has anyone been to Pomelo?
pomelo has solid food at fair prices. it's a standby. i'm rarely wowed but always satisfied.
the judah location is tiny (i like sitting at the counter too), and most popular for phone-order takeout by the ucsf crowd. the church location is much bigger. pomelo is one of the restaurants that the SO and i can always enjoy, even if we're not sure what we feel like eating. prices are reasonable. the koh samui is indeed consistently good, and the fish special is almost always a winner. i also enjoyed a rice noodle soup that was on the menu for a while. the wine list is small but fairly priced.
the church street location typically has at least one indonesian-inspired entree because the chef hails from there.
We just came back from Pomelo's on Judah & 6th, and we had a wonderful meal. I had the Koh Sumai, which lived up to its reviews, and very filling - I took 1/2 of it home. My friends had the Havana, Lanzhou, and Padang. The Havana was very flavorful. The Lanzhou noodles were a bit thicker than we expected, and had a very slight sweetness to them, but delicious non the less. The Padang was consistently good, as one of my friends pointed out.
The wine list was diverse and moderately priced. Will definitely go back again.
I have been to the Church St. location just once but was pleasantly surprised. Usually I am skeptical of restaurants that "try to do it all," serving dishes from more than one cuisine. But my friends and I went for brunch (dinner verdict still TBD) tried three different plates and they were all three really spot on -
* the arepas, one with a spicy braised beef, another with egg, another with chicken
* polenta, sundried tomato and pancetta thing
* macadamia and banana french toast
I'm eager to go back. The service was a little bit robotic, but responsive...if you smiled and asked them for something, they smile back, but they're not handing 'em out at the door, you know...
I have only been to the one on Church. It's the larger location of the two. I like that there is always a variety of cuisine to choose from. The prices is generally good, except for some items. I remember having the Vietnamese spring rolls once. They made it the authentic way but it wasn't very fresh. Also, I could've gotten the same portion at other Vietnamese restaurants for half the price. Other than that, everything we've tried have been good. What I remembered the most is the chicken curry with banana. It sounds a little strange but it worked for me. My dad had the steak with Cuban fried rice once and that was good.
I've enjoyed both brunch and dinner there an would recommend you try either or both meals.
Pomelo is a restaurant that we really enjoy - we go about once a month and have for years. It's asian fusion, and is California-ized somewhat. If you enjoy this style of cooking, I would recommend that you check it out. It's relatively inexpensive, consistent, and the service is warm. Small place, best to sit at the counter - better view of the action. The dish I crave is the Koh Samui - spicy coconut curry with chicken, oriental long beans, straw mushrooms and fresh cilantro.
I have only been to this location, and not to the one in Noe Valley.
re: jen maiser
I was there several times a few years back when I worked in the area. I liked their spring rolls and I agree with Jen that the Koh Samui is one of the better items. It is definitely California-ized, and my first pick for noodles in the area was always Yummy Yummy or San Tung because they were more authentic. The place reminds me of a smaller version of Citrus Club on Haight street.