HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >

Discussion

Boxing Room, Hayes Valley [San Francisco]

  • m

I tried the Boxing Room in Hayes Valley, San Francisco tonight. As a solo diner I only tried two dishes and the results were mixed. The hushpuppies were disappointing. There was not much flavor unless you added the pepper jelly, and salt seemed entirely absent. They were also too big, with one of them way undercooked in the middle. Fortunately the duck and sausage jambalaya was much better. Salt was still MIA for the duck leg but fine in the jambalaya. The soulful taste of the jambalaya went nicely with the duck leg and its crispy skin.

There's a great draft beer list, from which I had an Abita Amber - certainly the first time I've had it on draft in San Francisco, maybe even counting New Orleans too.

Fortunately they bring salt and pepper shakers to you, along with hot sauce, but it's not the same thing as cooking the dish properly in the first place. Who goes to a New Orleans-style restaurant for salt-free dining?

Anybody else try it yet? What else is good and what else is skippable?

Michael

-----
Boxing Room
399 Grove St, San Francisco, CA 94102

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. It's Jonathan Kauffman's review this week:
    http://www.sfweekly.com/2011-08-24/re...

    Do they have cocktails too?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Windy

      No cocktails when I went probably a month or so ago. We thought this strange but maybe they don't want to compete with Absinthe? Seems that the place and menu calls for mint juleps or something!

    2. I went to Boxing Room for lunch this week with a party of 6 and there was only one other table of two there the whole time. The food is good, but you can really go off your diet here majorly (I had the fried oyster po' boy and beignets). I tried the gumbo which was good. I did not like the boiled cajun peanuts. They have great (Sightglass) coffee. I didn't really get the hushpuppies either - but the jalapeno pepper jelly really helped. I am hoping that the serve will pick up as I cannot do 1 1/2 hour lunches and I hope that add some kind of lunch special as I cannot spend $14 on a sandwhich too often. A good special ocassion lunch I guess. The design is beautiful and they play great music.

      -----
      Boxing Room
      399 Grove St, San Francisco, CA 94102

      3 Replies
      1. re: Sharon S.

        We need to try this place as it looks promising.

        But boiled peanuts are one of the most disgusting creations of humanity. There is no way they can be good. A good example of something authentic (you see boiled peanuts in every rural corner grocery in Louisiana, next to the delicious boudins) that is awful. There is so much good food in that area that one need not bother with this slimy item.

        We had an oyster po' boy at Queen's La Po' Boys on San Bruno along with a couple of bottles of Abita Amber the other day, and it was really nice, fried but light, could have been in Louisiana.

        -----
        Queen's Louisiana Po-Boy Cafe
        3030 San Bruno Ave, San Francisco, CA

        1. re: Thomas Nash

          Did try Boxing Room tonight and it was quite excellent. The crawfish etouffée was very nice, as good as many I have had in the NOLA area and better than quite a few. The small size for $13 was quite generous. An off-menu tonight was cochon au lait, also very very nice. Comes with two sides, which were set under the suckling pig. My wife chose greens (she is a southern lady and likes her greens) and green tomato succotash, and was very pleased by both.

          The po'boys looked phenomenal, huge and dangerous, appropriately so. They range from oysters at $18 down through shrimp and catfish, the latter at $13, I think. There are different specials every night. Tonight's was a duck jambalaya with a confit leg on top of the rice. Looked good.

          Also off menu tonight were boiled crawfish for $10/lb including corn and potatoes. That's a reasonable 2X the going price in Lousiana (when expensive) given how far the crawfish have to come (actually they probably come from China...). It is considerably cheaper than many Asian-Cajun places are charging in the Bay Area.

          I have a real problem with the price of oysters around here. Even after Katrina, raw oysters didn't get to even as high as $1 each in most places in Louisiana -- and Drago's was charging only about $14/dozen for their incredible BBQ oysters. So, it is disappointing that the Boxing Room raw oysters are all West Coast and start (!) at $2.50 each. The grilled ones, which looked OK, are 3 for $9. Oysters just taste better when you aren't thinking about how expensive they are.

          Beer is cheap with many varieties on draft.

          We did not order the boiled peanuts... (for reason, see previous post...) Desserts also appear to be forgettable, unfortunately.

          All in all, a very nice addition to the city.

          Oh, and our waiter was really from New Orleans, with an appropriate uptown accent and a full knowledge of all the good NOLA places.

          -----
          Boxing Room
          399 Grove St, San Francisco, CA 94102

          1. re: Thomas Nash

            Thanks for the report! Looks like there are some more good dishes to try here.

            Michael

      2. "Who goes to a NO-style restaurant for salt-free dining?" It clearly was low- rather than no-salt, and nutrition and medical authorities strongly urge anyone over-50 to consume no more than 1500 mg/day.

        You'd be diminishing the dining population considerably if you subtracted even some of that demographic!

        One person's insufficiently salted meal is another's night of drinking quarts of water.

        1. Really excited to try this place, as well as Criolla Kitchen in the Bagdad Cafe space.

          -----
          Criolla Kitchen
          2295 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114

          3 Replies
          1. re: sugartoof

            I don't recommend Criolla Kitchen. I thought I posted after an unfortunate meal there, but apparently I didn't. The shrimp gumbo was awful, in a terrible tomato sauce, with overcooked shrimp to boot. It brought back memories of backpacking trips eating freeze-dried "shrimp creole". Other dish we had (a stuffed mirliton, if I remember correctly) was also terrible. They didn't have the BBQ the night we were there. The pecan pie was also forgettable.

            We keep passing this place, thinking maybe it was an off-night, but I can never get myself to go in.

            I really don't understand how Jon Kauffman can mention this place in the same story as Boxing Room. They are really not in the same league.

            -----
            Criolla Kitchen
            2295 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114

            Boxing Room
            399 Grove St, San Francisco, CA 94102

            1. re: Thomas Nash

              It's probably more so that they're both new, and Louisiana style.

              I was curious about their chicken and waffles, but that review doesn't sound encouraging at all.

              1. re: sugartoof

                Admittedly we did not try Criolla's fried offerings. Would try the chicken and the po boy and maybe the BBQ if I ever can get myself to walk in that door again.

                Not sure we need their BBQ, which has a promising provenance in Oakland, given Sneaky's and Memphis Minnie in the area.

          2. Went here pre-opera the other night and had a very nice meal. We started with the boudin balls, which are like arancini made with dirty rice. Tasty little guys. I had an oyster dish as an appetizer which was kind of like Oysters Rockefeller without the spinach. Good, though a bit pricy at $9.00 for three oysters. Mrs. Mrs. Bacon had a fried oyster and greens salad and enjoyed it. For mains, the Mrs. had the crawfish etouffee and I tried the fried chicken served with mashed potatoes, a porky gravy, and corn in a tomato sauce with little bits of baconish items. We really liked the crawfish dish; the tomato sauce had a really nice depth of flavor. At first I found the breading on my chicken a bit ponderous, but after a few bites and a sprinkling of Crystal hot sauce (which they serve at the table with the label removed) I really warmed up to the chicken. Both sides were also delicious. We finished the meal with decent beignets and nice Sightglass drip coffee. Will definitely return.