Yesterday was our anniversary! Me and the wife. 4 years. So we ditched the baby with my sister and did what we used to do before she came along - went out drinkin' & eatin'.
We met up at Local Edition, a vaguely newspaper-themed fancy cocktail bar in a vast subterranean basement on Market. You can reserve a table for cocktails, which I really like, because it was already getting crowded at 5:30 when we got there. It's a big dark room, as you can sort of see when I accidentally took a picture with the flash on:
Whoops! Sorry about that. Then I took another picture with the flash off.
I guess I didn't need to show you both of those. Anyway, if you've been to a bar in SF in the last year, you know what it's like, drink-wise - lots of fancy liquors and absinthe and weird bitters and whatnot. But the drinks were great. I got a gimlet, which was superb as gimlets go, and something called a Yellow Kid, that had gin, lemon, something called Velvet Falernum that appears to be some kind of liqueur, dill syrup, some kind of vermouth, and ginger beer. It was fantastic. By the time we left, it was really, really crowded and there was some Business Douche in the front room at a table of other Business Douches and Douchettes who was yelling "WOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!" like he was at Senor Frog's on Spring Break so hopefully that's not a major feature. It was nice and quiet and grownup where we were sitting, so maybe it's locational. Anyway, worth a shot if you're around Market and 3rd.
The main event was dinner at Cupola, the fancy pizza joint in the Westfield Centre. Now, of course, when you hear "mall restaurant" you think crayons on the table and laminated menus, but this is like a legit restaurant. Michael Bauer reviewed it not long ago and said "if it were in a freestanding storefront, the lines would probably be around the block." In that review, he talked about this insane deal - a 10-course meal for $30 - so we decided we had to try it.
Holy shit, you guys. It was fucking great.
You don't really know what you're going to get - I gather it's up to the chef, and varies from night to night. We got started with some perfectly grilled asparagus with capers and egg, along with some marinated, sliced hen of the woods mushrooms with English peas. And then shit just kept coming. Lamb meatballs in a spicy sauce. House-made hand torn handkerchief pasta in tomato basil sauce. Butter lettuce with gorgonzola, pear, and walnuts. A slab of fresh, gooey mozzarella with morels and toast. Artichoke lasagna with an arugula salad. And then an amazing pizza Margherita. And then a chocolate ganache with some kind of ice cream and a hazelnut brittle and then some strawberry sorbet.
That wasn't even all of it. It was a shitload of food, no lie. All that for $30 a head.
Anyway, thanks to Big Mouth Bauer, the secret is out. The waitress - a tiny, pixieish creature who was as nice and helpful as she could be - told us about three or four other table were currently having the same thing. Get yourself over there and do this before it's gone. And then you can proudly say "Yeah, I ate at a mall restaurant. It got two and a half stars from Bauer. And it fucking ruled."