Report on Pier 15, San Rafael
On the first warm day of an otherwise cold Spring, I came out of hibernation and checked out Pier 15 for lunch after new management took over. 0n the whole, it hasn't changed a lot. The calamari was excellent, juicy and well-cooked...tender. Good tartar and cocktail sauce. Bloody Mary was not up to Adriano's old Orsi standards...rather small glass at that. Salad selection wasn't impressive, but they have a daily seafood lunch menu in addition to regular lunch menu. Around $14-15 , and I think salad was included. We had sandwiches on the deck, generous and tasty (Mama Cristo and Reuben). If you order cole slaw, be prepared for a generous pile of almost undressed shredded cabbage. You might consider asking for a side of dressing of some sort. One plus is complimentary valet parking...the lack of enough spaces to accommodate both the diners and the bar flies has always been a pet peeve of mine. The glassed-in deck is very pleasant, and yacht sale harbor gives a somewaht nautical view. Service was quite slow, and it was not at all crowded. Don't expect speedy service. In all, as good or better than it was, very funky and good food.
I was there for lunch today also. The deck was great, the service was very friendly and mostly prompt, the shrimp louie (dressing on the side) was just fine with generous shrimp, but nothing special, the vegi burger my friend had was judged "OK" and the housemade creme brulee "too sweet" (he's from France and pretty picky). My take on it is that lunches are OK but breakfasts are better. I'll try the calamari next time. Anyone else have more experience there?
re: Mick Ruthven
Friend and I were there for lunch the other day. She asked "Is the crab fresh?" "The crab is always fresh" said the waitress. So we each had a crab sandwich. I was expecting a crab salad rendition, but no, It was just basic undressed crab meat. Just OK -- nothing special. It came with a choice of salad. With beverage, lunch was around $20 each, plus tip for the parking valet.
Pier 15 has never been about cuisine -- it's mainly a nice laid-back environment for hanging with your pals and chowing down.
Pier 15 shines at breakfast. Hubby and I have been almost a dozen times now usually bringing in new friends and everyone has enjoyed it tremendously. We took my mom, a notoriously picky eater, when she came to visit and she's already said that next time she's in town, she wants brunch there again. I have yet to find a place to match their pancakes. Other hits are the apple and berry dore (which is what my mom ordered ad loved), and the California omelette. The corn beef hash was a little dry, but serviceable. They have good, thick bacon. The fresh OJ is meager, esp at $3. You only get about half a glass of oj with a ton of ice.
We tried it for lunch and weren't impressed. The food is fine, but not special. Stick to the breakfast items.