Our vacation to the San Francisco starts right here. Having arrived shortly after 6:00pm into SFO, and staying our first night nearby the airport, I was searching for an easy yet satisfying restaurant for dinner, and specifically fresh seafood. (Being from Texas, fresh seafood is high on our list).
There were two restaurants that caught (no pun intended) our attention, the Fish Market and The Lobster Company. Both have high marks on TA. We chose The Fish Market for the menu breadth and we wanted a bit more ambience than the picnic table environment at the Lobster Company (although it sounded wonderful, maybe we'll go there on our way out of SFO).
The Fish Market did not disappoint when it came to the food. It was outstanding!!!! Fresh-Fresh-Fresh! We started with a shared appetizer of sautéd scallops in a light garlic wine sauce. They just melted in your mouth. As a scallop lover, the absence of sand in the scallop is important - i mean who wants to bite down on sandy grit!? These were 95% perfect.
The mains consisted of pacific swordfish which was cooked perfectly, and again, as fresh as could be, accompanied by steamed vegetables (perfectly cooked, no mushy!), and an au gratin potato (this was okay, not great). My wife's main: Steamed New Zealand Green Mussels in a garlic broth. Being from that part of the world she was quite familiar with this shellfish, it is, as I found out, a delicacy. Score: 8 out of 10. Considering they made a 20 hour flight from N.Z., they were remarkably fresh and cooked perfectly.
So what was lacking? Well, certainly not the food, score a 10 on that! Service and ambiance were lacking. The hostess was a young girl that needs training in greeting guests and being attentive. We arrived at 7:35 for a 7:30 reservation, she took our name and without any conversation she proceeded to ignore us, not informing us of when we would be seated. There were a dozen or so tables open, and about 4 parties waiting. Annoying. After 10 or so minutes we were seated in their outdoor section. Now, this is S.F. and outdoors anytime of year can be chilly. It was protected with a glass partition but the seating area was very basic - essentially low cost outdoor type tables and chairs that became uncomfortable over time. But like many outdoor seating areas in S.F., heaters are common. There were none, and after 20-30 minutes the chill became noticeable.
The restaurant was not particularly busy, probably 70% full, but table service was erratic and we were found waiting for drinks a few times (lost revenue opportunity!) On a scale of 1-5, service was a 3.
The setting was average at night, during the daytime probably better because from the outside tables you would have had a nice view of the waterway that runs in front of the restaurant.
Overall - We wanted fresh seafood, and we got it. We did not choose the restaurant for it's ambiance but it would have been nice if it were dressed up just a bit more. Would I return? Yes.
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