I ate at Bar Jules on Wednesday w/ five friends. I like the vibe in this restaurant - it got a bit loud toward the end of the evening, but it's a comfortable space w/ a nice bar area that overlooks the kitchen. The service was friendly and we managed to get a table for 6 w/ a last-minute reservation, so that was nice. Since I was with a large party, I was able to taste several items from the small daily menu.
It took quite a while for our food to arrive, and while we waited we were served some good bread w/ very good olive oil. All of our dishes came at once, since we ordered a combination of appetizers and main dishes.
I had a soup and an appetizer of mussels. The soup on Wednesday was lentil and cumin cream. Unfortunately, the soup was just OK. It had a nice consistency, and it was pretty tasty, but cumin was the only flavor that stood out. Nothing too complex or different, just a straight up cumin flavor.
Meanwhile, the mussels were excellent. They were grilled and tossed with garlic and olive oil. Perfect balance of smokiness from the grill and smoothness of the olive oil. The mussels themselves were small and cooked perfectly - some of the best seafood I've eaten in San Francisco.
One of my DCs had sand dabs, another had another fish dish (going blank here), others had a veggie plate and a few people had salads. The sauce on the fish dish and the sauce from the mussels were both great for bread dipping - in fact, the best bite of my entire meal came when I dipped a piece of bread (I wondered where it's from - tasted like Tartine's bread) in the smoky/musselly/garlicky olive oil leftover from the bowl of mussels.
So overall I like this place - not everything is amazing, but everything is good and some things are great. If there's something on the small daily menu you're in mood for, you'll be in luck, since it will probably be delicious, and it will be made with local/sustainable ingredients, yadda yadda yadda. Nice place to have around, not pretentious, and fun. Three of my DCs were visiting San Francisco from out of town, and they were impressed with both the vibe and the food.
We shared two bottles of wine - a nice Barbera from Italy - and the total bill for 6 of us was about 230 dollars including a 20 percent tip automatically added for parties of 6 or more (not mentioned anywhere until we received the check).
I ran into David Kaplan at the restaurant, and he had tried one of the desserts which sounded good. Perhaps he will chime in about his meal too.
My last visit: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/47014...
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