Lunch at Zuni Cafe


I showed up at Citizen Cake for a lunch I would have ultimately felt guilty not inviting my fiancé to, and discovered that not only was the restaurant closed for remodel until the end of the month, I had showed up on the wrong day. Hmm, where to go and what to do without getting lost on chowhound….Zuni!

I was directed to a seat in the rear of the restaurant next to an open door, and left to ponder, “Is this what they refer to as a bad table?” I just wanted a light lunch, a glass of wine, and to read my new book, so I just appreciated the breeze and the solitude that this location allowed me.

The server appeared and inquired, “Are you comfortable with tap water.” I’m sure she didn’t mean it that way, but it was funny, frightening, and condescending either way.

The menu is fully seasonal, and an obvious off shoot of Chez Panisse. The selections range from a cold bar menu to a roasted chicken for 2 served with a bread salad, a selection of incredible cheeses and desserts. I end up ordering the haricots verte and shallots with Prosciutto.
How is it that someone that wanted to start a mock religion based on the worship of pork is obsessing over the (perfect in every way) haricots verte?
A table near me orders the  haystack of crispy, golden shoestring potatoes, while the table next to me has ordered the squid ink spaghetti with beautiful accents of ripe red sweet 100 tomatoes.

My only complaint, and take into consideration the corner table next to me had screaming 3 year olds making bizarre noises and threatening to fly out of the window, were the wine glasses. I HATE thick wine glasses! This makes me want to carry an emergency case of Riedel in my car, alongside the emergency 3 bottles of wine and tequila. And I would do it if I wasn’t about to be judged by everyone in every restaurant I were to step into. When I took a chance and asked the server if these were the glasses that they used all of the time, he simply explained, “Yup, bistro style.”

Either way, it was a lovely lunch, and had I more time I would have loved to revisit the oyster menu.

Zuni Cafe

S 1658 Market St, San Francisco, CA

(415) 552-2522

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