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Woodhouse Fish Company – Best Ipswich fried clams and chowder in SF

rworange | Jun 3, 2006 01:41 AM

Of course, they are the only Ipswich fried clams in the city of SF.

In this category in the entire Bay Area, they place third behind Old Port Lobster Shack in Redwood City and Yankee Pier in Larkspur & San Jose.

However, hundreds of restaurants in SF serve clam chowder, so this is very good clam chowder. The chopped clams are fresh and in a thick creamy chowder with nice pieces of potatoes. The chowder brought out a sweetness in the clams that was delicious. The thickener was probably a little flour, but it wasn’t heavy handed.

My guess on thickeners for chowder is that if the chowder is grey, the thickener is potato. A white chowder is usually flour thickened. It came with a nice cup of oyster crackers.

They also do excellent lemonade that is similar to Sea Salt, but better. A glass filled with crushed ice is about 1/3 filled with fresh lemon juice and you add water and simple syrup to taste. I really liked this. The only suggestion I might have is to put the lemon juice in a separate pitcher.

There are so few places that serve fried clams that I don’t want to do anything to discourage any source. They were nicely battered … until Chowhound I never thought exactly WHAT the batter might be … but it was good and they were nicely fried.

The clams themselves were smaller than the OPLS clams and the servicing size was smaller. Like Yankee Pier, there were more fries than clams. The fries were tasty though.

They made a mistake and served me ranch dressing with the clams instead of tartar sauce. They also had a nice red cocktail sauce, but for me, I don’t like cocktail sauce with fried clams.

I talked to the manager after dinner and mentioned the ranch dressing … as in … I really would like tartar sauce on future visits. That’s when the mistake was discovered. I had a little taste of the tartar sauce, but it still wasn’t what I wanted. It tasted like mayo with nothing else.

For a place that has been open for two days, I think they did a good job. I’m sure they will be tweaking and refining things. I asked about the steamers and was told they were starting simply and would try to add those later. Also it seems there is red tide on the East Coast so the steamers were not available.

The son of the owner of Woodside’s Buck’s Restaurant is running the restaurant. One of the other sons was a server. Very nice people and great service. The restaurant has the look of a seafood house. Located across the street from Safeway on Market Street, the large sunny, windows make for some interesting people-watching.

Currently they are only open for dinner, but there are plans for lunch. I was hoping that they had the menu on the website, but so far, only the name, phone and address are listed.

So, here’s what was on the menu tonight.

Seafood cocktail – Prawn $13 / Dungeness crab $14

Woodhouse Salad – avocado, egg, lemon, and choice of louie or shrafts blue cheese dressing – prawns $15.50, giant prawns $17.50, Dungeness crab $18.50

Fried Tomales Bay Oysters - $18.50

Fried Calamari & Artichoke Hearts - $12.50

Fresh oysters - $2 each

New England roll – Crab mixed with lemon mayo, topped with melted cheddar on a grilled ciabatta roll with home made fries and cole slaw - $15 (perhaps they should just call this crab roll, as there’s not much of New England about it … SF roll?)

Stuffed artichoke – Giant grilled Pescadero artichoke split asunder and piled high with prawns on one half and Dungeness crab on the other, served with lemon mayo, cocktail sauce, garlic toast, fresh spinach, cucumber and watermelon - $16

Stuffed Avocado – Variation of artichoke dish served with an giant California avocado $16

Fish and chips – Beer-battered with home made fries and a side of cole slaw $15

Cracked Dungeness crab – 1/2 $17 whole $25

New England Lobster – Half $23 / Whole $32

Fish of the Day – AQ

In addition to fries and cole slaw, sides include corn off the cob, mac & cheese, boiled soy beans – broccoli ($3 each)

Draft beers are Anchor Steam and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. There are a few bottled beers and five wines by the glass.

As mentioned, they will be adding to the menu in the future.

Woodhouse Fish Company

2073 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94114

Open for diner 5pm - 10 pm. Open for lunch soon

The menu didn't mention the days they were open.

Link: http://www.woodhousefish.com/

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