Pdho and I have been wanting to go back to The House for awhile now. It was actually one of the first places he took me for dinner. It was the earlier days of my blog when I didn’t really take pictures, so my review was full of praise but very light on photography. I still recall it was during Fleet Week in October and we walked all the way from my place near AT&T Park along the Embarcadero toward Fisherman’s Wharf and then up from the water along Mason St. to Columbus Ave. until finally arriving at Grant Ave. Seriously… go map that on Google! Anyways, I suppose it was just a sign of things to come…. exercise so we can eat. On this occasion, we came back with CAsper and enjoyed another delicious meal together.
The Grilled Calamari was very well-prepared. One of the things I can’t stand is chewy squid, but not here. The calamari was quite tender and the tomato sauce was rich and flavorful. I suppose the bonito flakes were supposed to give it that Asian twist, but I really didn’t like them. I don’t know what it is, but I am not a fan of bonito flakes.
This is one of the consistently best-tasting appetizers on the menu. The tuna tartare has the right mix or soy, sesame and whatever else and the roasted nori chip is a light and fanciful take on the cracker that goes with the tuna. Delicious!
I really enjoyed this salad. Even though I couldn’t really tell if the beef was Kobe or not, I thought the beef was well-marinaded and went well with the tomatoes and papaya. It was light, efreshing and the Rice Krispies cereal sprinkled on top provided some nice crouton-esque texture to the salad.
The flatiron steak was very well-seasoned and cooked to a perfect medium rare. It was served with an Asian slaw of some sort and on top of a bed of homemade chow mein-like noodles. A distinctly Asian dish executed in the most refined way.
The Sea Bass was moist with nice smoky grilled flavor and came with a nice garlic ginger soy sauce for dipping. The green beans had a nice crunch and the noodles were similar to what was served with the Flatiron steak.
This risotto was not as good as I had hoped it would be. The prawns were huge and grilled very nicely, but I think the fish flakes or whatever they sprinkled on top added a little odd taste to the dish. That was really the only not so appetizing aspect of the dish, so as long as I moved that fish food-like topping to the side, I found the risotto to be quite delicious!
The Angus Ribeye steak was delicious. Truthfully, I think this was much better than the Flatiron steak which is not meant to put the Flatiron steak down or anything. I think the ribeye cut is just a richer, fattier cut so it’s hard to compare. However, I liked the preparation with the toasted garlic, onions and seaweed. I also really liked the garlic mashed potatoes that came with it. It was creamy and buttery… and oh so delicious.
The desserts were all pretty solid for the most part, and I can’t recall too many particular details about the different desserts. They were all pretty light considering that creme brulee’s and panna cotta’s tend to be richer, heavier dishes. Although I’m not sure how they have done it, the Asian-ification of these desserts have maintained the delicious flavor while seemingly reducing the high-caloric richness. My favorite was probably the panna cotta, because of the fruitiness from the peaches and blackberries went very nicely with Italian pudding.
All in all, it was a very delicious meal, and The House still stands as one of my favorite “go-to” nice dinners in the city. The restaurant is a little bit on the cramped side, but ambiance aside, the food is great and I have yet to be disappointed by any meal I’ve had there. I really recommend giving it a try, and if you have already been, it doesn’t hurt for a repeat visit.
1230 Grant Ave
San Francisco, CA 94133
PAFO Ratings for The House:
Price 3 stars
Ambiance 3 stars
Food 4 stars
Overall rating 4 stars