Occupation: Legal Administrator
Favorite Restaurant: 1300 on Fillmore
Reviewed 1300 on Fillmore: Friday, May 11, 2012
1300 Fillmore is a hip and jazzy restaurant that feels like a supper club. Even though I have been about a dozen times over the last five years each time is better than the last. On this trip my wife and I went for a Friday night dinner. As normal, I started with a Sidecar from the bar before we looked at the menu. I began with the barbequed shrimp with creamy grits. This was the first time I had this dish, and it was fantastic. The shrimp was succulent, and the creamy grits were smooth on my palate. The dish came in a shallow bowl and was covered with a very savory sauce that made me want to sop up the remains with bread. Even my wife kept spooning out the sauce to taste.
Next I had the Black Skillet Fried Chicken and even though the menu said, "Please allow 20 minutes to prepare," it came out in far less time. The chicken was excellent. There were three big pieces that I could not finish. The amazing thing was that the pieces were boneless and could have easily fed two people. The medium thickness crust of the chicken was unique and had some spices that I could not identify but was very good. It is probably the only time I have eaten fried chicken with a knife and fork instead of my hands, partly because the pieces cut so easily and because the venue makes you want to keep it upscale and refined. My wife had the boneless short ribs, which is my favorite dish. It comes on top of horseradish chive mashed potatoes with just a little bit of extra sauce dripping off the short ribs. The sweetness of the maple syrup-braised ribs together with the slight bite of the horseradish made for a perfect pairing. The forks cut through the beef as easy as the mashed potatoes. For dessert we split the bourbon pecan pie that was traditional pecan pie made to an individual serving laid on a smooth and silky ribbon of chocolate bourbon sauce.
At about 8:30 on Friday nights, they feature live music in the lounge so after dinner, though we were quite full, we made it over to the lounge and had a few more drinks while we listened to a great three-piece band that had a fantastic female singer. They were smooth and soulful, which was just about right for 1300 on Fillmore. We plan to go back another dozen times and hope to hit the Gospel brunch at some point.
Occupation: Immigration Attorney
Favorite Restaurant: Lers Ros
Reviewed 1300 on Fillmore: Saturday, May 12, 2012
Service was very warm, friendly, and efficient. Staff was confident in their food and beverage recommendations, and they seemed to take pride in the food. I would give the wait staff a 10 in service. The young lady at the door could be a bit more friendly and professional. The cocktails were excellent. I ordered an Old Fashioned, which was done very well, and my wife (on the recommendation of staff) ordered a pear-flavored cocktail, which was well balanced and aromatic. I ordered their famed fried chicken, which came with mashed potatoes and gravy, and biscuits. The chicken was cooked perfectly, and the breading was nice and crunchy and flaked off (but in a good way). The flavor of the breading was not to our liking, though.
We also ordered the Special of the Day ribs. They came with two styles of bbq sauce on the side (Kansas City and Texas style). The ribs were good but not great. They were a bit dry, since they did not have any sauce on them. We would have liked them better if they were more flavorful without solely relying on the bbq sauces on the side. The coleslaw that came with the ribs was not our liking, but I think that just boils down to preference because there was nothing wrong with heir proportions, freshness, or being over-dressed. The French fries we ordered were good, and the homemade ketchup was a nice touch. We finished with the strawberry-rhubarb cobbler with vanilla ice cream on the side. The cobbler was good -- not overly sweet, and the crust was perfect. It went nicely with the ice cream. Overall, we would return but would try different main dishes and would like to relax in their lounge.
Occupation: Grad Student and Sales Engineer
Location: Walnut Creek
Favorite Restaurant: Caffe La Scala
Reviewed 1300 on Fillmore: Tuesday, May 8, 2012
We arrived to find easy quick parking in a reasonably priced garage. We walked into a beautiful restaurant with a very classy décor. It felt like the usual Fillmore jazz lounge with ample seating. The tables, décor, and place settings all lived up to my expectations as a classy and sophisticated place I could take potential clients or find myself at on a second date. The beautiful restaurant was sadly tarnished by one thing: a very loud band. On a Tuesday night, this just didn’t fit for us. We work long grueling hours on top of grad school at night, and we wanted to enjoy a good meal along with each other’s company. That was nearly impossible with the loud banging of the band. They tried to seat us in front of the band, and my date politely asked if we could be moved. They obliged, but didn’t seem happy about it. Once we were seated, the menu didn’t disappoint. We had a friendly server who recommended a good Chardonnay. The food was good, but it wasn’t amazing. What really bothers me is that a place like this should let the food shine on its own.
The band felt gimmicky to us and really out of place on a Tuesday. It felt like we had landed in an airport after-hours club or casino in Vegas with a buffet line around the corner. It would have been nice if it was a pleasant piano or something more low key, but this was extraordinarily loud. We could not hear our server, nor could we hear each other. We couldn’t even have conversation the entire meal. We politely asked the manager if they could lower the speaker volume. She said yes, but was a bit rude, and 5 minutes after we asked, a man walked out with trumpet, and the music became even louder. We started with the fried oysters. I don’t even like oysters, but the golden brown cornmeal crusted oysters were delicious, and the hint of spice in the accompanied dipping sauce complimented them perfectly. The endive salad was nothing to write home about, other than the sweet pecans. We also had pork belly slathered with an over easy egg. You can put an over easy egg on anything, and I will die for it. It was very decadent and savory at the same time. A great way to start the meal. Unfortunately the entrees weren’t the stars of the night. The rib-eye steak was tasty; each bite melted in your mouth and my date devoured it. However, my fried chicken was cooked perfectly, yet had a strange spice that made it taste off. I couldn’t tell if I was eating southern gourmet or Indian food.
We had a side of mashed potatoes, which I enjoyed but my date felt they had no flavor and he was disappointed. The truffle mac and cheese was saved for last as mac and cheese can make any meal amazing. It’s hard to find really good mac and cheese, and this delivered. It had the perfect hint of truffle oil for a rustic nutty flavor. There was just enough cheese and cream to make it rich and indulgent without being too heavy. We also shared a side of green beans, which were nice. They were cooked well, but weren’t amazing -- just a decent bowl of beans. Overall the meal was OK, but there was nothing I would order again, and the music overshadowed everything. We shared beignets for dessert, and they seemed to have no flavor. They weren’t sweet and were very dry. They were served with a lovely refreshing “coffee soda.” It was my favorite part of the entire meal. I could have that in a large glass with a side of whipped cream and be happy for the evening. It was sweet, and had a hint of chocolate, Coca Cola, and coffee to it. I couldn’t get enough. With a generous tip and tax the meal came to a total of a little over $100. We ordered more than normal because we were so excited to try everything, but I felt it was a good deal for a night in the city.