I will return.
Favorite Restaurant: Indigo Restaurant
Reviewed Farallon: Sunday, February 10, 2013
Farallon is definitely a restaurant for a special occasion. The décor screams “special,” in a fun way, from the first step inside. Light fixtures of extravagant glass jellyfish hang from a high ceiling. In the bar area a fanciful painting shows a bell jar diver sitting underwater and recording notes with pen & paper while a shark hovers behind her/him and a hand reaches from outside the frame of the painting to offer the diver a cocktail on a tray. Led through the bar to our table, we entered a large beautiful room with vaulted ceilings. The architect did a marvelous job of creating multilevel individual table spaces so that diners feel private and separate and still part of a larger experience. Service is personal, not the team of servers sometimes seen in high end restaurants. The vaulted ceiling is beautifully decorated with old mosaic tile and fresco that is so dramatic one has to ask about it.
The food was excellent, using very fresh ingredients allowed to retain their individual flavors. Portion sizes were good—not overly filling but completely satisfying. A Mediterranean shellfish bisque starter had a deep shellfish flavor and creamy cognac Chantilly foam on the surface. The sardine starter was a delicately flavored Niçoise-like presentation.
The Alaskan cod entrée was served with a crab pancetta hash over a bed of puréed sun-choke. Textures were balanced with small pieces of potato sautéed to perfection, but the crab flavors & texture were lost in the stronger flavors of the hash. The Char main was delicious and its flavor and richness blended well with the winter squash purée it was served on. The food at Farallon is allowed to speak for itself. There is less effort to invent a dish for every presentation than some other restaurants of this caliber show. Except for the soup and desserts, there were no surprises, each component of the dish performing as might be expected of it, outstanding.
The wine list is extensive and had many offerings with which we were not familiar. The sommelier made a very good recommendation for our meal, an Eric Texier Roussane 2011 Brezeme, that was complex with a nice mineral component to complement our food.
Unfortunately, it took the sommelier some time to arrive at our table and consequently our first courses arrived before the wine. In the wait, our “amuse bouches” were forgotten.
Note that Farallon charges an extra percent to its customers for meeting San Francisco’s health care requirement, something neither of the other two San Francisco restaurants we visited did.
Occupation: Nutritionist and Chef
Location: San Francisco
Favorite Restaurant: Angkor Borei
Reviewed Farallon: Wednesday, February 6, 2013
I have not been to Farallon for years and walking into the Jellyfish bar reminded me of why it has been well over a decade since I’ve been there. The décor made me feel like I had entered a Little Mermaid set á la Las Vegas. Personal interior preferences aside, my dining experience was a mixture of ordinary and extraordinary. Appetizers were disappointing, main courses were decent, the dessert was exceptional!