Oh man, oh man! Has anyone else received discrimination for being a food blogger? Today at my boyfriend's favorite restaurant, the table next to us wouldn't stop talking about how weird I was for taking pictures of everything and commented how they hated tourists and just wished they could throw chilies at them. Later on we discovered that they were from LA and in comparison....I was born here. By the end of the night, they too were Instagramming and taking photos of their dishes with their iPhones! They also made a couple of disparaging comments about how my boyfriend and I could "afford" to go to such a fancy place dressed the way we were. It made me terribly uncomfortable and made for a more than unpleasant dining experience. Luckily for me, I wasn't alone and the food was tasty. I guess...I always just wonder why people can't be nice to each other.
The first thing I noticed about The House it was very small and seating space was incredibly limited. If you want to dine here, I highly recommend reserving a table in advance. The decor was clean and simple and there were no booths for large parties, but instead the entire restaurant was filled with tables that were able to seat two to four patrons at once. The staff is less like a well oiled machine and more like a bunch of ninjas. Our waters were refilled, our orders were taken, and our food was delivered, but after completing all these tasks the waitstaff disappeared into the shadows. For the most part, my boyfriend and I had a very enjoyable time to ourselves on one of our first "date nights" in a long time. The one drawback I would have to say is that there is really no privacy, the tables are really spaced closely together, and there's a lot of sound pollution within the restaurant. You have to raise your voices a bit to converse with your table mates.
Now onto the meal!
|Pickled Cucumber Starter|
|Blue Lake Bean Tempura with Pickled ginger soy|
As you can probably tell from the picture above, the tempura was like a light flour exoskeleton to the green beans and served as a wonderful complement to the fresh, firm green bean "innards." The sauce was so good and paired with the tempura perfectly. Surprisingly, I could taste the sharpness of the ginger mingling with the tartness of the vinegar and the combo cut whatever oiliness was left within the tempura casing. There's a good reason why every table ordered it and after finishing our serving I really was craving more.
|Charred baby octopus salad, crispy pork skin, and a red chili vinaigrette|
I was hoping for really lightly diced pieces of baby octopus, but you really had to hunt for the pieces hiding between all the bits of shredded veggies. The salad itself was also very vinegar-y, not surprising from a vinaigrette, but instead of a tossed salad I felt the flavours in this dish were more reminiscent of the pickled vegetables that come inside a Vietnamese bánh mì sandwich. The predominant flavors were sweet and sour and I didn't really taste any "kick" from the red chili. The crispy pork skin was delicious, but if you throw bacon or crispy pork skin on anything it usually has the propensity to be pretty good. Overall, boyfriend and I were a bit disappointed with this dish.
|Warm Wasabi House Noodles with Angus Steak|
|The Special of the day: A miso braised black cod, with wasabi oil, hoisin sauce, and a California Roll|
The only real "cons" about this dish was that I felt the wasabi oil was really, really strong. When I was cutting the fish into pieces I would inadvertently load the fish up with so much wasabi oil, by scooting the fish off its safe bed of greens into the sauces below, that it really, really cleared out my sinuses every time I took an overly large bite. The California rolls were made with real dungeness crab and sweet, fresh avocados, but the roll sort of seemed out of place on the plate. Perhaps I just loved the fish so much that I just wished there was more of it instead of the "starch filler" California roll. Usually my boyfriend out eats me and we have to take some of our dinner home in doggie bags, but this time we finished everything on the table and were so completely sated we didn't have room for dessert. It was lovely and I had a great time.
I strongly recommend The House if you're ever in San Francisco and knackering for Asian Fusion food. The restaurant was loud and crowded, and I was told by boyfriend that sometimes the line is out the door, so I would definitely make a reservation one to two days ahead of time. For two entrees and two appetizers we paid about $80, including tip, for large portions and delicious food. I heard numerous remarks around the restaurant that the value for the quality at the House is unbeatable. Overall, I would say that my first experience at The House was a delicious one and that I would definitely return here with friends and family. Thanks for coming!
PS Sorry for the skewed photos, I let my self consciousness get the better of me under the scrutiny of the couple sitting next to us. ><
Price: $$ out of $$$$$
Kid Friendly: Yes, saw lots of kids there. Including some that spilled dishes.