Tuesday, December 23, 2008

House (San Francisco, CA)

Sorry for the huge delay! Finally settled down and rest from Finals and now back to resume my blogging responsibilities!

The dining partner and I were traveling in San Francisco and we looking for a "neighborhood" joint where you could get good food at reasonable prices. On a suggestion from my friend with the statement "BEST FISH YOU WILL EVER EAT" (approx quote) I decided to book a reservation at House.

A small restaurant with an emphasis on seafood with an Asian influence. It's very similar to Sesame Grill in Los Angeles. The dishes are priced in the $15-20 range with a heavy usage of soy, siracha, fish sauce, hoisin sauce to dose the relatively low quality protein with some flavor.

To start the meal they provide pickled cucumbers with a sprinkle of sesame seed. Nice and crispy with a slight sour and sweet pickle taste.

We first started off with an appetizer, the Deep Fried Salmon Roll with Hot Mustard

Large chunks of rare salmon wrapped with seaweed and fried to a golden crisp. The skin is flaky and crispy with a thin enough crust where it doesn't overwhelm you with oil. The seaweed when fried tastes like it's been lightly toasted. The salmon itself was a bit dry and meaty on the areas that weren't raw but the spicy mustard helps cut past the dryness.

The roll was served on a bed of sweet and spicy pickled slaw.

Next up was the Wasabi Noodles with Angus Flat Iron Steak.

I'm not even sure why places put the word "ANGUS" on their menu like it means something. The steak was thin, flavorless, completely devoid of fat. This would be similar to the steak you find at 99 Ranch Market @ 4.99 a pound. The noodles were good, they had a nice pull to them with a slightly spicy tinge to them from the wasabi.

The next dish was their "special" fish of the day, served with ginger soy and a soy glazed noodle.

The fish was pan seared and served with a side of green beans. I don't remember what type of fish it was.. but if there was a fish that was "rubbery, lacking in flavor, overcooked" then this would be it. I'm not sure how long this dish has been in the freezer but man it was so poorly made. I was so disappointed by this dish, if it wasn't for the SAME pickled cabbage that came with the Salmon Roll and the SAME noodles that came with the steak, I'd probably have gone hungry.

This restaurant is the classic example of a place that TRIES really hard to be something it's not. It tries to pretend it's a "fancy" fusion style restaurant but fails miserably short with horrible cheap ingredients , overdose of sauce, and constant use of the same ingredients.

Avoid this restaurant.

San Francisco, CA


Jewels said...

Awww. I'm sorry the meal sucked, but on a good note... MERRY CHRISTMAS! :)

Anonymous said...

Too bad! Great entry.

Nancy Deprez said...

Many fusion restaurants are horrible like this in my opinion. Sigh. Terrible and too bad! Fish should be delicious, not an afterthought like this.

Great review!

Charlie Fu said...

Jewels & every one else: have a great holidays =)

Anonymous: yah =(

Nancy: I concur Nancy, it's a pity that they substitute such poor ingredients into the dishes.

Roger. said...

"I'm not even sure why places put the word "ANGUS" on their menu like it means something."

My feelings exactly.

Charlie Fu said...

Roger: Angus = meat without the G (if you get what i'm saying!)

Kathy said...


I think you are crazy. House is a great restaurant and I've been there many times. Perhaps you went on an offday!? The fish is always moist and tasty. You are probably the type of person who goes to French Laundry and says, "This is too fancy and too expensive..avoid!"

You suck deer penis! :)

Charlie Fu said...

Kathy: If the French Laundry started to serve this quality food, Thomas Keller would not only have his 3 stars removed, he would be slaughtered by the culinary world.

Joel said...

I have read various reviews of this restaurant and have also seen it reviewed on Food TV show. Most of the reviews are very positive, I have eaten there myself and found it to be quite good (service though is not so great). I have brought friends here as well and the consensus has been 100% positive so far. Zagat also gives this restaurant pretty good ratings as well.

Charlie Fu said...

Joel: I have heard the same from a few friends of mine, that's why I went. Whether it be a bad day of preperation or maybe the food didn't align with my taste, it was not an enjoyable food experience at all.

There is no excuse for rubbery fish and thin dried meat.

Zhi said...

Charlie Fu! Update your blog so I don't have to read old entries. I like Joel's comment. Their fish is so tender.