-n-onions special!

The fried calamari appetizer is standard fare, surprisingly modest in quantity.  Then again, you won’t want to fill up before your generous and carefully selected entrée.  You might join me in wishing for a garlic or chipotle aioli in place of the calamari’s basic cocktail sauce.

The fish-and-chips remain to be tried, as do the ribs, which hopefully won’t have run out next time.  If I don’t hit the right day for the liver, I’ll just have to hit the curry again, this time with shrimp.  Whatever the selection, it all gets washed down with one of many import drafts.  Be sure to have company with you, as did I, so as to sample and share more than one plate.

The large open space is instantly inviting, with plenty of bar stools and high-top tables to be had.  The numerous wall-mounted flatscreens allow you to see your sporting event from all angles, while the variety of country flags on the ceiling create a pleasant international flair.

I’m always love it when I’m not just satisfied, but thoroughly impressed, with my first visit to a neighborhood dining establishment, especially one in walking distance of my home that’s been on my list for some time.  I’ll back, sooner than later, to Martin Macks.


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Posted by on June 10, 2011 in Food, Restaurants, Reviews


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On The Grill…

Of the several places around town that made my birthday yesterday quite memorable, my lunch spot definitely stands out.  After three months of intent, I finally dined, quite pleasingly so, at the historic Tadich Grill.

I expected to be satisfied.  My expectation was met, hands down.  The menu, while interesting in its extensive selection, was unnecessary; I knew my meal selection well in advance.  After all, Tadich’s version of my always favorite calf’s liver and onions awaited my comparison to the same dish at Little Joe’s.  Both preparations are delicious and unique unto themselves, excusing me from declaring one clearly better than the other.  Whereas Little Joe serves thinner multiple pieces in a rich sauce,  Tadich presents one very large and thick steak off the grill, adorned by a topping of rich sautéed onions.

For any and all of you liver lovers, Tadich Grill is a must.  If your palate calls for something else, your menu choices clearly abound.  My dining companion, for one, seemed to enjoy his very attractive and ample halibut steak.  A Negroni, overflowing in its old-school-sized glass, served as my chosen cocktail accompaniment, though naturally the full bar will accommodate your libation preference.

For its decades upon decades of history, Tadich reminds me very much of Hollywood’s Musso & Frank Grill.  If you know and appreciate Musso’s, you’ll certainly discover some positive words of your own on Tadich.  My next visit will come long before my next birthday, at which time I’ll expect to find even more good to share on the grill.

Tadich Grill menus are printed daily.

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Posted by on March 29, 2011 in Food, Restaurants, Reviews


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Dining “Trip”

My “trip” to the Folsom neighborhood restaurant Triptych might be worth a mention. 

I could tell you about the open, airy seating space surrounded by tall walls of attractive artwork, almost as if you were dining in a small, intimate gallery.  If I were to address the inviting wine and beer bar that offers a very unique selection of imported drafts, I’d say you could comfortably sip your selection while appreciating a peaceful atmosphere quite conducive to pleasant table conversation. 

Then, I could go on eliminate the bland, undercooked crabcake sandwich from my menu recommendations, while yawning at the rather pedestrian breaded pork loin.  I’d suggest instead you consider the hearty lamb chops with well-cooked bok choy, if not the heaping bowl of eye-turning paella.

But who am I to say, after all?  I’d just be writing up yet another restaurant review, and you’d simply be getting my own opinion, again.  Perhaps I should let you take your own dining trip to Triptych, where you can sip, taste and decide for yourself.

(I’m waiting.)

Oh, too late.  Maybe next time.

And that’s… what it always is.  🙂

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Posted by on January 25, 2011 in And That's My Opinion, Restaurants


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