American Nouveau/ Dinner/ San Francisco

Lord Stanley: Not My Neighborhood Joint

As someone who is passionate about food (aka one who constantly thinks about their next meal as they are eating their current one), I have been assessing the SF food scene and comparing it to what I know – New York. Friends from the East and West coast want to know where I stand, and I am always so torn. It’s as if I need to choose between Biggie or Tupac, and we all know that is a really tough choice. Then I see this article from Bon Appetit, “San Francisco Is the Best Food City in the Country Right Now” pop up on my Facebook feed. HOLY CRAP, someone answered for me! Thank you Andrew Knowlton!

This is the best gif I could find to represent my excitement…

Luckily, I have friends who are as excited about food as I am (see my foodie definition above) and want to check out these spots. Glancing through the list of restaurants in the article, there are restaurants that I have thoroughly enjoyed listed – Lazy Bear, Mourad, The Progress – alongside ones I’m not familiar with. I figured these unknown restaurants are potential gems, and I will be an early adopter! In under a day that I re-posted this article on my Facebook feed, reservations were made (thank you friends). We are going to Lord Stanley.

I saw this place having a lot of potential. I could become a regular if this was really good since it’s located about 4 blocks away from my apartment. The waitstaff would know me by first name, the host would seat me before people who had reservations, and I could order dishes only OLD-TIMERS would know about; as you can see, my imagination runs wild. Lord Stanley describes itself as serving European influence cuisine in a casual environment. They are so European where they adopted their way of billing – service is included in the final bill. No need to do math after you’ve stuffed yourself silly. Check, check and check!

Excited and hungry, we all ordered the tasting menu while two friends added the wine pairing. It was about six courses for $83. Not horribly expensive but not cheap.

Food Breakdown

Poached oyster, horseradish and buttermilk – Overly garnished with herbs, oysters fell by the wayside.

Chilled squash with ricotta and mint – Delicious house-made ricotta, and the squash had a good bite – refreshing.

Sea bass with bouillabaisse jus – The fish was nicely cooked, though the roasted red pepper felt a bit random. Any chance we could get more jus in there?

Grilled Wagyu beef with Matsutake mushrooms – Beef was cooked medium-rare and juicy, with mushrooms that added a nice earthy and spicy flavor.

Strawberry “Eton Mess” – Crispy and light piece of meringue served with fresh seasonal strawberries made a great combination.

I had the same feeling walking out of this restaurant as I did after watching Avengers: Age of Ultron – continuously disappointed and frustrated. I wanted to like the storyline, the characters, but nothing really made sense. Same goes for Lord Stanley: the food was everywhere, with no central theme or taste that combines it together; the service missed details that were hard to ignore – not explaining what the first wine was, not asking which type of water that’s in your cup before filling it incorrectly, double charging a credit card, etc.; the pace of the meal was confusing, first items coming out quickly and the last parts coming out very slowly where the entire meal ended up being three hours.

Why have you failed me Bon Appetit? I raise my fists to the heavens in rage. Looks like my search for my dream local restaurant ensues (SIGH).

Lord Stanley
2065 Polk St (and Broadway)
San Francisco, CA 94109

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Shelly
    October 14, 2015 at 1:20 am

    This post makes me happy and sad on so many levels:

    1) Sad: As a recent NYC transplant (yes we should get together to eat!!), old time Californian, I hate being all, NYC is soo much better – but so far that’s how I feel about the food scene (though I’m still a noob and I’ll have to explore more).

    2) Sad: your meal sucked

    3) Happy: you mentioned Avengers: Age of Ultron because I literally watched it just last night and was as confused as you (sad)

    4) Happy: that you posted

    5) Happy: your description of a food obsessed person because people are often puzzled how I can be talking about where to eat my meal AS I’m eating a current one.

    Anyway, at least the weather’s nice today? lol <3

  • Reply
    Dorothy
    October 14, 2015 at 2:13 am

    Well Terry obviously I’m going to have to weigh in and shill for Foursquare here 🙂 But for real, we just launched a feature called “Trending This Week” — check it out on the homepage of http://www.foursquare.com. Every Tuesday it refreshes with new spots that are *just starting* to trend upwards and will hopefully fulfill your dream of finding the unknown potential gems! Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Terry Chen
    October 14, 2015 at 5:10 am

    Shelly – So glad great minds think alike. 🙂 We need to eat again soon and take like 5 minutes taking photos of one dish where no one would judge us. #foodbloggertroubles

    Dorothy – I definitely will check out that feature! That sounds worth looking into, especially for me.

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