Thursday, April 5, 2012

A is for: Anchor & Hope {Restaurant Review}

I had the pleasure of having my mom come to visit last week on the tail end of a work conference she was attending in San Francisco. Unfortunately, I had to work much of the time she was here, but we still managed to have some great meals, as always.

Since I was working the late shift on Friday, I was able to break away for a quick dinner. I did a quick Yelp search for restaurants in SOMA, and one called Anchor & Hope popped up. It's not one on my "list" of places I've been wanting to go, but it's seafood (which my mom loves), it was close to work, and it gets pretty decent reviews. (I usually stick to 4-star spots on Yelp, but I will make an exception for 3.5).

Two things that particularly caught my eye: their lobster roll and the angels on horseback appetizer. Lobster, oysters, and bacon....can't argue with that combo!

Remember my Devils on Horseback from last October? Well, these are angels on horseback. Instead of dates, it's bacon-wrapped oysters, and they are one of the more popular items on the menu. Knowing that, I naturally wanted to try them. I suggested it to mom, and she more or less agreed. After the waiter took our order, she relays this story about how when she was younger and working at my Great Aunt Cissy's restaurant, she was forced to eat oyster stew before she was allowed to ride her horse. She then tells me that ever since then, she hasn't liked oysters. WHAT?!?!? Then why did you let me order them? She was a good sport and tried one, but her stance on the oysters hasn't really changed. (For the record, I thought they were good...especially when dunked in the remoulade sauce).

Fortunately, we didn't have another Delfina incident on our hands. Mom enjoyed everything else we ordered, including this whole roasted Branzino, served with potatoes and asparagus. We were given full warning when we ordered that it was the whole fish...head, bones and all. It was so tender and flavorful, and not the least bit dry. We picked those bones clean!

I got their famous lobster roll, and it was really good. Gigantic chunks of meaty lobster, stuffed inside of a split section of buttery brioche bread and served with house made kettle chips and cole slaw. Sure it's not a traditional Boston lobster roll, but I enjoyed their take on it. (Though my favorite lobster roll in San Francisco is Woodhouse Fish Co.).

We opted for a lighter dessert and weren't disappointed. It was a pineapple mango sorbet with two pistachio macarons and a curried chutney and more pistachios and fruit in the cute little mason glass jar.

If given the choice, I would probably pick other seafood spots like Woodhouse, Swan Oyster Depot or Bar Crudo over this one (or Aqua before it closed...sigh), but overall, a solid seafood dinner in the downtown/SOMA area, especially at happy hour.

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