Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Stinking Rose, SF


This place is famous (in some ways, notorious) for its garlic-centric menu. In theory, it sounds amazing, but in practice, the food is only mediocre, at least, in the past few times that I had been there. My perception changed tonight.

It's obligatory to get the Bagna Calda, which is "garlic cloves roasted in extra virgin olive oil and butter with a hint of anchovy. A wonderful treat for spreading on our house baked buns. Served at your table in an iron skillet." This results in a mildly sweet taste to the garlic, which I don't completely like (I'd prefer a more raw taste), but it's not bad.


Then I got the prime rib, which turned out to be amazingly tender and tasty (dare I say, even more than Lawry's??). Wow - that was surprising. They threw some oddly-placed garlic cloves on top of it, which weren't anything too special, but I sure liked the au jus and horseradish sauce. Wow - I'm still salivating just writing this.

Maybe I ordered the wrong things last time, or maybe my expectations were particularly low this time. But now I would actually consider coming here again, whereas in the past I would just blow this place off. Either way though, this place comes nowhere close to Ninniku-ya in Tokyo, a similar garlic-centric restaurant but with absolutely mind-blowing food. I am still utterly amazed at how any food in Japan (including non-Japanese) turns out so incredibly (with the possible exception of Mos Burger - yuck!!).

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