La Costanera in Montara
Susancinsf, her husband, and I went to La Costanera two weeks ago. It's such a spectacular location--get an early reservation and go for a walk on the beach. We debated sitting outside under the heaters, but ended up staying in the bar. It's a crime that they haven't been able to open in the day time yet.
They have a great happy hour menu, with half price drinks until 7 pm Sunday-Thursday.
We drank a few Pisco sours ($10 if it's not happy hour) and then ordered liberally from the regular and discounted menu.
The menu is very similar to Piqueo's, although a few dollars more expensive. Ceviches are excellent, as are anticuchos. I think we had ceviche mixto.
The best items were more inventive with sauces; we didn't want them to clear the plates while there was still sauce left. Shrimp in spicy tomato sauce were delectable.
Tiraditos and causas were both good, but comparatively small portions for the price. I'm forgetting a few--we did not leave hungry. We shared a molten lava cake and a passionfruit flan/mousse, both delicious.
Service was friendly and attentive, sincere without any SF attitude.
Very enjoyable way to spend an evening. It is not cheap. Even with happy hour, we spent nearly $200 for three of us including cocktails, tax, and a generous tip.
yes, I'd really like to see them open during the day; apparently (per our server) there may be zoning and permit issues getting in the way.
I enjoyed this spot much more than the similarly situated Sam's Chowder House. Actually, La Costanera is in a more spectacular location, but more to the point for a hound, both food and service are much better at La Costanera (and the food is a lot more interesting). The outside tables (complete with gas fire pit as well as the heaters) really were great; but alas we were there on the front edge of the big storms...
we had planned to eat upstairs in the dining room, but chose to stay in the downstairs bar because of happy hour. On top of that, the bar was quite comfortable, and not at all noisy. I suspect the bar may actually be quieter, perhaps considerably so, than the dining room at most times, since the dining room is very large and open with lots of hard surfaces (and appeared to be quite full despite rain and wind by the time we left later in the evening). In addition to half price drinks, a few of the appetizers are discounted 30% for happy hour. Happy hour, the earlier the better, is definitely the way to go here.
It's good; whether it is overpriced may depend on your sensibilities and whether you get there early enough to enjoy the setting. As WIndy says, great spot to go after enjoying a walk on the beach and the views of the surfer dudes....
I'm glad you guys liked it. My experience was very similar to yours, but I hesitated to endorse it strongly because MB has sort of said it's going downhill rather than getting its act together. I suspect they just don't recognize him and the cute gay waiter who was there half a year ago might have moved on, so he might have been miffed ;-)
We were surprised how much the bill crept up, but I really can't think of a better ocean-side view restaurant and it's definitely cheaper than the Cliff House or similar.
We were there after the Chron review came out. Based on how similar the food is to Piqueo's, I don't imagine quality would vary that much. The menu and sauces are pretty established.
For what it's worth, whenever I've gone to Piqueo's, I always wonder why I don't eat there more often.