Friday, November 7, 2008

Halloween 2008: Lark CreekSteak

Lark Creek Steak
Westfield San Francisco Centre
845 Market Street, 4th Floor, Ste 402
San Francisco, CA 94103

I have always wanted to go to Lark Creek Inn, and love Bradley Ogden's food, so thought Lark Creek Steak would be a likely choice for supper on a cool Halloween night in San Francisco, within walking distance of our Powell Street hotel.

We had reservations through Opentable, but as it was a super quiet night we chose to sit at the bar. Quel surprise.

The bar and the restaurant are beautiful. Ever so slightly reminiscent of Cal Arts & Crafts decor, lots of lovely dark woods, marble, fall foliage in vases scattered throughout. We had really excellent service by the lovely bartender. Excellent. Everything we needed, very attentive, great conversationalist.

These amuse-bouches popped out of the kitchen first, and frankly I was a little surprised. Salmon mousse on a cucumber? Really? On the last night of October, in a steak house? Wow. With all the tempting fall squash out there, and the pedigree of this restaurant, frankly, fail. Salmon mousse is so Monica Gellar circa 1993.

The evening was surprisingly balmy. We were walking the city and I didn't even bring a jacket. I was in no mood for a steak. Sadly, we cannot always predict these things when making a reservation four days in advance. Because I wanted to see something they would do with beef, I ordered the the filet mignon tartare. Lots of diced red onion, capers and so on, and I liked that they mixed the raw egg in for me, instead of serving this with a giant egg in the middle. It was good.

Around the edges, little slices of well toasted baguette. Nothing to write home about, but definitely a classic rendition.

D started with the Prince Edward Island mussels with lots of slivered garlic and pesto grilled bread.

This was a gorgeous steamed mussel dish. He was raving on and on and on about how he has never had mussels so delicious. Seriously, he wouldn't stop until I tasted it, and liberally sampled the broth.

Once I tasted it, I understood his joy. The tomato-ey, garlic-ey broth tasted just like hot dogs. And damn, does he love a hot dog. Really, this was very very good.

For an entree, I ordered wild Coho salmon. This was a hearty piece of fish, served with heirloom tomatoes and a cucumber dill sauce. It was good, but not thrilling.

For mains, D ordered the scallops, well done. This was a wonderful fall dish, shellfish wrapped cozily in bacon. The crisp on the outside, soft and succulent on the inside scallops were served atop a bed of melted leeks and olive oil poached potatoes. Twas good.

My favorite dish of the evening was the brussel sprouts. These were cooked in their own little dish, served piping hot with verifiable chunks of apple and nommy smoked bacon. I truly believe you can judge the caliber of a restaurant and its chef by the way they do veg. If I lived in SF, I would definitely come again. Living in LA, however, most likely when I visit I will go back to one of my two favorites. But this was perfect for the evening, great bar company and good people watching as the becostumed people paraded through the mall to go party it up at the restaurant/club next door. Two girls sat in the lounge outside the plate glass windows of Lark Creek and openly drank from a large bottle of Stoli, one in a princess costume, the other dressed as a sexy lady bug. Charming!

Lark Creek Steak on Urbanspoon

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