Saturday, October 30, 2010

25 Lusk, SOMA

When I saw a reservation on OpenTable for 25 Lusk, it seemed obvious that I should book it. That week I had read about the opening several times (emails from Daily Candy, Urban Daddy and TableHopper) and Kev had told me that the owner is the brother-in-law of his friend. 

The restaurant is located down a small alley (Lusk Street, to be exact) that I had never noticed before, near AT&T park.

The space itself has been written about tons, and it is really impressive.  They've kept a lot of the original structure (beams and brick) and added modern details, some really warm lighting and lots of rich looking woods.  The upstairs is the main dining room and I liked how spacious it was. At so many restaurants in San Francisco, you're on top of the tables beside you and can't help but feel as though you are part of the conversation of people at the tables next to you. The booths here are roomy and private and it's easy to forget that there are others in the restaurant too. Someone later asked me what the crowd was like the night we were there, and I had no idea - I hadn't even noticed them. 

There were four of us at this dinner and we ordered a whole lot of stuff for all of us to try. 

Cauliflower crème brulee, sunchoke escabeche, truffled wild arugula.  This was my favorite of the appetizers. It sounds crazy - but it was amazing.  Imagine taking cauliflower soup then brulee-ing the whole thing and adding truffled arugula on top and this is what you get. It was savory and smooth but also sweet and crunchy. 

Wild Arugula, watercress, cucumber, grilled fig in a champagne vinaigrette.  Fresh and flavorful, but nothing to write home about.

Braised pork cheek terrine, with roasted quince and apple compote, swiss chard and spiced cider reduction.  I had texture issues with this one - the pork texture didn't work for me, but Kev really liked it.

Lobster ravioli, saffron lobster nage, shaved thai basil.  It looks like soup, but hidden in that creamy broth are ravioli, stuffed with lots of meaty lobster. We all really enjoyed this one. 

We also ordered four entrees to pass around between us.

This was the braised short ribs with roasted sweet potatoes and wilted escarole in a syrah demi-glace.  The good part about sharing is you get to try everything. The bad part is you only get a little bit of everything. I really liked the short ribs, they were perfectly tender and were barely hanging on to the bone.  The sauce was rich and a good match to the meat.

Verbena steamed pacific halibut, sea beans, tomato, eggplant, lemon-lobster vinaigrette.  The fish tasted incredibly fresh and the citrus-y sauce made the dish feel really light.   We liked this one a lot. 

Grilled top lamb sirloin, roasted garlic, potato rosti, apple-spearmint demi-glace.  I love baby carrots.  This lamb didn't have that super-distinctive lamb flavor, which meant that Kev would eat it (whoever heard of a Welshman that didn't like lamb?).   I liked this one, but it's been a week and I can't remember much more about it!

Pappardelle, grilled treviso, roasted baby fennel, braised artichokes, parmesan.  Pappardelle might be my new favorite pasta, there's something about those fat ribbons that I always enjoy. This dish had a really smoky flavor, and while I didn't think it was as successful as the other dishes, I still enjoyed it. 

Somehow after all of this food, our waitress convinced us we needed to order not one, but two of the dessert sample platters. We agreed.

There's a whole lot of stuff on this plate, but my favorite by far was the dulce de leche cheesecake. I'd definitely just order that if I were to get dessert here again. Not too sweet, creamy and light, it was the perfect dessert. 

After dinner, Kev and I debated where this restaurant fell in terms of our favorite places to eat. I liked it - and I'd put it on the same level as my meal at RN74 or Commonwealth - but wasn't blown away like I was at Frances, which is now my high bar.  Kev disagreed and thought it was up there with Frances. Either way, it was an impressive meal, especially considering they had only been open six days when we ate there. I'll be curious to return in a few months when they've really established their rhythm. 

25 Lusk
25 Lusk St
San Francisco, CA 94107

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am not sure I can live with myself if I dont get to experience the Cauliflower Creme Brulee

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