After much ballyhoo about the opening of a new restaurant in the Space Age Lyons location in Daly City, my boyfriend and I decided to visit this past Sunday. Boulevard Café has set up shop in a place that looks like a relic from Tomorrowland, but it works. I
would have liked the owners to have camped it up a little more than just hanging a few globe lamps from the ceiling, but that wouldnt have matched the sedate feel of the restaurant.
Space Mountain Café. Flying saucer booths. Boomerang-shaped menus. That would be my kind of place.
Inside, a few orchids were a testament to the upscaling of this former coffee shop. There were lots of large parties, and very diverse age groups. This is the kind of place I could take my parents (with their penchant for American food) and wed all be happy (partly because I wouldnt have to eat at Dennys again). Its American food - with a few slight flourishes like Thai beef salad, served simply and even elegantly. As the review I read wrote, I could go there with anyone in my family from 8 months to 99, and they would be happy and content. Yes, much like the Invisible Ink books citing Enjoyment for Ages 10-110 this seemed to be true. (Though I always wondered about the testing of that claim with the 110 crowd.)
Sadly, though the reviewer had raved about the halibut, it must have been a special and was not on the menu. Instead we had the New York pepper steak ($19.95) which was plated with crisp but nothing extraordinary fresh fries, and sautéed spinach. The peppercorn sauce overwhelmed the steak with its peppery-ness, and while the dish was fine, we conceded we wouldnt get it again. The boyfriend and I did the oh-so classy move of switching entrees several times during our meal. We kept trying to trade out the steak with the other persons sautéed petrale sole ($15.95) which had nice delicate flesh, and was served with a subtle lemon butter sauce (which even my butter-averse boyfriend enjoyed) atop a hillock of mashed potatoes and green beans. It was a simple yet refined dish.
For dessert we ordered a slice of apple pie with caramel sauce served a la mode ($5.50). For the price, it was a substantially large portion so big that we werent originally sharing it, but when my boyfriend slowed down from the heft of the dessert I had to save him. Its a tough job, but someone had to do it. It was the best piece of pie Ive had in a long while (much better than Nations down the street), and the caramel sauce was harmonious with the apple goodness, and the ice cream was of good quality with visible vanilla bean specks.
Our service was friendly and polished, though we had some long moments waiting for the check. The boyfriend and I really dont drink, but we noticed an extensive wine list.
The review that let me to this restaurant stated that when they received the bill, they felt as though they had robbed the place. My boyfriend and I expected much lower prices something akin to Chow and felt cheated when we opened the menu. Yes, overall the food was good, but a steal? No. Everything seemed priced as it should, and as it would be in comparable restaurants.
Boulevard Café (not related to Boulevard in SF)
2 Poncetta Dr (at John Daly Blvd.)
Daly City, CA 94015
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner 7 days a week
Hours not posted anywhere online
Boulevard Café is a classic example of Googie Architecture. I was distracted from writing this review for a half hour when I perused these really fascinating Googie websites (with special attention on the area around Disneyland):