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Restaurants & Bars

Luella

Monty | Jun 4, 2005 12:37 AM

We had dinner at Luella this evening. It's a delightful little neighborhood restaurant on Hyde @ Green. A neat little room, very friendly service and what we thought was excellent food.

They have a very nice wine list, many "by the glass" wines. We started with a Pinot Grigo that was excellent at 7 bucks a glass.

There were probably 7 or so first courses including a soup and a salad. However, that seemed too tame so my wife had the baked peppers, eggplant and caramelized onions with manchego cheese. It was fantastic. I chose the salt cod brandade with lemon aioli and crostini. Again, wonderful although more than enough for at least two people if not more. It was served in a ramakin with 4 very crispy crostini, really yummy.

Entrees, my wife the Coca-Cola braised pork shoulder with white beanpurée and pickled red onions. This is the chef's signature dish from what I've read and it lived up to the billing. Again, a very ample serving, more than she could eat. I had the grilled local halibut with lemon beurre blanc, asparagus and farro salad. This was another winner, thin asparagus that were not overcooked and very tasty halibut. If I had a complaint about the dish it would be that the grill lines on the fish made it a bit difficult to cut. Now that's what you call a VERY minor complaint.

We also order the brussel sprouts in brown butter as a side. This was a total loser. I don't think it was the preparation as much as the veggie itself. I think of sprouts as a fall veggie and just think these were way pass their prime. I mentioned that they weren't very good and they were quickly removed from not only the table but also the check.

Dessert was the orange and sweet ricotta fritters with wild honey and the citrus carpaccio with grapefruit and blood orange granita. This was the Michael Bauer recommendation and it was a winner. Actually oranges was substituted for the grapefruit along with blood oranges. The fritters were awesome, moist and very flavorful.

Coffee was fine with refills no problem. There was no excessive waiting between courses. Bread was great with room temp butter. As I said, wines were fine. A Steele zin for my wife with the pork and a very nice Cotes de Rhone with the halibut.

Finally, we hopped on the cable car to get back to Union Sq. to take BART back to the East Bay, what a great way to come back from dinner, a cable car ride.

We will certainly go back, no doubt. We had a 6:30 reservation and it was pretty empty when we arrived. It wasn't long before it was mostly full with a very diverse crowd.

Fun, good, neat place.

Oh, in case anyone is wondering, the bill was about $125. We did, however, have 6 glasses of wine. I would probably take my own on future visits.

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