Restaurant Reviews

The Palm House

July 10, 2015
The Shut-Up-and-Give-it-to-Me-Quick Version: 
Winner.
I think the drinks and appetizers stole the show. I also loved the ambiance.
The I-Like-to-be-Wrapped-Up-in-All-the-Details Version:
We walked in at 6pm and it felt so cozy. Their covered “outdoor area” provided amazing light and a fun atmosphere. It took me a while to try The Palm House after the chef change early this year, but I finally came to check out what Chef Chris Ricketts, formerly from The Tipsy Pig, has done with this tropical Californian restaurant. The focus is on seasonal ingredients, fresh, organic – when possible, and drink pairings. If you haven’t noticed this restaurant before just look down Union Street and I’m sure you’ll notice the palm tree sticking out of a white building, it’s actually the 2nd oldest palm tree in San Francisco – cool right?!?Hours
Mon – Thurs  11 am – 10 pm
Fri – Sat 11 am – 2 am
Sun 10:30 am -10 pm

What we ate/drank:

  • The palm house slushy ($9.75)
  • Palmade ($11)
  • Old Cuban ($11)
  • Banana Boat ($11)
  • Pacific cod ceviche ($14)
  • Steamed Mussels ($10)
  • Kahlua pork shoulder ($13)
  • Jerk Chicken ($19)
  • Mac and cheese ($6)
  • Grilled Hawaiian Walu ($25)
  • Chocolate pot de creme ($9)
  • Brazilian fried banana ($9)

Thoughts?

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I started out my meal with the palm house slushy, I mean come on don’t you have to? I chose to add prickly pear ($1) and a Kraken dark rum float ($3). Go big or go home right??? This was delicious! I did try sucking it out of the straw for what felt like an hour only to realize that pieces of pear were stuck inside, but the end result was so good! It went down smooth and even with all the extra rum it didn’t taste too strong. I like pears, but I wouldn’t have chose the flavor unless the waitress suggested it so I’m glad she did! It wasn’t too sweet and it was a great way to transport me to the tropics!

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Dennis decided to be the designated driver so they brought him a palmade (minus the vodka). WOW, this is the best lemonade I’ve ever had. It was so fresh and just sour enough. There was also actual raspberry bits in this that set this over the top. I may have to just spend my next visit ordering this bad boy (obviously with vodka) 🙂

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The ceviche was just how I like it – super lemon-y and very fresh. I really liked that the chips were thin so they didn’t overwhelm the dish or become too filling (they were also housemade). The corn was very plump and sweet – they grill it, then chill it. There was a slight spice, but nothing too overpowering. The juice made the entire dish, as always I had to ask for a spoon to drink it all up!

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The steamed mussels had a great taste and the chorizo added a depth of flavor. It was a bit odd with fries, but they were tasty nonetheless. The fries also tasted really good dipped in the mussel juice. It was even better when she brought out roti bread (which they make in house) to dip in. I was in love with the bread!

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The pork shoulder was so good; it melted in my mouth and had a really nice spice. This was also amazing with the roti bread (did I mention I loved the bread).

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The mac and cheese was so good and very decadent. The cheese was a bit liquefied, but not in a bad way. It was very smooth and the crunch from the macadamia crust added a nice texture. This was very unique and I found myself really liking it.

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To complement my main course I drank an Old Cuban: anejo rum, champagne, lime and mint. The champagne was very prominent, but it went down easy. I really liked the flavor of this; while it’s not something I would normally order, the taste was right up my alley (see I’m expanding my alcoholic horizons – the only horizon that matters haha).

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The chicken was my favorite of the two mains – it was spicy, delicious and different. This was the most spicy dish we ate, but I liked how lemon-ish and well cooked it was. This dish had a lot going on in terms of flavor, but it all went together really well. The collard greens and black eyed peas had a great bold flavor and complemented the chicken perfectly.

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This dish was my least favorite because it lacked flavor. The fish was amazing and it was cooked to perfection, but the rice didn’t do it any favors. It was bland and brought the dish down. The snap peas in the rice were too big and it lacked ingredients with substantial savor. The best part of this dish was the curried sesame sauce, but there wasn’t enough of it. I wish they wouldn’t drenched the rice in it.

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I was pretty disappointed with the fried banana, it was simple and not super flavorful. I was hoping they would kick it up a notch by using plantains, but it was all very average. Good, not great.I knew the chocolate dessert was going to be good because they use Valrhona chocoate. If you’ve never heard of Valrhona you need to drop what you’re doing and go out and buy some. I usually buy the cocoa powder to bake with – trust me it makes everything so rich and silky. Once you taste Valrhona, nothing compares. Honestly, Dennis will now ask if the chocolate dessert is made with Valrhona before he buys it – spoiled much?!? (I’d like to think we just know what’s good). Well you can imagine our excitement when it clearly stated that this was made with our one chocolate obsession. I can honestly tell you it didn’t disappoint! It was super rich, very smooth and absolutely delicious. You definitely have to love chocolate, but if you do this is heaven. It’s served with toasted coconut, vanilla cream, and coconut-cashew brittle – making it that much more delicious!

 

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