Recent SF dining: Globe, Azie and Scala's
Well, I left it too long, but I thought I might as well give a few thumbnail sketches on some recent dining experiences in San Francisco.
Globe: Five of us went here after the Chinese New Year's Treasure Hunt (held the same day as the parade). Called at 9:00 pm and they were able to give us a reservation for 9:45 pm. Since my party had been tromping all over downtown SF, we were hungry and ready to eat! It'd been a few years since my last visit, so I was disappointed not to see the salmon with creme fraiche on the menu. I ordered the chicken, a rarity for me since I rarely order chicken when I'm at a restaurant. In any case, it was quite good; even the breast meat was tasty. The star of the night was the dessert as my husband and I ordered the Meyer lemon semifreddo with huckleberries. I didn't think the berries added much, but the semifreddo had an intense lemon taste -- the way I like it! One of my friends ordered the espresso creme brulee, which I sampled. Very strong coffee taste, but I'm not sure it worked for creme brulee.
Azie: Four of us ended up at Azie after we couldn't get into LuLu after GDC (Game Developer's Conference). And I was so looking forward to LuLu's skillet-roasted mussels! Well, we were hungry so we decided to try next door at Azie. When we asked the host if a table was available, he said yes but only either under the staircase or by the window. At first, we agreed to under the stairs, but when we saw the actual table, we hastily recanted. We squeezed ourselves around the low table right by the front window. I had the grilled Japanese butterfish on a bed of spiced butternut squash. The fish was cooked just right, but the squash was what really made the dish. My husband ordered the slow cooked pork 'bacon.' When we inquired as to what 'bacon' was, we were told pork belly. Well, why didn't they just say so? I had a taste of his dish, and regretted not ordering it. Of course, I'm a sucker for anything rich like that. My two friends ordered the seared sea scallops and vegetarian udon noodles, and proclaimed themselves satisfied. I also ordered a side of Chinese long beans in a black bean sauce. These were slightly underdone to my taste, but still good. My only beef with Azie is that we sat the whole time in the rather uncomfy table, even though some of the booths remained empty the entire time we were there. Perhaps we didn't fit the typical Aize patron (that's what you get with 3 game programmers), but then they shouldn't have put us in the front window.
Scala's Bistro: I made reservations for 7 of us after a matinee performance of the "One Man Star Wars" show at the Post Theatre. It was an amazingly warm day in SF that afternoon, so it was almost a relief to head inside to the dimly lit Scala's. For some reason, the restaurant tried to shoehorn 7 of us into a booth that would comfortably fit 5-6. My friend asked for a chair instead so she could sit at the end of the table. We ordered 2 appetizers, ceci bean spread with Italian flatbread and wild boar meatballs. The bean spread was tasty and reminded me of hummus. I liked the gaminess of the meatballs. My husband and I ordered the little gem lettuce salad. I would have preferred more of the pesto vinaigrette. I ordered the braised oxtail agnolotti and my husband got the steak (flat iron) frites. I don't get to eat oxtails very often, so my entree was a treat. I saved half for next day's lunch. My husband managed to finish off not only his steak but his huge file of fries. We ordered the warm gingerbread with sabayon for dessert. Nice but not spectacular.