Zuni Café is a San Francisco institution; in other words, people will think I am a hack for not loving it (how dare she?!). I’ve been to the restaurant two times, once for their signature dishes, and another only for the oysters. The space is beautiful, the service is great, but the food really does not measure up to all the hype.
The shoestring potatoes, which came first, were probably the best part of the meal. Light and crispy, they’re so addicting you don’t realize you’ve already finished half the plate. And then you continue eating because they’re probably the best fries you’ve had in a while. Too bad it went downhill from there.
The pizza was mediocre. The crust was gummy, and the sausage didn’t really taste like anything except small lumps of salt. Nothing in the toppings balanced out the savory, and the crust was pretty abysmal. I’d take Pizzetta over it any day.
Now, the grand finale: the legendary wood-oven roasted chicken that takes 50 minutes. I was quite excited when the huge plate arrived because it looked and smelled amazing. Biting into a drumstick, the flesh was tender and juicy; there wasn’t much in terms of flavor, though. Sure, there was the nicely browned and herbed skin, but the meat was really lacking. As I progressed to the less desired parts of the chicken (the breast), the flesh was downright dry and tasteless. It’s the kind that mops up the moisture in your mouth and gets stuck in your teeth. The bread salad was alright, since it tasted more like chicken than the chicken itself.
It really intrigues me why Zuni has such a strong following, with all the finer choices in this city. Equally intriguing is why people were so distraught when Bizou closed. I went there for my prom night dinner, and the food was way below average. I do understand and appreciate ingredient-driven, simple preparations; and as much as I wanted to, I did not enjoy these restaurants because the food was sub par.
Oh, I also hated Medicine Eatstation, so now I’ve lost all credibility.
1658 Market St
San Francisco, CA
Labels: San Francisco