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Commonwealth or Commis?

hilrock Aug 6, 2012 09:58 AM

Would like to go to one of these restos for my birthday this year. While I am an Oaktown gal and like to support my city, the menu at Commonwealth looks a bit more appealing and the tasting with wines is a bit less expensive ($100 vs. $120 at Commis). Would love feedback comparing the two experiences.

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    lmnopm RE: hilrock Aug 6, 2012 12:18 PM

    Totally different experiences, and either should be excellent. Also, "today's menu" might have no rational relationship to the menus when you eat. I've been to both twice. Commis - did the wine paring once, and probably won't ever do it again. Commonwealth - did the tasting menu w/wine paring once and it was great. Ordered a la carte the second time with our own wine, and it was also great. Commonwealth is a much more causal experience, and you're much more likely to "make friends" with the next table. No service flaws at either on either visit. The plus with Commonwealth is that if the tasting menu isn't your cup of tea that night, you can order a la carte.

    1 Reply
    1. re: lmnopm
      Ashley12 RE: lmnopm May 20, 2013 07:19 PM

      I'm curious as to why you wouldn't do the wine pairing again at Commis. What about it was unimpressive?

    2. possumspice RE: hilrock Aug 6, 2012 12:26 PM

      Agree that both are excellent...you really can't go wrong. I wouldn't say they are *completely* different. Both seem like upscale food in relatively casual environments with a bit of Asian influence and some touches of molecular gastronomy.

      I've had dishes that blew my mind at both, though perhaps I would give the edge to Commis in terms of consistency. Agree that Commonwealth is the more casual of the two, though neither one is a white tablecloth experience.

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        vulber RE: hilrock Aug 6, 2012 01:10 PM


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          Shoops RE: hilrock May 20, 2013 09:45 AM

          Commonwealth - hands down! Hope you went! I went last month on a weekend to San Fran. I was very impressed and loved it and hope that it flourishes!!

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            IanW RE: hilrock May 20, 2013 04:16 PM

            Having gone to both, I believe Commis offers a far more consistent experience. Commonwealth was more experimental but a lot of the dishes(with the exception of the "pumpkin" dish-which was incredible) just didn't appeal to me. I thought that the flavor combinations at Commis were exceptional.

            1 Reply
            1. re: IanW
              vulber RE: IanW May 20, 2013 04:43 PM


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              marilees RE: hilrock May 20, 2013 04:53 PM

              I agree - Commonwealth is a little less formal, but neither is really "formal." I recall the portions being bigger at Commonwealth, but I think Commis is more quiet (long room for layout vs the big space where everyone sits at Commonwealth).

              Parking was much easier at Commis.

              2 Replies
              1. re: marilees
                drewskiSF RE: marilees May 20, 2013 05:39 PM

                Commis is spare decor with lots of uncovered surfaces. We find it pretty loud.

                In the front half, we have had a hard time conversing without raising our voices significantly and very difficult to hear the waitstaff.

                The back half is much better, but still not what I'd call quiet.

                I haven't been to Commonwealth to compare, but your comparison scares me :)

                1. re: drewskiSF
                  Robert Lauriston RE: drewskiSF May 20, 2013 05:45 PM

                  Commis seemed very quiet to me, must have been a less boisterous crowd than you've encountered there.

              2. Ashley12 RE: hilrock May 20, 2013 07:18 PM

                I have been to both two times each and I would agree with the other comments in terms of Commis consistency.
                The thing that I really feel makes Commis stand out is the flow between each of the dishes. I don't quite know how to describe it but there was a common thread/taste that went from dish to dish.
                The first time I went to Commonwealth I was blown away and the second time I went, I was underwhelmed.

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