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bernalgirl | Dec 27, 200402:53 PM    

A family dinner before the holidays found us here. We were intrigued by Cafe Maritime's small seafood-focused menu and loved the design when we walked in. The "water" wall of rebar and plastic tubing is clever, the seagrass and beach-y murals provide for a soothing interior with a New England feel.

We started with three types of oysters on the half shell, all of which were declared very good and fresh, as was the accompanying mignonette. The seared scallops with saffron-infused caremelized onions were also nice, as was the creamed spinach-filled grilled calamari. The flavors weren't as sharp as I'd like but all in all this was a nice dish. The green salads were underdressed and rather dull.

Entrees did not succeed nearly as well. The salmon was slightly overdone, the accompanying mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli were just too simple, it felt like spa food (in a bad way). The seared tuna was popular, but the trout was cut into angular pieces and pan-fried to an unpleasant crispness, then piled up in a difficult-to-manage vertical sculpture. My sister can't eat dairy, so they substituted Israeli couscous from another dish for the mashed potatoes, this turned out to be in need of seasoning.

The coconut cream pie was good, but the crust was soggy. The "cheese plate" was three wedges of underripe brie with a few pieces of grilled pear and bread.

Our waiter was very friendly and explained that they are on their second chef, who is moving them in a good direction, but honestly at this price point I'm not sure I'll be back to find out. I didn't see the final total, but Cafe Maritime is rated $$ by Citysearch.

Cafe Maritime
2417 Lombard St near Scott
San Francisco, CA 94123
415) 885-2530

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