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I keep seeing RT Rotisserie listed as a "BEST NEW RESTAURANT IN SAN FRANCISCO" or "HOTTEST new restaurants" lists. This is entirely unearned. The simple condensed version is this: they seemingly flagrantly tried to imitate Souvla (maybe in an effort to capitalize on their amazing success? That is of course speculation), and did a poor job of it. The word generosity seems to be a foreign one at this restaurant - they appear by the way they set up this restaurant and menu to have the temerity to feel entitled to a part of Souvla's business while being completely unwilling to compete with them in any way - price, flavor, portion size, service, or generosity. The comparison to Soulva is important here for one big reason - they set the standard. RT is decent. It's fine. But there is no reason to ever go to RT when Souvla exceeds it in every single way.
Let's start with their supposedly signature item - the roast chicken. It is mediocre at best (compared to elevated fast casual places). It's not bad, per se, but when it is positioned as a marquis item it's embarrassing how mediocre it is and how intentionally stingy the portion is in terms of price point and compared to Souvla. It's just roast chicken, nothing special. I had the roast chicken sandwich. I say chicken generously because the amount on the sandwich was tiny - as was the sandwich itself - I was hungry and when this tiny dinner roll arrived I almost had tears of disappointment in my eyes (OK, it's somewhat bigger than a dinner roll but the concept of generosity or bounty are miles away from it) The choice of bread was questionable. Not only did it not seem fresh, but it was the type that even when fresh tears holes into the roof of your mouth with shards of crust sharper than glass.
Now let's discuss the "umami" fries. They simply sprinkle dust and crumbs on top of the fries and not only does it not stick, it falls to the bottom of the tray. You literally have to grab it yourself with your fingers to enjoy the combination of umami ingredients and fries. As for flavor - there is almost zero umami to it. From a construction standpoint, these fries are just.....let's say poorly conceived. When food is supposed to be coming from seasoned sophisticated chefs, that is where the issue arises and the offense is taken - it IS the thought that counts here. It's incomprehensible that one or more legit talented chefs said "yeah! thumbs up! This is the way to go" when developing this dish.
Then there was the salad. It was tiny, and extortionately expensive when compared to Souvla. It's like they measured out the chicken with tweezers and decided to save costs on those pesky greens as well. Miserly is the best description of this bowl of flavorless chicken shreds and disappointment.
Now let's talk about the service. The place was half full, and it took an unbelievable amount of time to get our food, which to add insult to injury, when delivered, was not piping hot. 18 - 22 minutes to get our food. That's taking the "fast" right out of Fast Casual.
The sauces were overall mediocre but I thought the tiny bit of Fir sauce (the cup was minuscule) I tried was good. Not "OMG, I absolutely HAVE to come back!" But good. And that is the problem with RT Rotisserie. There is literally nothing that makes me ever want to come back.
Notice how the umami particles settle to the bottom
Yup, that tiny amount of chicken is what you get
Squint and you might see some chicken
by Maryse Chevriere | Food is a major part of my life. I’m more on top of dining and restaurant news than world news. My...
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