I had my second meal here tonight and it was almost as good as I remembered it. I love that it takes no reservations, has no pretentions, and the waiters are old school. Quick, efficient, happy to serve, and are able to make room for many many a plate on a two top.
shrimp cooked in garlic: **one of the best**
Octopus and potatoes: succulent, tender, perfect
snails: needed more sauce, but good while they were hot
scallop special with romesco: thought they tasted a little fishy, romesco underwhelming
a tiny green pepper special: (sorry that I do not remember the proper name!) These were FABULOUS! (Happy Quail farms at the FPFM on Saturday is growing them now, and selling them by the bundle.) Something at the table that was green was needed and these were so tiny and lovely, not spicy but good pepper taste.
a potato torta: nice but not too exciting
duck with prunes: very tender, delicious, sauce needed more savoury depth
rice pudding & flan: a tad too sweet.
make sure that if you order the shrimp that they don't clear that cute little cast iron pan until the very end. I put the end of the octopus in there and swirled it around for more flavor.
All our food tonight was grossly under-salted which leads me to believe, being a cook myself, that there may have been a new, slightly nervous & hesitant cook on the line. better shy than too bold though.
I am sorry to say that I don't know the cost of the meal because I was treated. We each had a tiny airline sized "wine bottle" of lemonade.
I like the atmosphere, especially now that it stays light longer and you're at the top of Russian Hill. A critic might say that the food is a little oily but I like that everything mixes and matches together, and really digging in is encouraged. There appear to be a lot of regulars and the waiters and bussers are friendly with them.
If I lived nearby this would be the sort of place I would be a regular at.
2000 Hyde street at Union