This may shock you, but I’m a pretty easy going person when it comes to eating out. Though I have a list of places where I’d like to dine, I rarely speak up when someone asks me where we should eat. Unless someone insists that I pick a place, I just let other people take control.
So on the first of SFG’s two days off while I was there, we walked over to nearby Foreign Cinema, where he said he’d wanted to try brunch for a while (or did he say he’d been already? I forget). I always thought brunch was the bane of anyone working in the restaurant industry, but maybe it’s different when you don’t have to work brunch service ever.
I forget the name of my drink – why do I want to say it was the Hemingway? – but it was designed for me: sparkling wine, St. Germain, over ice. I pooh-pooh’ed the addition of ice, but SFG said to think of it as a cocktail (since the idea of sparkling wine over ice weirded me out), and that made it better. It was well-made, slightly sweet, and the perfect start to my morning.
SFG suggested we start with the caramel pecan sticky bun – I think he said he’d had it in the past – and I was completely surprised by how much I enjoyed it, as this is something I’d never think to order on my own. Slightly warm, sticky, gooey, dense, but in all the best possible ways, I ate more than the one bite I thought I would. I don’t know if I’d order this again – it still isn’t something I seek out – but I enjoyed it.
True to my roots, I wanted to start with something savory, so I ordered the sea bass tartare with wasabi tobiko and avocado yogurt. There were wonton crisps on the side which were great for scooping up bits of the tartare to eat, but there weren’t enough! On its own, the tartare was tasty - bright acidity, pops of heat from the wasabi tobiko, and creamy avocado yogurt, but definitely made better with the wonton crisps for texture. I wound up polishing this off myself, enjoying it greatly.
For his main brunch item, SFG chose poached eggs with duck confit and a sort of salad. I can’t eat duck confit that early in the morning, and I commented that his duck confit looked dry. He said it was OK, so I didn’t bother trying any.
Though I said I couldn’t eat duck confit that early in the morning, it’s not like I really chose a light meal myself – I’ve been seeking croque madames for a while, usually seeing croque monsieurs on menus but not so many croque madames, and when I saw it, I had to have it. The entire thing was covered in bechamel, and quite heavy; I was disappointed that my egg wasn’t bigger, but overall, it was tasty – just super, super heavy and rich. I ate a good amount of it… and then didn’t eat for the rest of the day. Okay, that’s a lie, we actually went to three different restaurants for dinner, but that’s tomorrow’s post
So would I return? Well, the space is a lot bigger than I thought it would be, and there’s a gorgeous outdoor area in the back. It was slightly chilly for me (SFG was fine) but the heat lamps and the eventual sun peeking out made it perfect; service was good and I believe they even take reservations (which SFG didn’t think of so we waited, but only about 15-20 minutes – we got there just as they opened, actually). I would definitely return, though it’s not at the top of my list – if I was in the area, staying in the Mission again, and just wanted a brunch place… sure, why not? I enjoyed my experience and the food very much.