Ame vs. La Folie 5 Course Tastings
Just had a very nice dinner at Ame last night. I ate there once before, by myself, a few weeks ago, and I took some friend last night to try it.
Amazingly, the waiter remembered everything I ordered last time, including the 2 sakes I tried before ordering a bottle, and which sake I selected. I do remember him being a terrific waiter, but had no expectation that he would remember me, let alone what I ordered. So, extra stars for service above and beyond!
Two of us had the "taste of ame sashimi bar" as our appetizer. This is a great dish -- 5 separate sub-dishes on one plate. The winner is the uni and seaweed gelee, which is extraordinary. But all 5 together make a wonderful start. This is the dish that will bring me back yet again. I can imagine getting a periodic craving for it...
For starters, one other had the capellini, and the 4th had the fois gras, which looked excellent, but I would not have traded mine for either.
For mains, one had the black cod (signature dish -- I tried this last time and it's exquisite), one had the rabbit (looked nice, didn't taste) and two of us had the grilled half lobster with gnocchi, corn, little mushrooms and onions, and a wonderful sauce. This was a lovely dish, all the elements cooked very nicely and an unusual fresh combination. Lobster is such a summery thing to me, and this felt like an introduction to the coming fall season. Japanese food often tries to invoke the seasons, and this felt particularly timely for this moment.
For dessert we split a very nice berry pie and figs-3-ways.
Overall, I love the restaurant and will return.
But compared to, say, La Folie, the menu feels more limited.
There's a chawan mushi on there I'm dying to try, but I feel I've had the clear winners on the menu and that if I return, I will likely order at least one thing I've already had.
Also I must mention the Sake list. It's really good. Some are pricey, but there are many good and unusual sakes on there. A whole namazake section, which are my favorites, and a couple of lovely daiginjo as well.
2316 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109