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Farina SF

control25 Jul 3, 2009 03:30 PM

Is Farina still open on 18th st?

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  1. Robert Lauriston RE: control25 Jul 3, 2009 05:26 PM

    You could call them and ask. The last few times I've walked by it's been almost empty while Delfina and Pizzeria Delfina across the street were packed, so it wouldn't surprise me if it closed.

    3560 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

    3 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston
      PulledPork RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 5, 2009 04:25 PM

      It's not closed. Still kicking . . . The Mandili pesto pasta is obviously amazing but let's just say it's no huge mystery why Delfina is usually full and Farina typically has open seating.

      1. re: Robert Lauriston
        poulet_roti RE: Robert Lauriston Jul 5, 2009 07:11 PM

        Interesting, I went by on Thursday evening and the place was doing a brisk business.

        1. re: poulet_roti
          SteveG RE: poulet_roti Jul 6, 2009 12:01 PM

          It's definitely still in business, and at this point I'd say it's an unsung gem.

          We've gone a few times in the last few months for lunch on a weekend, and it has been great each time. Focaccias, treated vaguely like pizza, have been excellent with quality toppings and an Italian sensibility (lots of good olive oil everywhere, some would call it greasy, I call it delicious). The hamburger is expensive at $16, made with piemontese filet, but has plenty of beefy flavor and is well-constructed on a house-made brioche bun. Pesto pasta is always on the menu and is always wonderful.

          Wines don't seem to be the best they could be, but the section of the menu with a few selected options of wine, prosecco, margarita, or bloody maria, each for $5, is a great way to keep the overall bill down in a reasonable range. At this point, if we're there for lunch we stick to that section of the menu, and if we go for dinner we'd probably bring our own bottle.

          The fried calamari also deserves special mention--perfectly fresh calamari, fresh oil, correctly seasoned and fried just the right amount with a delicious aioli equivalent and lemon wedges.

          As for whether it's better than Delfina, it's different. Delfina's menus seem to be more consistently good, but the best at Farina is not totally out of competition, and the style is much more strictly Italian compared to Delfina's California food with Italian influence.

      2. Mari RE: control25 Oct 28, 2010 09:09 AM

        I have not gone to Farina since I've resisted, for several reasons, but I am curious now that I have a discount code I can use. Has anyone been since they revised their concept to Italian rather than Ligurian a few weeks ago?

        1. Melanie Wong RE: control25 Jun 22, 2011 11:45 PM

          According to Ristobar's FB page, Chef Angelo Auriana will be heading up Farina's new restaurant. Presumably this means the pizzeria that's in the works.

          13 Replies
          1. re: Melanie Wong
            Ruth Lafler RE: Melanie Wong Jun 23, 2011 01:25 PM

            Just what SF needs: more upscale pizza. Seriously, people: doesn't anyone have anything else to offer?

            1. re: Ruth Lafler
              Melanie Wong RE: Ruth Lafler Jun 23, 2011 01:47 PM

              Yet, there's still not enough to meet the demand judging from the lines and crowds outside these places.

              And pizza aside, none of the SF food press seemed to have noticed that Chef Auriana has changed teams. At least not that google can find.

              1. re: Ruth Lafler
                ML8000 RE: Ruth Lafler Jun 23, 2011 02:46 PM

                There's a very good profit margin off dough, tomato sauce and cheese...and it's near recession proof if not bad.

                1. re: ML8000
                  Ruth Lafler RE: ML8000 Jun 23, 2011 03:15 PM

                  I'm not saying I don't understand the reason. I just think the proliferation of essentially identical upscale pizza joints is making the dining scene boring and one-note. When I was checking menus for my birthday dinner a couple of months ago I was really disappointed at how cookie-cutter they were. Even the new supposedly more cutting edge places seem the same to me. Is there really much difference between Commonwealth, Saison and Sons and Daughters? The most exciting thing I've read for a while is that Bar Tartine is doing Hungarian, which while not cutting edge is at least *different*.

                  Bar Tartine
                  561 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

                  1. re: Ruth Lafler
                    ML8000 RE: Ruth Lafler Jun 23, 2011 03:43 PM

                    I can't disagree. I call it the Bauer taste-maker mid-range continental palette with a twist syndrome. Given the economy and cost of start-up...trends tend to stay safe.

                    1. re: ML8000
                      artychokeasana RE: ML8000 Jun 24, 2011 09:18 AM

                      They are the "La Maison de la Casa House" for the 2010s.

