Bouli Bar [San Francisco]
Maybe I'm reading this wrong out of my own bias in favor of the place or I just have a different internal sense of the star system, but I really don't get it.
Sounded like there were aspects of Bauer's dining experience that warranted some demerits.
But the quality of the praise that was eloquently and deservedly rendered surely seems to translate to more than two stars for the food and two and a half over-all (I might dip down to the "one" or "one-and-a-half" range for service--the rating that that pulled down the over-all score--if the server, say, spilled hot soup all over my dining companion and shrugged his shoulders and went out for a smoke).
This blog post from Boulette's/Bouli has been getting press attention this week.
In essence, the proprietors are letting us know that business is off and to please patronize them.
"...At Boulibar, the evening service and casual happy hours, await your laughter and presence. Please come in. We are near lonely most nights and the beautiful food is incomplete with your enjoyment...
Let us know how we can reinstate this Larder as a destination for you while shopping for home when at the Ferry Building."
So often I've felt remorse to learn of a restaurant going dark with no warning. I was glad to get some warning before it was too late. Other reactions?
I went to Ferry Plaza last night to do some shopping (on weeknights Golden Gate and Cowgirl are open until 7, Acme until 7:30) and decided to try Bouli Bar.
Started with the mezze plate ($18). Fresh, warm pita were excellent, delicious even by themselves. Pickled carrot salad with roasted sesame seeds and chile was great. Cauliflower skordalia with green garlic was kind of bland and boring. Eggplant salad was good.
Musa pizza ($20) with "turkish spiced lamb, tomato, feta, yogurt, maras chili, parsley, mint," delicious though I would have preferred a crisp crust. It was quite soft, maybe the same dough as the pita.
Beef tartare ($20) with "hand-minced wagyu beef, sumac marinated
sweet onion relish, urfa chili, black pepper, sea salt, olive oil, lemon, rusks" was very good.
I would have liked to try more things but I was too full even taking two-thirds of the pizza home.
I find issues with the speed of service. Given it's in the Ferry Building, you get a lot of lunch traffic from downtown offices in addition to the tourists. The slowness of food (it's just pizza and salad) stretched my lunch out to 90 minutes. The delay with my cocktail only made it that more annoying. My girlfriend had to run back to work before I finished. There are plenty of servers, a lot of running around, but not much attention. Maybe it's only an off day, but they have been opened for almost a year now.