Among the desserts, the muscat granita ($7) was an unusual, tongue-tingling pleasure, and the apple pie ($7) featured blessedly undercooked apples in a rich, buttery crust. But the peach cake ($7) was gummy and dense, and the chocolate soufflé cupcake ($7), despite its voluptuous appearance and sterling pistachio ice cream accompaniment, was sweet rather than chocolatey, puddlish rather than molten.
The 150 items on the mostly Californian wine list are eclectic and wide-ranging, if a bit pricey, and there are 18 half-bottles and a couple dozen wines by the glass as well. But there are further annoyances. One member of our party was (and is) a vegetarian, so I called ahead to make sure there were appropriate items on the menu. I was assured that there were; we arrived to find that there were in fact none. There's sprightly jazz audible just outside the restaurant and back in the restrooms, but nothing in the dining room, which tends toward the lugubrious. The lighting levels go down and come up again with some regularity. And the waiting time between courses can be unusually lengthy.
Great expectations, but Twenty Four's food is just another example of New American cuisine, 2000 model.
24 Willie Mays Plaza (at Third Street, in Pacific Bell Park), 644-0240. Lunch served Monday through Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on game days); dinner served Sunday 5 to 10 p.m., Monday through Wednesday 5:30 to10 p.m., Thursday through Saturday 5:30 to 11 p.m. On game nights, dinner service begins at 5 p.m. (7:35 p.m. games), 4:30 p.m. (7:05 p.m. games), or 3 p.m. (5:05 p.m. games). Sunday brunch served 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Bar open until one hour after dinner service. Reservations accepted. Wheelchair accessible. Parking: difficult; valet available (except on game days). Muni: N, 15, 30, 42, 45. Noise level: moderate.