The House Restaurant, San Francisco
Posted by Foodnut.com
1230 Grant Ave (Near Columbus)
San Francisco, CA 94133
Since 1993, The House San Francisco has been cooking up top notch Asian fusion cuisine in San Francisco’s North Beach. Using local ingredients and blending American foods with Asian accents is their strong suit. Their mastery of sauces is evident in many dishes. The House flies under many foodie radars, but is one of our Favorite restaurants. We have dined her many times, our last visit was in May 2016. They have maintained their high 4.5 rating on Yelp.
Price have risen much less, making this restaurant an incredible value. While fancy new spots open with tiny entrees as high as $50, they’ve kept the portion size and prices well inline. Very rare.
The Larry Tse Chef Owner and wife run The House and ensure a high level of consistency. We have been visiting this restaurant for years and can fondly remember their now closed 2nd location, near Golden Gate Park on 9th Avenue.
Decor, Vibe – The House is a small, cramped, noisy 40 seat restaurant, not exactly very comfortable or romantic. Fellow foodies are willing to overlook the shortcoming to dine on some excellent food. Wood wall paneling, black and wide pictures on the walls, pretty basic wooden tables and chairs. Mostly small parties in their 30’s and 40’s dining who already knew about this place. A smattering of lucky tourists.
The House Food Picks:
Steamed mussels with garlic infused shrimp broth ($12) comes with a bunch of mussels in a tasty broth. We have to order rice to sop up all the delicious broth. Occasionally they have steamed clams as a special.
Deep Fried Salmon Roll ($11) with Chinese hot mustard is a signature appetizer. Crispy on the outside, tender and moist on the inside. Excellent miso soy wasabi dipping sauce. The salad has a little kick to it. The crust could be a little more delicate. This is priced extremely well, having only gone up $1 in many years.
Ahi Tuna Tartare with roasted nori chips ($10) has 5 thick slices of fresh fish, topped off with some nice accents. Portion size on this starter extremely low.
Warm Kale Salad ($11) with pt Reyes blue cheese, toasted pistachio is their homage to the kale trend. Sliced kale with a bit too much oil and heavily dressed. Still work it.
Korean BBQ Ribs ($16) was a special on one visit. A bit on the expensive side for the 3 ribs. Tender meat on a bet of slaw. This was the weakest of the appetizers.
Charred Baby Octopus Salad ($14) crispy pork skin, red chili vinaigrette is a good sized salad with lots of chopped octopus and nice crunchy pits of pork rind in every bite. Not too spicy.
Daily Special: Seared dayboat scallops ($16) with micro greens and ponzu sauce had 3 perfectly carmelized scallops and very light mango citrus sauce. Great sauce with a tangy sweet essence. Order them if they are on the menu.
Daily Special: Miso Cod with avocado crab sushi roll ($28) while not as good and well-rounded as the Sea Bass, this rich, fatty tender and flaky fish is still cooked perfectly in a ginger soy sauce and includes some Chinese yuk choy veggies or beans. (Depending on what is in season)
Grilled Sea Bass ($29) with garlic ginger soy, green beans, and noodles is a signature dish. They cook the fish perfectly. Beans and noodle are perfect to round out this reference dish. They instruct you to carefully dip each piece in the sauce, no dunking this sauce all over the fish. This dish is a must order.
Kurobuta pork chop ($28) with pomegranate currant sauce, asparagus, and mashed potatoes is also a signature dish. Cooked to a perfect juicy level of doneness, the sweet and zesty sauce is a perfect accent to the decent sized, tender, bone in cut. Best pork chop in San Francisco. This could easily cost $10 plus more elsewhere.
Warm Wasabi House Noodles with Angus flatiron steak ($22) showed that they are serious about beef. The medium rare is pretty rare. The meat quality was good but not spectacular. Quantity was on the high side and the noodles were well done.
Grilled Ahi Tuna (Rare) with spicy mustard aioli ($23) had a ton of fresh seared Tuna piled high. The appetizer was a little bit better. The seabass and the porkchop are better bets.
Prime Angus Rib Eye Steak ($35) with housemade teriyaki, toasted garlic butter will satisfy those hard core meat eaters.
Bittersweet chocolate truffle cake ($8.50) with coffee ice cream. How can you make a bad fudge cake? Good stuff.
Apple Crumb Pie ala mode ($8.50) is a popular dessert. Freshly made, served warm, beautiful crisp crust. High quality vanilla ice cream.
Strawberry Rhubarb pie a la mode ($8.50) with strawberry ice cream is also good.
Sesame soy glazed salmon ($18) in a bonito sake broth with seaweed was a good dish, but the sea bass is way better. This is drowned a little bit by the broth.
Steak was adequate but not special. Other something else like the pork chip. They cook meat on the rare side.
Mango Tapioca ($7) was average. With entrees and appetizers so strong, this could use a tune-up. Too creamy. It does have a beautiful swirl on top, almost too nice to eat.
The House’s service was good but not stellar. They do not have enough servers and considering this restaurant is pretty small, service could be improved. Food comes very fast, making it not a spot to linger.
Their weakest area has been and continues to be dessert, you can skip it and get dessert in Chinatown or North Beach. Be sure to make a reservation a couple weeks in advance, as it is a tiny place with few tables. It is impressive that they can perform all this magic, and maintain consistency with such a small kitchen.
The House is an excellent value. You will definitely pay more to get this caliber of food elsewhere. If you are looking to save money, visit them during lunch time. Keep in mind that The House is not a place for a long romantic dinner. The food comes fast and few people linger. Short wine list with glasses of wine from $7.
North Beach spots of note include decent Italian Restaurant – Ideale Restaurant
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