La Suite - Brannan - San Francisco -Halloween Revisit
La Suite, 100 Brannan Street at the Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94110 (415) 977-0210.
We were treated, by a friend, to what was our second visit to Jocelyn Bulow's new Brasserie on the Embarcadero. This time I was hugely disappointed. The atmosphere is stuffy and serious, the staff seem on edge. Maybe they feel awkward about the amount of upselling (water, wine, appetizers, fruits de mer, salads, desserts) it would appear they have been asked to do. Prices had hiked up. My scallop appetizers were in a beef stock base sauce which hadn't been properly smoothed out. I kept stumbling upon little lumps of concentrate which overpowered the delicate seafood.
My filet mignion (a delight on the previous visit), was now paired with Foie gras and a much heftier price tag. The steak itself had no succulence or flavour. I wasn't inspired to eat more than quarter of it. Other people were happier with their dishes, especially Fred who chose a really delicious and enormous char-frilled steak (ribeye I think?) that was cooked to perfection, fries and bearnaise which he kindly shared with me after I'd pushed my own rejected dinner to one side.
Bulow has not managed to inject La Suite with the same charm and lively atmosphere as his other popular places, Baraka and Chez Papa. This place needs some of that magical Bulow buzz asap, if it is going survive.
Read my previous review of La Suite, from mid September 2004, here La Suite - Brannan - San Francisco -Halloween Revisit