Saturday, September 30, 2006

The House
I remember back in the summer when the World Cup was on, when Belden Alley would be packed, and many a computer would be streaming the game (and inevitably slowing down the network). Well, I woke up one bright saturday morning, and I had a calling for some fusion. So we drove down to North Beach, got stuck in traffic, struggled with parking for a good 45 minutes, walked past the bustling Steps of Rome, and settled into The House, which was pretty much empty.

Free plate of pickled cucumber

Tuna special of the day 9

Ok I am sure this had a much more glamourous name, but it escapes me. This was seaweed-wrapped sashimi grade tuna, slightly battered, and flash fried so that it was still pretty rare. It was then topped with a mound of spinach and other greens (you can tell this meal was not recent), and served with creamy and a spicy-sour-tangy sauces on the side. The tuna was extremely fresh, and fried ever so slightly so that it was still light and delicate. The sauces also worked really well with both the greens and the tuna.

Grilled sea bass with garlic ginger soy 19

I can't say I am a big fan of sea bass, but since this was one of The House's signatures, we decided to give it a try. The sea bass was perfectly grilled, with the skin not burnt but still slightly crispy, and the flesh smooth and just cooked. I don't think the fish was marinated at all, but just grilled with a pinch of salt. We agreed in unison that this was an excellent sea bass preparation.

The sides, however, were rather disappointing. The pan-fried udon noodles, though flavorful, were way too salty, as were the garlic green beans. The flavors also didn't quite mesh. The noodles and beans were way too overpowering for the sea bass.

Grilled pork chop special ~18

The pork chop was also not listed on the menu. It would come grilled on a bed of asparagus, with a pomegranate glaze, a tangy orange sauce, and some grassy olive oil on the side. The pork chop was very tender, but completely flavorless. I had to douse it with the pomegranate sauce, which made me forget I was eating pork at all. If the pork chop were marinated, this would have been pretty good.

Sesame soy glazed salmon 13

The picture is cut off, but this was a TALL dish. I think the yellow things stood a good 16 inches above the plate. Anyway, the salmon was very nicely done, cooked slightly and evenly so the flesh was extremely light. It was, however, extremely salty. I think they took the glazing a bit too far, as I was eating a 5:1 rice to salmon ratio. This came with some Chinese mustard greens, which were simply boiled, but even that did not mitigate the saltiness in the salmon.

Mango Tapioca 6

They have some interesting desserts on the menu, but we decided to go with the mango tapioca. I was disappointed to find some mango syrup rather than fresh mango (it was summer, afterall). There wasn't too much tapioca, but there was a lot of almond-flavored milk. Overall, this was average; it got very heavy after a while.

Despite some problems with oversalting, the House is a great fusion restaurant. They have some interesting items on the menu which we didn't get to try, but the ones that we did were solid. They are very good with preparation of their seafood, but they need to lower their flavor intensity a notch. Value was great as well, at least for lunch. I'll definitely be back, and let them know I'm allergic to salt or something.

The House
1230 Grant Ave
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 986-8612



Blogger Melvin Lee said...

Oh gosh the food looks really delicious. The pictures are really professional. Are you a professional photographer?

9/30/2006 7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It all looks amazing, save for that noodle-y stuff that looks just a bit like zombie brains.

Your pictures are amazing, as always - do you have a book?

10/02/2006 3:04 PM  
Blogger Hungry Hedonist said...

Melvin - Not a professional photographer, though I'd like some training from a pro!

Piper - Haha having a book would be the ultimate dream. Though I recently discovered a book out there called "Memoirs of a Hungry Hedonist"--too bad I can't claim credit for that

10/06/2006 12:46 PM  

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