We didn't get to eat at any of Charles Phan's cafeterias at the California Academy today because they were mobbed, but we did manage to get squeezed into Loretta Keller's Moss Room for lunch - and what a lovely room it was! Moss on one wall, with intermitent raindrops, lights dotting the opposite wall, and a glassed-in private room for 14 in one corner.
Since there was only 2 of us, and the wait staff was slammed, we only got to sample the spaghetti and meatballs (too al dente for my teenager, and even for me - the kitchen must have been slammed, too) and the sustainable catch of the day: a moist, silky black cod that was perfectly cooked, seasoned, and paired with perfect tiny tomatoes and haricots vertes. At $20, it was a steal and made up for the overpriced spaghetti ($17 with 4 mediocre meatballs).
Other selections included sweetbreads, country pate, steak, scallops, chicken (my neighbor had it and it looked great, with crispy skin and potatoes).
Next time, I'm leaving my teen at home so I can eat leisurely and order the desserts which sounded interesting: artisan cheese plate with date mousse and homemade bread; Big Woods Blue cheese w/ Banyuls glaze, figs, cornmeal biscotti; Bellwether Farms Fromage Blanc cheesecake with poached Williams pear; Dagoba Chocolate Torte with malted cream and fleur de sel.
Charles Phan and Loretta Keller were both in their respective kitchens and running around furiously.
55 Music Concourse Dr, San Francisco, CA