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Restaurants & Bars 2

Bizou: The lunch that did not happen

Cafe' | Aug 10, 200405:48 PM

I have been very hesitant to post this but here it is. I’m curious what others think about this experience.

Called Bizou told the person answering the phone of my interest of eating lunch on a Friday and explained that coming from out of town, from the airport and would arrive at Bizou at 2:30 or even slightly later and knowing Bizou closes at 2:30 asked if it would be bothersome to the staff to arrive at 2:30 or even slightly later?
He said no not at, but when ready, make a reservation, and even 2:40 would fine.
He was so welcoming and positive about a late arrival and because it was a Friday when many other dinners might be having late or extended lunches and with all the positive chowhound reviews it seemed like the perfect place.
So, made flight arrangements, perused the menu, queried this board for menu suggestions, made food and wine selections and made a reservation.
This time, however, the person at Bizou said the reservation could be no later than 2:30 and if going to be late call from the airport.
Arrived in SFO, picked up luggage, hired a town car and at 2:34 entered restaurant where informed, rather haughtily that the kitchen had closed at 2:30 and inferred it served me right for not calling.
Left Bizou, not angry but disappointed. And more disappointed in Bizou and the attitude of that staff person, which represents the restaurant, than in not having lunch.

Saved by Original Joes: The town car drove to Hotel Nikko [have stayed there many times: wonderful rooms, location and work-out area which includes a full size roof top pool], checked-in and then walked to Original Joes for a burger. At Original Joes when you order it, always rare and charred, they form it, adding fresh onion, 3/4 pound, put it over a wood fire, not gas, and then placed it into a baguette crust after all the bread has been removed. You add salt, mustard and horseradish and then try to get your mouth around it. When you bite into it, first there is the crispy crunch of the bread crust and then the charred burger crust and then rich rare juicy meat which seems to expand and then dissolves in your mouth leaving that wonderful juicy, meaty, smoky flavor of the great American burger. It makes the burger at Zuni seem somewhat pathetic/ anemic.

Isa: The second disappointment of the day. In summary it is a chef owned restaurant where not only does the chef not cook, he is not even there. Flavors were out of balance [Lobster Broth with Tiger Prawn $8], crusting was mushy, the fish dish was fishy [Potato Wrapped Sea bass $14.50] and the staff was pleasant enough when around but in general unconcerned. Chilled Kumamoto Oysters $2/ea was the single exception to an otherwise dreary meal. This is, due to chef/owner absentia, chain restaurant food and service.

Nectar Wine Lounge: After Original Joes the best stop of the day. Decent selection by the glass, knowledgeable server and a pleasant crowd.

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