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tara | Jun 16, 200305:53 PM     2

Five of us (my partner and I, plus our friends and their baby) went to Rock Soup last night and had a good experience foodwise but a not-so-good experience servicewise.

The restaurant is on Mission at 29th in SF. The interior is mellow, low-key (if slightly noisy), and comfortable; there's a lot of exposed wood, including a n all-wood bar, and a giant stained-glass light fixture. There was live music at 7:30 p.m., which was enjoyable and mostly unobtrusive, despite the fact that we were sitting right next to the performance area.

There was only one server handling all of the occupied tables (between six and eight or so while we were there), so service was slow. It looked like there was only person cooking, too, although that can admittedly be difficult to ascertain. The server was slow to bring our menus, then our water, then our meals, then our check...But he was friendly and gave our friend's two-and-a-half-year-old son an unasked-for biscuit to keep him appeased.

The food was great. My partner and I shared a tasty Caesar salad, then we both had citrus-roasted half-chicken, which came with mashed potatoes and gravy and a mix of carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower. Our friends had a salad with pecans and blue cheese, grilled salmon with mashed potatoes and asparagus, and the trio of soups (in this case, baked potato soup, butternut squash soup, and Indian lentil soup). All were pronounced tasty. We had to skip dessert because of a need to leave early (we might've been able to stay if the service hadn't been so slow, alas), but my partner and I had our eyes on the black and white bread pudding that was listed on the menu. Next time!

The summary: Rock Soup is a pleasant establishment with tasty food and a comfortable vibe where you can also enjoy live music. If they can iron out their service issues (maybe this was an anomaly?), I'll be able to recommend them unreservedly.

Link: http://www.rocksoupcafe.com/

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