Driving up Folsom late in the evening, you see the valet stand and wonder why an auto-body repair place would be open at 11 p.m. and why they have valet parking. But then you look closer and see the Oola Restaurant & Bar sign atop the two-story high metal door and it becomes clear that you have found the newest SoMa late-night grazing spot.
Inside, you will find a long, narrow, tall space with bare brick walls. A bar with white leather stools commands the left, and watches over the booths against the right wall and in the back. A balcony with more tables sits at the back, above the kitchen. The space was once used as an elevator-repair shop, and the remodel has not entirely erased this industrial heritage. However, the grittiness is offset by a very friendly and accommodating black-clad staff and some terrific comfort-food.
San Francisco closes up surprisingly early for a world-class town, and Oola, which serves until midnight during the week and until 1 a.m on the weekend is a welcome addition to the late night dining scene. The food is way too good to be bar grub. The Caesar Salad was crisp, well-dressed with a lemon-achovy dressing and adorned with some marinated Spanish white anchovies. The all natural baby back ribs with cilantro ginger and say sauce glaze with a red cabbage-apple slaw is outstanding. It is tangy and sweet and crispy at the same time and so tender and expertly-cooked that the meat falls off the bone if you glare at it. Dont miss these. Recommended