HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >


your advice done me wrong

  • t

sorry, chowpersons, but I took your advice and ate at boulevard the other day; should have gone to rubicon (my friend is a regular there and says it is consistently excellent). the food at boulevard was decent - at best - my companion said it was like "high end cheesecake factory food". service was good, the room was a bit overwrought, and the whole place had the atmosphere of a large, well run factory. portions were huge, except for the duck confit, which was small and hardly memorable. the popularity of this place obviously speaks to a lowbrow appreciation for big, clunky plates of unexceptional food, consistent, yes, but short on elegance and finesse. and hardly innovative - tuna tartare, crab cakes, mashed potatoes. big deal. the watering trough of the herd. signed, the cod.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. z
    Zach Georgopoulos

    Heh. Reminds me of Bauer's review of Blvd. when it first opened. The headline was something like "Boulevard: Not Worth Crossing the Street for." Still, people do...

    2 Replies
    1. re: Zach Georgopoulos

      If Bauer dinged Boulevard, it must be good. I think I'll go.

      1. re: Jim H.
        Zach Georgopoulos

        He, he... probably true -- I just tend to avoid high-priced places, so I'm perfectly happy to avoid the ones Bauer dings.

    2. Looks like people who are not into generous portions of tuna tartare, crab cakes, and mashed potatoes should definitely avoid this place.

      1. I didn't chime in with the Blvd. or Rubicon discussion because I have not been to Rubicon. But I have been to Blvd. a couple of times and I feel I need to defend it somewhat after your scathing review. Both times when we were there, the food was more than "high end cheesecake factory" and the service was great. I wouldn't compare it with places like Gary Danko or French Laundry, but it definitely has its place among fine dining. However, I do think people have different tastes and opinion about what is good to them. Granted we are chowhound and suppose to know what is "good", but that doesn't make us identical. Sorry you had a bad experience there, but I wouldn't discourage others from going.

        1. Wow, if you disliked Boulevard, then you'll really hate Rubicon. Did you try the sweetbreads or the foie gras with the rest of the "masses"? To each his own, but I vehemently disagree. I'll take the "factory" any day.

          1. My advice said to stick to the appetizers, but alas, some people like to try the entree's....oh well. Sorry it sucked for you, now you know not to go there again. :)

            1 Reply
            1. re: Jupiter

              As I get older (and wiser, I hope) I find that appetizers is the way to go. Sadly, the appetizers in some overrated places are no better than the entrees, but all in all, it is worth a try. I recall one of the best meals of my life was several years ago in Covington, LA...across the lake from NO. I had a crawfish pie and three delectable soft crabs. It was ecstasy.

            2. b
              Brandon Nelson


              How can someone who hasn't been to Rubicon suggest that it would be a superior choice? I don't think anyone can. I'm sure your opinions of Boulevard are sincere, but you can't hold up a restaraunt you haven't been to as a better choice. Your credibility will suffer.

              If your companion has such strong convictions I would like to read them first hand. It seems you both have something to offer. I hope Rubicon lves up to your expectations.


              1. Boulevard gets consistently high marks "Best in SF", etc. for no reason whatsoever...the food is good-to-mediocre...highly overrated...I'm not big on Rubicon, but I understand that is a minority opinion.

                1. I have to agree with you. My first time was not what I expected it to be. I took my boyfriend out for his birthday last week and was disappointed as well. The food was very good but the service was probably the worst we have ever experienced. The server was no where to be seen and the wine did not come out with the food, just to name a few....When the wine did come out we were told that they were 'too busy'. Uh wrong answer!!

                  1. t
                    That Other Zach

                    I have to agree that Boulevard's menu is lacking in creativity. Aqua has a more imaginative tartare. Danko and the Fifth Floor have more mouth watering luxury ingredients. Hawthorne Lane has always felt like a warmer restaurant than bustling Boulevard. And if I want comfort food, I might as well dine for one fourth the price at Chow.

                    That said, I wanted to defend Boulevard's service reputation. When my wife Amy and I were in college, we were able to judge restaurants by the service they provided to us "youngsters" relative to tables that were uniformly older and tended to have a bigger bar tab. Boulevard stands out for a meal we had during a Thanksgiving weekend downpour.

                    We'd taken the Caltrain into the city for dinner, but forgotten an umbrella. We caught a taxi to the restaurant and arrived a bit soaked. After being seated, our waiter arrived with complimentary hot tea for both of us. (Not a big expense for the restaurant, but very thoughtful.)

                    After the meal, we'd paid the bill and were about to head into the rain and attempt to hail a cab. (For those of you who've tried, you know this corner is usually deserted after 10 p.m.) Our waiter showed up to refresh our coffees and insisted that we remain seated and relax -- he'd already called a cab for us. I don't know about you, but I don't remember getting that kind of service at the Cheesecake Factory.

                    As for Rubicon, Amy and I went for lunch in late August and were not impressed with the menu. I remember that we shared a few appetizers because the entrees were underwhelming. One was a calamari stuffed with some kind of homemade sausage -- it was so oily and heavy on the chili spices that it was nearly inedible.

                    On the other hand, the service here was wonderful too. After learning we were illegaly parked (what choice did we have?), our server flew through the bill process and sent us on our way with a complimentary goody bag of housemade sweets.

                    Hmmm, unremarkable food and remarkable service. Maybe Boulevard and Rubicon are more alike than we thought?


                    1. Had to revisit this thread after eating at Boulevard a few nights ago. The sweetbreads/beef cheek appetizer was excellent as always, and it seems as if they have heeded the advice regarding the entrees as they seemed to have been brought up a notch. Both my filet and my wife's stuffed pork chop entrees were great. Funny thing, is I didnt see any crab cakes or tuna tartare on the menu at all. Makes me wonder if you went to the same place. Oh well.