location: The House (San Francisco, CA)
1230 Grant Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94133
This place has over 2500 reviews on yelp. With so many positive, enthusiastic reviews, I was anticipating a very delicious meal. I think my expectations were higher than the food we received, but it’s not bad.
At the table, they give these complimentary pickles with toasted sesame seeds.
As a starter, we got oysters on the half shell with spicy cilantro mignonette. When my friend first ate this, she thought the oyster would be more attached to the shell, so she slurped a bit too hard and choked on the spicy sauce. Luckily, I came second and took heed to her warning.
These oysters were quite good, very fresh. The sauce was a bit spicy and sour (like tabasco sauce).
For the mains, we got their sea bass (left) and wasabi noodles (right).
The sea bass comes with your choice of rice or garlic noodles, vegetables and a garlic ginger soy sauce. The fish was pretty well grilled. It had a nice, seared exterior and was mostly tender inside (though I would have liked it a bit juicier). The sauce was on the sweet side, but had some good flavor and I liked the thin slices of ginger. We decided to get the garlic noodles, since they seemed more interesting than plain rice. They tasted fine, but they really didn’t taste much of garlic at all.
We also got the warm wasabi house noodles with angus flatiron steak, since it seemed like one of their most popular dishes. Again, it tasted fine, but similarly to how the garlic noodles did not taste of garlic, these wasabi noodles did not taste of wasabi. It was extremely mild to the point of non-existent. The sauce was more of a sweet and sour chili sauce, which again doesn’t taste bad, but is just not what you expect. The steak was okay - some pieces were very tough and chewy, while others were more decent. Flavor was not anything special.
For dessert, we got the coconut crême brûlée with passion fruit sauce. For the third time in a row, this did not taste of what it was advertised as. The crême brûlée had very, very, very minute coconut flavor. I tasted a bit in one spoonful because I was really looking for it. Especially if you combine it with the passion fruit sauce, the coconut flavor is non-existent.
It’s fine with me if the coconut flavor is minimal, as I’m not particularly fond of it anyway, but for those who are expecting it in this dessert, it is difficult to find. The sugar on top was nice and crisp, and you could just crack into it with a spoon, but several areas were over-caramelized and burnt, making it bitter. The cream portion of the dessert was smooth and creamy, but a little too liquid/pudding like for my taste. I would have liked it set just a bit firmer.
overall quality: 7/10
desire to return: 6/10