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Beatrice Dante | Sep 18, 200006:01 PM     2

About once a year, I visit San Francisco to do research. I've been won over by the talents of Bay Area chefs. That is until La Follie. After reading glowing reviews (from friends and critics), I was stunned by its mediocre food. I've always been a believer that if you can walk away from a restaurant with two very good dishes out of five, then you've done well. From La Follie, I came away irritated that I had just paid $200 for a below-average meal--the food came out tepid and tasted bland. I was getting ready to pay my bill when the manager asked how I liked my food. Hesitated, I replied, "It was fine." Looking confused, he said, "Fine? Not good, just fine?" I nodded in agreement. He rushed back to the kitchen to confide with the chef. He then returned for details. I complied and, he became defensive. The soup wasn't hot? Are you sure? The spinach souffle was chewy? Well, it has chicken in it. The lamb was cold? Lamb shouldn't be served hot anyway. My response was that I knew meat should be rested for a minute or two, but still.....He asked me to continue, but we were getting nowhere. I realized that instead of being truly concerned, this was the restaurant's opportunity to debate with customer. I question a restaurant, which charges $75-$110 for a pre-fix meal, that would do this. What a waste of my time and my guest's. So my assessment of La Follie? Attitude--French. Cuisine---French. Service--French. Food--Tepid.

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