Occupation: Radio Host
Location: San Francisco
Favorite Restaurant: Farallon
Reviewed Farallon: Wednesday, February 13, 2013
I am excited to share one of my favorite go-to restaurants in San Francisco. When I think of holiday shopping on Union Square, Seeing a show on Geary Blvd, or meeting friends before dinner, I think of Farallon. A jewel box of a restaurant; dramatic jelly fish and sea urchin inspired lighting, thousands of glass caviar like beads hugging the stairway and a vaulted mosaic ceiling holding the diner in suspension while course after course of experience arrives from the theatrical kitchen. Whispers of briny squid ink, brightly colored beets, and warm umami chestnut ravioli inspire conversation and comparison while dining. Perfectly paced service, wait staff well-versed on the dishes and their origin; Arctic Char from the waters of the Cascade Mountains in Washington, not the High-Arctic. Line caught, local white bass. Across the room towers from the raw bar champagne poached male lobster. Happy birthday greetings whispered at a table for 8. At Farallon, the wine program is inclusive and representative of California and beyond. Nodding to fish-friendly pinot noir, mineral rich sauvignon blanc, and the deep dense cabernet sauvignon we all love so much.
Farallon is a restaurant for an occasion and for a meal with visiting friends. It is also a restaurant for old friends who enjoy lounging in a red crush velvet banquette, sharing gossip in the glow of the glamorous dining room and desserts too good to split.
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!
Service was attentive. In short, I would go there again only if someone else picked up the check.