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Apr 3, 2002 05:36 PM

Reprise: Zuni

  • m

I've attached below the earlier thread discussing a long-time favorite, Zuni. I estimate I have been there 5 times a year for the past 3 years. I always take out of town guests there for a leisurely lunch, or a late, long dinner. I agree with thread below that it's not the place for a stopwatch-driven pre-performance meal (Citizen Cake is great for that, btw). But as one 'hound opines, it's one of the most consistent restaurants. I've never had miss there -- today my friend and I had the arugula/prossciuto/asiago pizza-- it was tops. My sister cannot come to town without us having the roast chicken with bread salad for two. Today's service was impeccable -- and we were seated in the cafe area because the restaurant was so crowded! Not one beat skipped in the service -- rapid, understanding, attentive without a hint of obsequiousness. I hope others can appreciate this great restaurant for what it is. I won't go on and on about the great oysters -- it's covered in this thread. YUM.


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  1. Thanks for saying something nice about a great restaurant.

    Zuni is one of my favourites too, but it seems like whenever there is a thread about one of my favourites (Zuni, Chez Panisse, etc...) the focus is on negative experiences rather than celebrating great restaurants for what they are. Personally, that's what I want from this list, positive (but still objective) viewpoints about places that are worth checking out - not point by point disection of why such and such restaurant doesn't live up to the hype. (Doesn't making such statements constitute "hype" in the first place?)

    Also want to commend you on the proper use of "obsequiousness," I'm impressed.

    1. Well, I'm glad someone has had good experiences with Zuni. Been there 3 times in 7 years and each time was less than stellar in terms of food and/or service. I just don't see what all the hype is about Zuni but maybe I've just had 3 bad experiences.

      1. j
        Judith Hurley

        I really love Zuni, think it has a quintessential San Francisco feel, and don't plan to stop going any time soon. BUT . . . the last time I was there I had horrible service. I reported that to this board, and all kinds of people assured me that I shouldn't do a pre-performance dinner there because service is "leisurely." I enjoy a slow-paced meal along with everyone else, but we had awful service. It was a half hour between our initial beverage and our appetizers, with the waiter apologizing for the kitchen. Then we got our appetizers, but we were out of wine, and there wasn't a server to be seen. Then our entrees were dumped on the table before we finished the first course.

        If you read this board regularly you can tell that some restaurants are reliably inconsistent, and Zuni is clearly one of them. I am of the opinion that they ought to care that at least some folks either don't come back or don't recommend them, or recommend them with caveats. But maybe you can fool some of the people enough of the time and the rest of us just cave because we love the oysters.

        1. Isn't Bistro Clovis around the corner from Zuni? Would Clovis be a good alternative?

          5 Replies
          1. re: Dan

            Yes, it is around the corner. Now that you mention it, Bistro Clovis would be a good alternative for the poster below who's looking for a traditional French place.

            1. re: Millicent

              Have you been? How is the food? (sorry, i should have asked for commentary the first time around)

              Wasn't Clovis a character on the Dukes of Hazzard? Or maybe that was Cleatis. Or Cooter.

              Nevermind, comments on the food will suffice.

              1. re: dan

                Oh, but the "Dukes" reference brings back many teenage memories!

                I haven't been to Bistro Clovis in about 2 years, but it was always good food and felt very French. The food was simple in that French way: green salads dressed with an acidic vinaigrette, sole, steak-frites, that kind of food.

                Sorry to be so vague.

                1. re: dan
                  Shepherd B. Goode

                  Clovis is either a multisexual deity of a Hyperborean hierarchy, alluded to in early issues of "Cerebus" ("Clovis' perfume and powderpuffs!"); or a suburb of Fresno.

                  Since you asked.

                  1. re: dan

                    Clovis was an early "French" king -- perhaps even the first "French" king. Here's a bit about Clovis excerpted from a website:

                    "The Franks were a Germanic tribe in western Europe that began to conquer other tribes. Clovis was a Frankish king who united most of present day France and western Germany. Clovis converted to Christianity about 496 and forced his subjects to accept the faith."

              2. I still think Zuni is overrated. The oysters are priced like they'd have pearls in them. Last time we were there, the waiter told us frankly that the dish we wanted to order just wasn't any good, and we should order something else instead. Now that's fine -- I appreciated an opinionated, honest waiter -- but I also think that that's a pretty startling disconnect between the waitstaff and kitchen. We also got seated in the cramped corner facing the alley, not even a view of the restaurant, clearly the worst seat in the house. It wasn't that busy in there, and they didn't disclaim the table or ask us if we wished to wait instead for a better seating.

                1 Reply
                1. re: franklint

                  I'm a big fan of oysters and would love to know a good oyster place that's cheaper than zuni -- please share your source for good cheap oysters.

                  Thanks in advance! :)