Oh well. The Food Gal and I got all gussied up to fit in with the decor at the Presidio Social Club last night. A very cool concept in the Presidio in San Francisco. In an old Army barracks, the place looks great. A wonderful job of an updated take on the classic 40s USO club.
Right from the start, though, we knew it was trouble. The hostess looked at us blankly and never did manage to offer a smile or even, really, recognition of our existence. Someone took us to our table and asked if we'd like to start with some water, we said yes and ask for sparkling. That took about 10 minutes to show up. A few minutes later our waitress came by and took a drink order (French 75 for the lady, a Pegu for me). Those took another 15 minutes or so (which, normally, no big deal but I was a bit suprised because we'd gotten there at 5:30, with a reservation, so the bar wasn't yet busy). Our waitress then demonstrated a lack of ability to juggle a few tables at a time running off to get other drink orders after telling us that there were specials, but not what the specials were. We were most of the way done with our drinks by the time we ordered. The bread they brought us was fairly tasty, but literally refrigerator cold, and the butter was rock solid (and not in a good way).
We started with "crab cupcakes" which is a cute name for little crab cakes. 3 bite sized ones, in fact. They were fairly tasty, though deep fried, and nothing special though nothing was wrong with them. Along with those we got the "PSC Seafood Cocktail" with those tiny cocktail shrimp and some scallops served in a tomato-y sauce. It was alright if a bit oily and not as tomato-y as I'd have thought given how it looked. Honestly, the oyster crackers were the best part of the dish.
We ordered a second round of drinks (all of which, by the way, were good) and my cocktail glass had quite a bit of lipstick on it...less than appetizing. They made another fairly quickly.
Because the starters list was far more interesting than the mains, we told our waitress that we were likely just going to order several rounds of starters. So, as we finished up the first course, we ordered the "tuna poke" and the "deli chopped liver" and some fries (its San Francisco, everyone has them, and you must order them for comparison's sake). The tuna was entirely uninteresting (though it came with some very good potato chips). Somehow, the tuna, cucumber, mango and maui onion combined to be entirely tasteless; I don't think there was any seasoning at all in the dish. The chopped liver was just what it should have been though it would have been better with some more salt and pepper and came with some completely fabulous toasted rye. Great bread, that. The fries were wonderful...on the thin side, nice seasoning blend on them and actually served with Heinz Ketchup. As we were finishing them up, we were discussing our next round of items and settling on splitting a main course that had caught our eye. Unfortunately, we never got there.
The amazing hovering bus person cleared everything off of our table, including the salt and pepper shakers, despite a couple of "um, I'm not..." but then he was gone. And, as the Food Gal said, "we've been dismissed." Clearly a complete breakdown in communication, but since we hadn't seen our waitress since ordering the second round of food, we had no hope.
So, we paid up and left. For the 4 starters, fries and 4 cocktails, it was a slightly suprising $90 tab. If we hadn't still been hungry (and that's not owing to large appetites...it just wasn't much food, really) it'd have been ok.
So, bottom line: we won't be back. If the service had been even decent, the atmosphere and the drinks would have made up for the mediocre food and we'd go back. As is, the service was abysmal and we can get good drinks and much, much better food elsewhere.
Labels: Presidio Social Club, San Francisco Restaurants