1085 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94103
Why did we dine here? – AQ restaurant has been getting alot of positive press recently, including a three star rating from San Francisco Chronicle’s Michael Bauer. They change the menu, ingredients, and decor based on the season, a gimmick that sounded appealing. (We dined on their Spring menu) AQ stands for As Quoted or ask the server for the price, but all the prices at this restaurant exist on the menu. The crowd consisted of foodies in their 30’s and 40’s.
Insider Tip – Go for cocktail and appetizers.
Cuisine – New American
Location – Downtown San Francisco
Opened – 2011
Service – AQ had below average service even though the waitress was friendly and helpful. She wasn’t around much and we had to track her down several times. The table next to us even got charged for a dish they didn’t get. They need to improve their service.
Verdict – AQ restaurant has been rated excellent by Mr. Bauer. While we find the food beautiful, innovative and the ingredients inventive, the portion size, value proposition, and service do not make for an excellent rating. One would need to order two appetizers, an entree, and dessert to be reasonably filled. $1.50 per person San Francisco Health Fee.
AQ Signature Dishes – The menu changes seasonally and also very often.
AQ’s Menu consists a handful of starters along with six to eight entrees.
AQ Food Picks:
Fool’s Wager ($12) was a uniquely flavored cocktail. Make sure you like the ingredients before ordering this.
Mojito ($12) was strong and balanced. They know how to concoct their drinks here.
Asparagus, White Chocolate, Steelhead Roe & Borage ($10) could have used more asparagus. This is a tiny but gorgeous dish that made want to order several appetizers to start off with.
Fava Beans ($10) was another elegant dish that will surely satisfy vegetarians. They initially forgot about this dish and had to be reminded.
Pork Trotter, Spring Garlic, Snails And Avocado ($14) was a more substantial appetizer with crispy skin and some dense meat. Snails were on the more sedate side.
Kampachi, Green Strawberry, celery with horseradish ($14) was another beautiful dish with very fresh fish but far too little of it.
Chicken And Shrimp, Chrysanthemum, Peanuts, Burnt Pineapple & Kaffir Lime ($25) was recommended by the server and included some very good size portions of tender chicken along with a couple small shrimp. The accents made the dish slightly Thai oriented.
Young Lamb, Heirloom Carrots, Chickpeas, Oxalis & Sheep’s Milk ($25) was on the rare side and a bit chewy and gamey. A fair dish, nothing special.
Field Rhubarb ($8) toasted buckwheat, Chamomile & Anise was a beautiful and fun dessert with a variety of items including a small but tasty ball of panna cotta.
Farmstead & Artisan Cheeses, Daily Offerings, Jellies, Honeycomb & Walnuts ($8) was decent but should have included more than two types of cheese!
Parting apricot gelee candies.
OK: (Order if you like this dish)
Aged Strip Loin ($32) wild ramps, wheat, ale & Forest mushrooms had excellent flavor but was overly rare and had a lot of fat and tendon on it, something we haven’t encountered in a long time.
Halibut ($25) braised & raw radishes, calamari, sunflower seeds, Arugula was a fairly small portion that was cooked just right, but lacked any appealing flavors. It came with two good sized pieces of Calamari. We had fish at Spruce last week, which was simply excellent.
Pans: (We would not reorder these dishes)