Isa is a french small plate (Tapas) restaurant in San Francisco’s Marina District named after the owner’s daughter. They’ve been serving this type of California influenced tapas since 2000. We like this cuisine as it lets you sample lots of different items. Plates are timed by the kitchen and meant to be shared with the table, family style. This is one of the better restaurants in this part of town.
The restaurant has a stylish front room and bar area, and a fully enclosed patio in the back.
The kitchen is small, so food comes out at differing rates depending on business.
Seared Foie Gras ($18.50) with white peaches & a custard brioche had a large portion of Foie Gras. It was cooked well and the peaches provided a good balance. One of the better preparations around.
Seared Dayboat Scallops ($18.50) with mash potatoes was one of their better dishes. The fresh scallops had carmelized tops and were cooked very well. The mash potatoes tasted great without being too buttery. Few places do this as well.
Grilled Flat Iron Steak ($19.50) with watercress, potatoes, moutarde verte & a wine sauce was another very good dish. The meat was cooked correctly for a medium rare. The wine flavored sauce was perfect, as were the potatoes.
Seared Duck Breast ($19.50) with balsamic onions, potato rosti & huckleberry sauce was also cooked perfectly to a medium rare. The sauce provided a perfect accent to the duck’s flavor. One of the better ducks around.
Prawns ($17.50) with artichokes came with a lemony sauce that was perfect, not too tart. The artichokes tasted great too. The prawns are far better than the ones on the Paella.
Butterfish ($19.50) baked with mushrooms in parchment paper was tender, flaky, and flavorful. Perfectly cooked.
Flourless Chocolate cake ($7) with Vanilla gelato was great. Perfect combination and high quality cake and gelato. A must for chocohaulics.
Soju Apple Cocktail was done well. Soju is like a rice based vodka. – Wine prices were reasonable with glasses starting at $9
Saffron Paella ($17.50) with calamari and prawns was ok. Lots of spice flavor, seafood meat tasted ok. Just nothing amazing.
Asparagus ($8) with cheese and olive tapenade was just ok. Not a particularly special side dish.
Creme Brulee ($6) was just an average dessert. Nothing special.
Service was above average with the servers coming by often. Alcohol markup is about normal, they also have half bottles and specialty cocktails.
This place can get pretty expensive when you start ordering lots of nearly $20 larger plates. They suggest 2 items per person.
A two course prix fix menu of good value, is available Monday through Thursday at $21.95 per person.
Their desert selection is on the weak side.
Isa continues to be a top notch tapas place in the Marina.