1358 Mason St (Pacific)
San Francisco, CA 94133
Why did we dine here? – Mason Pacific is a new restaurant on Russian Hill named after the intersection it is at. It takes the place of Lalola tapas.
Chef Sean McTiernan (Delfina, Rose Pistola, Tailevent, Le Bellecour, and La Table de Robuchon) cooks a seasonal menu of simple, flavorful dishes, creatively elevated through technique and preparation. They have a high 4.5 stars out of 5 on Yelp and are starting to get hard to book. We noticed many neighborhood regulars being greeted on our last visit at the start of 2016.
The interior sets the tone, one of high standards above what you expect in a neighborhood joint. It is interesting that this hot new restaurant faded into the Michelin guide 2014 San Francisco in the Bib Gourmand category. They definitely have high quality food, but it isn’t really cheap unless you stick to a burger.
Insider Tip – Make reservations. Ask for the rib eye steak.
Cuisine – American
Location – Russian Hill
Opened – 2013
Service – Mason Pacific had professional service, something a bit odd for a neighborhood spot. Knowledgeable waiters, folks roaming about, no worries about refills. Good pacing and guidance to the menu.
Verdict – Mason Pacific fulfilled our expectations. Solid food and service in elegant surroundings. The steak is one of the best in San Francisco, with fun inventive condiments. The pasta has gotten pretty darn good too. This is clearly a neighborhood restaurant that has taking this to the next level. It is great to have a place you can return to again and again, something we cannot say for the latest California cuisine place that seems to popup weekly. Can’t wait to go back and try the burger. And we did on the next visit. You can come for a $12 burger or $80 steak, wow that is wide spectrum!
Mason Pacific Signature Dishes – Fried Feta, Octopus, Pasta, Fish.
Mason Pacific’s Menu is fairly straightforward without a lot of options, and changes seasonally. This is a good thing, with 7 starters, 2 pastas, and 4 mains, they can easily specialize on particular dishes and not try to pull a Cheesecake Factory. Not a lot of vegetarian options other than 1 pasta. Limited dessert selection.
Mason Pacific Food Picks:
Ask for the bread, it is excellent as is the goats milk based butter.
AUTUMN KALE SALAD ($11) – Pomegranate, Dates, Pepitas, Yogurt, Cider Vinaigrette was a must order salad. Kale is getting a lot of play has a vegetable. This version is accessible by many people. With the combination of sweet apple slices, cranberry, and nuts, the kale was simply integrated into a great salad. It appears to be heavily dressed, but the actual results were far more subdued.
Beet Salad ($10) – Horseradish Yogurt, Lemon Confit, Guffanti Gorgonzola, Dill was on the tart side, so make sure you are ok with this. Modern dish that works fine, with its cut up beets and some yogurt dressing.
OCTOPUS ($16) Garlic Yogurt, Soppressata, Shaved Fennel Salad with served as one long crispy tentacle. Lightly fried, this octopus had a nice crunchy outer texture, yet soft enough to chewy interior. A fancy small side salad accompanied this starter.
GARGANELLI ($17) Lamb Sugo, Parmesan was a home made egg based fresh pasta. A solid pasta entrée with large chunks of high quality lamb, where most restaurants serve it chopped up or pulled apart.
TAGLIATELLE “CARBONARA” ($22)
Bucatini ($24) Egg free and Gluten free pasta with
MASON PACIFIC BURGER ($15) Pretzel Bun, Smoked Tomato, Pickled Red Onion is already a classic. Tall patty and bun made it hard to bite. They cooked it to an aggressive medium rare that no fast food place would dare. Fries are cut a little too short. If you are on a budget, order this.
Bone in 32 ounce Rib Eye for 2 or 3! ($80) dry aged for 3 weeks. Schmitz Ranch Beef, Dry Aged In-House. Includes 2 side dishes mash potatoes and sauteed mushrooms. We didn’t know about this signature dish until the waiter mentioned it. Looking through the yelp reviews, you see many people rave about it. I guess were lucky enough to have ordered this expensive decadent dish.
13 condiments including Kim Chee, mother sauce (reduced meat juices), yogurt sauce, pepperoncinis, several kinds of salt, pickled mustard seeds, pickled onions,
Frankly the meat was high enough quality, where you didn’t need all the fun accents. It was taken to the next level with this fine selection of elements. They cooked it to a perfect medium rare, sliced it all up for us, and included a heavenly bone, full of crisp roasted texture. If you are one that loves prime rib bones, this is a must order. Harris watch out!
POTATO SKINS ($5) – Parmesan, Herb Salt are unique in that they are extremely thin and crisp. Interesting and crunchy.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS ($8) – Bacon Lardons, Roasted Grapes, Fennel Confit were a bit on the burnt side, but still managed to hit the spot and bring some healthiness to all the red meat.
OK: (Order if you like this dish)
Pans: (We would not reorder these dishes)
Do you agree with our review? Have you found other similar restaurants that are better?