A friend and I tried out Iluna Basque tonight. It opened about 3 weeks ago and is in North Beach next to Washingtion Grill/Coit Liquors. We walked in and waited about 10 minutes for a table. Place was nearly full the whole time we were there.
We were very happy with our meal. We ordered 4 tapas dishes for the two of us and were quite full, although we weren't super hungry to begin with.
Started with crab croquttes. Three on the plate with a small pile of dressed greens. Good crispy breading around a creamy crab/cheese filling. Nice start.
The other three dishes came at the same time. Sauteed spinach with nuts and golden raisins. Really, really yummy. The spinach was just the right consistency without being too watery. The raisins and nuts added flavor. This was a special tonight.
We ordered the seared tuna with "basque sauce". The tuna itself was nicely seared with an outside layer of spices. The sauce was really cheesy and salty and overwhelmed the tuna, but was good eaten separately on bread.
Our last item was a "basque pizza" about the size of a salad plate with tomato, serrano ham, and cheese on a thin crust. Since we ate it last of the three the crust was quite soggy. Not stellar, but satisfactory.
The noise level was almost unbearable. Definately yelling at each other the whole meal. Service was friendy and efficient. Total with 2 glasses of sangria was a mere $40. I'm not in North Beach much, but I would go back, perhaps at an off peak time to mitigate the noise.
The waitress said the chef was somehow affiliated with Piperade but I couldn't really hear what she was saying.
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