We were walking to the Asian Art Museum when our stomachs told us that we needed to eat breakfast. We spotted Moulin Rouge near the corner of Geary and Larkin, which was advertising a host of breakfast options on a chalkboard outside the restaurant. Because we were pretty hungry, and it didn’t look like there were a lot of options nearby, we went in.
The restaurant proudly advertises itself as “open since 1978.” It’s not hard to guess that it’s been open that long, because the restaurant’s décor doesn’t look like it’s been updated since it opened. If you can visualize a medieval theme with various Toulouse-Lautrec posters on the walls, then you know what the Moulin Rouge’s interior looks like. The small tables and the overall cramped feel to the dining areas also detracted from the ambience.
While the décor and the ambience left the impression that the food would be subpar, the food actually turned out to be decent. We had the two pancake plate ($3.99) and the eggs and sausage plate ($5.50). Both dishes were not memorable, but they were well prepared and tasty.
What was memorable was the service. The entire restaurant is run by one family: a mother, a father, and a son. All three are some of the friendliest people we’d ever met. They came by our table several times to make sure that everything was okay. They even made special accommodations for the two-year-old that was in our party (not an easy thing to do, given the size of the restaurant). The great service went a long way to offsetting the restaurant’s other limitations.
Would we go back to the Moulin Rouge for breakfast? Well, we wouldn’t make a special trip to the place. But, if we were ever in the neighborhood, we’d have no problem stopping in for breakfast once again.