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Feb 13, 2011 11:08 AM

Pasion on Irving?

Has anyone tried the recently opened Pasion (Peruvian) on Irving next to Art's Cafe?

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  1. I went opening week. Meant to post a review actually, but got busy with work. I thought it was good. Probably the nicest/most expensive restaurant in the neighborhood. They were extremely eager to please, and generally pretty busy. Super child friendly - brought my toddler carrot sticks and celery sticks in a bit of salad dressing while we waited for our food. I don't remember what I ate and I can't find the menu on their website to jog my memory, but I do remember it was good. I think I had two appetizers - maybe a squid dish and some kind of salad. My husband had ceviche and steak. The steak wasn't the well-trimmed kind, which he didn't mind except that the room was really dark so it was difficult to trim it yourself. The people next to us actually requested a flash light to read the menu. The chef came out afterwards and asked us for feedback also, which was appreciated.

    1. Had a very good dinner here this weekend. It's owned by the Fresca people, and while the menu's similar, it aims higher. Fancy looking cocktails, although we stuck to wine. The best meals I've had at Fresca were on Fillmore St, and this is similar quality, maybe slightly higher.

      Highlights: ceviche in coconut cream, bacalao fritters, a whole branzino served with cilantro rice and seafood in a parihuela-like cream sauce. Tiny sweet potato fries. The sherry reduction on the duck confit empanadas (and the frisee that came with them, but not the deep fried empanadas themselves). And especially the albondigas, in a cream sauce. Note that these are not Mexican style albondigas.

      We also shared a bunch of desserts. My favorite was the lemon cheesecake-y tart which reminded me of a key lime pie. Although the avocado panna cotta (not my favorite) came with pistachio ice cream and toasted coconut, and that was exceptional.

      Portion sizes are all over the place. The appetizers are around $10 each and some were big and others small. Entrees run $18-28, but big portions and good to share.

      Very well chosen and priced wine list, with mostly Spanish and Portuguese wines by the glass.

      We had a fantastic server, who knew everything about the sauces, wines, etc, and was happy to investigate any questions we had. It's rare to find someone who's very professional but also completely approachable.

      It's kind of a cold space, although I like the entry way where you can wait and have drinks. And the chandeliers are fun. It wasn't dark, so maybe they've turned up the lights since Pandora was there.

      Not cheap: easy to spend more than $50 or 60 per person with drinks and dessert. But enjoyable and I would definitely go back.

      The menu is similar to Piqueo's and La Costanera, where I'm headed next week, so looking forward to a recent upscale Peruvian comparison.

      Fresca Restaurant
      2114 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115

      830 Cortland Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94110

      La Costanera
      8150 Cabrillo Highway, Montara, CA 94037