                      1. re: artychokeasana
                        Ruth Lafler RE: artychokeasana Jun 24, 2011 10:24 AM

                        Yes, and trends from San Francisco tend to become ubiquitous. I remember being somewhat disheartened at seeing beet salad with goat cheese on the menu of a restaurant in a small town in the east (Ohio or Pennsylvania). And I love beet salad! But I rarely order it now because it's such a damn cliche -- and the story goes that it all started with one restaurant's beet and goat cheese salad that Bauer raved about, so half the restaurants in the city put it on the menu, and so it spread.

                        1. re: Ruth Lafler
                          artychokeasana RE: Ruth Lafler Jun 24, 2011 10:38 AM

                          Do you know about when the beet and goat cheese salad become emerge in San Francisco dining?

                          Though I never really liked the salad I think the pear, blue cheese and endive salad has the same damn cliche status and beet and goat.

                          1. re: Ruth Lafler
                            ML8000 RE: Ruth Lafler Jun 24, 2011 12:56 PM

                            Well besides making it to small towns, you see it a home BBQ and parties all the time...or a variation.

                2. re: Melanie Wong
                  Melanie Wong RE: Melanie Wong Oct 9, 2011 08:40 PM

                  Heard from a friend that Chef Auriana is Executive Chef at Farina as of last week. Also that the pasta he had there was unbelievably exquisite.

                  Anyone been to Farina under Auriana?

                  1. re: Melanie Wong
                    PBSF RE: Melanie Wong Oct 9, 2011 10:08 PM

                    Had dinner there earlier this week. The food was very good but the prices are way above that of similar restaurants. The following is what 3 of us had. No pizza listed on the menu.
                    Porchetta with mostarda: thinly slices of rolled pork belly served room temperature; the mostarda was more like candied kumquats than the mostarda that I am used to.
                    Insalata di Campo, similar to Delfina's
                    Sauteed tiny squid over a puree of potato and celery root
                    Focaccia with prosciutto, crescenza and ricotta; more like a oval pizza then focaccia
                    Tortelloni stuffed with sea bass in a light tomato sauce
                    Tortellini of ricotta, prosciutto and herbs with a walnut cream sauce
                    The bread basket had excellent grissini, squares of parmesan cheese focaccia and slices of soft french style bread with a crust sprinkled with coarse salt.
                    The two pasta were excellent. Except for the tortellini, portion size was decent but would have left hungry if it wasn't for the good bread basket.
                    Antipasti: $12-16
                    Primi $24-28
                    Secondi: all around $36
                    Contorni (actually salads) $12
                    Dessert $9
                    Service was fine. I was surprise that the restaurant was full for a weeknight. Maybe it was due to the Oracle Conference as there were couple of large parties. Single seating as they did not turn any tables while we were there.

                    Delfina Restaurant
                    3621 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                    1. re: PBSF
                      wolfe RE: PBSF Oct 10, 2011 01:19 PM

                      That fullness was the subject of a recent thread.

                    2. re: Melanie Wong
                      Thomas Nash RE: Melanie Wong Oct 10, 2011 11:29 AM

                      Exquisite pasta has always been the excuse to pay the inflated prices here. Maybe under the new chef, the main dishes will also justify the prices. Previously they haven't.

                  2. Melanie Wong RE: control25 Nov 21, 2013 08:44 PM

                    Now that Chef Angelo Auriana has left to return to LA, any changes in the food at Farina?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                      CarrieWas218 RE: Melanie Wong Nov 25, 2013 02:22 PM

                      I went last evening based on the recent white truffle report…

                      We started with the veal carpaccio with shaved white truffle which was quite good. The greens had a perfect amount of acidic dressing to complement the rich chanterelles and heighten the truffle.

                      We also shared a salad with parmesan and then what was the highlight of the meal for me: handmade egg pillow pasta filled with braised Guinea Hen in butter, with a beef & veal reduction which was all so incredibly rich and unctuous.

                      I thought we ordered the kale/chard side but what was served was nothing other than sautéed spinach (which still helped and was nice with the rich pasta, but I'm not sure it was worth an extra $12).

                      My fiancé was a bit dismayed that he got charged for ice tea re-fills and the four dishes mentioned about with his ice tea (I opted for water), was still $100. Good, but too expensive.

                      1. re: CarrieWas218
                        walker RE: CarrieWas218 Nov 25, 2013 08:02 PM

                        I've heard people say they leave that restaurant hungry, moreover, even the children report they are still hungry.

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