Restaurants & Bars

Dinner at Tallulah

laurie | Sep 6, 2003 03:13 AM

Had dinner at Tallulah tonight with 5 friends. Like eating in a cozy tucked away side room in the coolest house (Berkeyesque) that relaxes you (especially since we didn't have to wait for a table-in fact, they were amazingly nice about having to wait while we parked).

In fact, 3 in our party had to wait for a while at the bar and commented on what a pleasant bar it was...nicest bartender, great cocktails ( hard liquor).

The pace was definitely slow so don't go if you are looking for an hour and 15 min dinner in and out experience - you may be annoyed.

But if not, sit back and enjoy. Zero corkage so we bought 2 bottles: a Heidsick Diamant Blanc champange and a Koonsgard Viogner fit the eclectic menu, although I think a light red would also go w/the heavier lamb/eggplant entrees well (but start with a white).

The menu is devided into 4 cateories: puri and chaat represent the lighter (apps) entrees and tandoori and chulla are the heaver (entree) items. All are meant to be shared but this is a place where you can do whatever makes you feel most comfortable.

We shared:
- Roasted Gypsy Peppers w/saffron risotto & sultanas ($9)
- Lobster and Corn Dhosa w/curried cream ($12) - doubled down on this as it was a star (lobster, cream --- surprise?)
- Oysters on the halfshell ($10) - totally acceptable but i'd pass on this as it is not what you come here for (but some had a yen for them). They were a small Western US variety that was fine
- Cod & Coconut Ceviche served in a edible nan bowl($10) - competant but not the strong suit
- Spiced Pomme Frites w/mango pickle ketchup ($5) - tried in vain to get the proprietor to reveal her masala blend. Both frites and dipping sauce are big crowd pleasers!
- Grilled Sardines (2) with mango and cucumber relish ($8) - this dish converted 2 new people to sardine lovers - including the woman who proclaimed "we train our dog with sardines". Great.

In addition, we were treated to Lamb Sausauge & Kidneys w/pink lentils & picked turnips ($9) and House Cured Duck w/caramelized pineapple ($16) - both were fantastic and we couldn't help but wonder if it was pure coincidence that both dishes were trashed in a recent SF Chronicle Review....well, both were truly "fixed" and thoroughly enjoyed.

Larger dishes:

- Curried Lamb Chops w/chickpea croquette and mint relish ($16)- the only (universal) disapointment. After so many assertive flavors, this one was dull on everyone's palatte.
- Crumb Crusted Eggplant & Portabello Mushromms w/tomato chutney ($13) - I only got a piece of the eggplant but it was worlds better than the typical "overly breadcrumbed and deep fried" (where is the eggplant??) version.
- Fennel Crusted Golden Trout ($17) - inadvertently, i realize I saved the best for last. A pretty massive size piece of moist, well infused fish that everyone relished.

We also had plenty of orders of naan (would be great if this came w/some dipping sauce or other's dry but good) and desserts - most memorable being the rice pudding (emphasis on the rice).

Tallulah has been open for 3 months and is located in the Castro on 18th St between Diamond and Collingwood, right next to Cote Sud. Parking is hell and there is no valet.

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