Wednesday, December 30, 2009

San Francisco: Moss

We met up with our friend Jon for lunch in San Francisco. Jon is a local, an excellent cook and an avid follower of the SF restaurant scene. Moss is located in the new Academy of Sciences. Unfortunately with school out, the museum was mobbed. We could not even get close to it for parking and it took me a full 30 minutes after I dropped Michael off to find a space. He reported that there was a 45 minute wait just to get into the museum (there is no separate entrance for the restaurant). Fortunately they have figured this out and there is an express line for people with restaurant reservations.

Moss, the more formal of the eating places in the museum, is on the lower level and other than a living wall of plants, still rather sparse, the decor is unexciting to say the least. But this was all about the company.

That notwithstanding, the food was generally excellent. We started with a shared pile of vegetable fritto misto, pita with hummus and a green salad. I had a Moroccan lamb burger (terrific), Michael had the grilled yellowtail (good) and Jon had the day's special catch which was grilled halibut. Unfortunately the latter was severely overcooked, so much so that Jon (rightly) sent it back. A new plate appeared which was nearly raw in the middle but which was eaten, and enjoyed, anyhow. I had a couple of bites and thought it was delicious...if we eat tuna and salmon very rare, why not halibut? And, to the restaurant's credit, they comped the halibut, which was generous but really not necessary. Just fixing the error would have been enough.

We were in a festive mood and so started with a bottle of Roederer Estate Rose, one of our favorite American sparklers. Well, one bottle is never enough so we did end up supplementing this with individual glasses of the same to round out our meal.

It was hardly a cheap or fast lunch...had the halibut not been comped, the total would have added up to just about $200, although that did include $85 worth of champagne. The service was excellent and professional. The complications of being in the museum did not help matters although if one went on a school day I am sure things would be much easier.

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