Calm Waters

Pacific

The desserts display some of the inconsistency of the main menu: a sure culinary touch undermined by perfunctory follow-through. The bread pudding ($8) is light and fluffy on the inside, crusty on the outside, but aside from the occasional poppy seed, the dish is little more than bland. (A scattering of minced agrumato, a Japanese fruit, offers a nice tinge of flavor, though.) The bittersweet chocolate mousse ($8) is nice and smooth, but not intensely chocolatey enough; its cushion of chocolate spice cake is dry and flavorless, but the sharp taste of red currants in port essence jazzed things up a bit. The trio of mousses ($7) is attractively presented: three tiny pots filled with hazelnut, mandarin orange, and chocolate purées. But only the latter has any richness of character (and it's an undeniable knockout). The pear tartlet ($8), however, is a gem of a meal-closer: warm, light, moist, and crumbly, perfect on a wet, cool day.

Over the course of a couple of visits we tried the tasting menu, a bargain at $55. It began with that wondrous cured salmon, topped with caviar, then moved on to the foie gras terrine, the sweet-potato gnocchi, and the salmon wrapped in Swiss chard. This was followed by three French cheeses, served with grapes and baguette: a pungent Roquefort, a warm and bitter-creamy brie, and a nice Gouda-like white cheese edged with rosemary and garlic. The chocolate mousse concluded the meal.

Pacific Executive Chef Erik Oberholtzer, 20 stories up.
Anthony Pidgeon
Pacific Executive Chef Erik Oberholtzer, 20 stories up.

Location Info

Map

Pacific

500 Post
San Francisco, CA 94102

Category: Restaurant > California

Region: Hayes Valley/ Tenderloin

Details

500 Post (at Mason), 929-2087. Breakfast served 6 to 11:30 a.m., lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., dinner 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. daily. Parking: complimentary valet available at lunch and dinner. Muni: 2, 3, 4, 76, while all Union Square buses and the Powell-Mason cable car are a block away. Wheelchair accessible. Noise level: placid

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Service was impeccable, prompt and unassuming, ideally suited to the venue's placid atmo. The wine list is lengthy and California-based, with a rather heady markup. Coffees and teas are presented by the (attractive, self-pressing) pot, and there's a $20, three-course menu available at lunch that changes twice a week.

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