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Sep 19, 2008 12:14 PM


Hi, has anyone been to Anthology lately? I'm thinking of going for my birthday. The only reviews I found were over a year old and a couple of the food reviews were middle of the road - any updates?


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  1. We attend shows frequently at Anthology. Beautiful venue, perfect acoustics, fantastic service, disappointing food (at least lately). Just based on my personal tastes, the summer menu that they have had in place for several months looked promising but very few of the items delivered on execution. I'm not sure if it is the flavor profiles the current chef has put together or the fact that they are putting together so many meals at the same time and they have not yet mastered that specific skill. My husband keeps giving them chances with their fish dishes, but every single time they come out of the kitchen completely overcooked and smelling quite fishy (even after multiple requests for it to be "undercooked"). We love the venue, and will continue to patronize it, but I'm at the point where I will only order a salad or appetizer and simply concentrate on enjoying the music. I'm hopeful a new menu for a new season might bring some improvement.

    1. I had a terrible experience there and will never give them another dime.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Josh

        Don't tease us! What happened Josh?

        1. re: Pablo

          It wasn't food related. Their seating policy was asinine, and was poorly explained on the website - not sure if they have changed it. The website said all seats had views, which is not true, and that you could have dinner from any seat. What the website didn't say was that if I didn't pre-order a dinner package, I couldn't have a reserved seat (even if I was planning on dining). This left us seated at the very back of the venue, with a bustling bar between us and the performer. We had a better view from the flatpanel TV, but I certainly didn't pay $100 to sit and look at a TV while listening to ice being scooped during a performance. When we complained, we were told the only seating options available were the bar (where we were), or the third level of seats, which have even less of a view.

          Even if I hadn't had that experience, their lineup is not my cup of tea. Every once in a while they get in a good jazz performer, but it looks like a lot of smooth jazz and cover bands.

          1. re: Josh

            Well I would have been mad as hell too! They have changed that policy (no more dinner package). But you do have to give a reservation time and spend a minimum amount (I think $15-$20) which is not hard to do - especially if you are drinking wine because the wine price are astronomical. That said, you do get seated in the main room first come-first serve, so it's a good idea to make rsvp at least an hour before the show is to begin. They do have alot of smooth jazz and old rock acts but they get some real gems from mainstream jazz. We saw Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra - a rarity because they don't play clubs. But, and it is a huge but - they MUST get their kitchen in order!

            1. re: Josh

              That's pretty bad! I would have freaked out too! Not a smooth jazz fan myself, we saw Big Head Todd there and it was really fun. Here is the seating chart for anyone interested:

        2. Great venue to see music and have a bite to eat and some decent wine. We have always done appetizers and the cheese plate, never done any of the mains. In comparison to Humphrey's where you can get the best seats for music if you buy the dinner as well was just plain horrid - music was outstanding! But there is one place even lower... the San Diego House of Blues, unless you are dying for over-fried food, drinks only when we go to see these shows.

          1. The last time I was at Anthology was probably in March (and then for a company holiday party before that). I certainly don't go to Anthology for the food, but I don't think I've ever had a bad meal there.

            The venue is an amazing space and we've always managed to have great seats. We do make dinner reservations about an hour before the start of a show and have been seated on the main floor or in the seats directly next to it.

            The last time we were there, we noticed that you could order from the bar menu (even if seated in the main area), which would make your evening a little cheaper. I think the food is a little pricey for what you get, but the last two times I had the fish, it was cooked nicely and not too dry. Portions are a little small, but if you eat slowly and do that whole let-your-brain-catch-up-to-your-stomach thing you'll end up walking away full. So far, the only dessert I like is the tapioca.

            If there's a band or performer you'd like to see and they're at Anthology, I think you'd enjoy it. It's an experience all in itself.

            2 Replies
            1. re: leanneabe

              Hey why have a few people noted calling for reservations about an hour before.. Wouldnt you normally call a week before? is there some policy?

              1. re: butterbutt

                No, we call for reservations as soon as we buy tickets. We schedule our reservations for a dinner time about an hour before the show starts so we have a chance at good seats and can get through most of our meal before the show.

            2. Four of us had a lovely meal here on Tuesday, with almost everything half price.
              We each had a good cocktail -- two martinis and two vodka/lavendar/vanilla drinks.
              The rolls served were warm and soft, not like what I'm used to in the Bay Area, but lovely.

              We ordered:
              soup -- beef stew -- I didn't try it. It was proclaimed best soup ever tasted by the (elderly) man who ordered it.
              empanadas -- I didn't try them -- but they were flaky and the woman who ordered them love them
              salmon entree -- came with mashed potatoes, served skin on, the woman who ordered it loved it
              ahi entree -- came on an arugula salad. The ahi was perfectly rare, I love arugula, so it made me happy. There was no starch on the plate at all. The only complaint is that there were some chopped tomatoes that were flavorless.
              Filet -- nicely cooked, came up with a few asparagus (out of season?) and a wedge of potato and swee potato gratin.
              Sea bass entree -- the person who ordered it loved it.
              corn-based dessert -- very interesting. There were kernels of corn in the ice cream which just seemed like cold lumps, but it came with a nice cookie, and kettle corn and a good caramel sauce. It was certainly innovative.
              Root beer dessert -- it looked interesting, but I hate root beer so I didn't try it.
              S'mores dessert -- teh homemade marshmellows were great. The "semifreddo" it came with was very light and mousselike. The housemade graham crackers were a bit too hard. I thought it was a fun dessert.

              Our service was extremely friendly and accomodating. We were delighted with the meal. We didn't expect much because we were thinking of it as a music venue, but we left very happy.