Farallon Review: Abalone is the Highlight at San Francisco's Whimsical Seafood Restaurant

Sablefish from the Farallones
fava beans, greens, smoked mussel escabeche

I'm almost ashamed to admit that I have never been to Farallon until my recent visit a couple of weeks ago. Farallon has been around since 1997 and is known to be a classic San Francisco seafood restaurant. The restaurant is housed inside of the historic San Francisco Elks Lodge No.3 built in 1925. A step inside and we were transported to an elegant, yet whimsical undersea world, mesmerized by the funky urchin and jellyfish light fixtures. If you're sitting near the open kitchen, you can't miss the hand painted mosaic ceiling. The room we were seated in used to be a boxing room and directly below us a swimming pool for Elks Lodge members only. 

As with any nice seafood restaurant in San Francisco, you can expect the usual raw bar favorites- oysters from the Pacific and Atlantic, grand platters of prawns, crabs, and lobsters. If you're rollin' super fancy, Farallon even has a selection of caviar sold by the ounce and frozen bottles of Stolichnaya or Ketel One to pair with. What really sets Farallon a part though is their local seafood dishes.

Patrick and I were invited as guests of the house to check out the new revamped tasting menu featuring Executive Chef Jason Ryczek's personal touches and wine pairings by Wine Director Luke Kenning. 

The highlights of the evening were the tender Cayucos farm-raised abalone and local halibut crudo with three plays on spring garlic. The wine pairings across the board- brilliant and harmonious. And the three desserts we devoured by Executive Pastry Chef Eleana Rosenthal deserve a tasting menu of its own. 

Of all the desserts we had, we both loved the fennel pollen flan with coriander tuile and creme fraiche. The deep semi-dark caramel flavor had just the right touch of fennel and silky custard that just made me feel like melting into my chair. 

The dining experience we had at Farallon was very nice and the service was superb, but overall it really isn't my kind of scene. There is a classic charm to this seafood restaurant and I think the appetizers and desserts are worth the trip back, though the price point is too rich for my blood to frequent. It's the kind of place you'd want to take someone special for a celebration. 

Cayucos Abalone
house cultured brown butter and white balsamic seafoam 

Local Halibut Crudo
spring garlic: pickled, fried & oil from the tops 

Oak Grilled Dixon Lamb
fiddleheads, raps, morel yogurt

Fennel Pollen Flan
coriander tuile, crème fraîche

Strawberry Shortcake
buttermilk biscuit, strawberry mousse, mint pearls

Port Poached Rhubarb
shortbread, frangipane, caramel, brown butter ice cream

Thank you so much for dinner, Farallon! 


VISITING FARALLON

Location

450 Post Street San Francisco, CA 94102

Website

http://www.farallonrestaurant.com/

Phone

(415) 956-6969

Hours

HAPPY HOUR

  • Daily 4:30pm-6:00pm.

DINNER HOURS

  • Sunday: 5:00 – 9:30PM
  • Monday – Thursday:  5:30 – 9:30PM
  • Friday – Saturday:  5:30 – 10:00PM

JELLY BAR HOURS

  • Cocktails and bar menu available nightly - 4:30pm

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