Brunch at Foreign Cinema

by foodhoe on December 20, 2009

2534 Mission St (between 21st St & 22nd St) SF, CA 94110
| 415.648.7600| website | @ForeignCinemasf | reservations

I enjoyed a dine about town dinner almost two years ago and have always wanted to come here for brunch. The celebrated restaurant recently marked its 10 year anniversary and while still very popular, they were graciously able to accommodate our last minute reservations for a party of 8.  The dining room is a lovely spot with high ceilings, bright windows and light wells that let in lots of natural light that reflects off crisp white tablecloths.  We dined with a crowd of Mr. K’s family: visiting parents, visiting childhood neighbor, and a variety of in-laws.  I left the battery for my camera in the charger at home, so all of these pics are from my camera phone…

We met Mr. K’s childhood pal Doug and his partner George, who were visiting from the east coast.  They were waiting in the long zinc covered bar, which is all the way at the end of the dining room and provides a dramatic backdrop with its spare minimalistic design.  The lofty cement walls with wood beams and sleek burnished metal trim are softened by stark organic forms that draw your eyes upward.

They may have a full bar, but we were interested in the fresh squeezed orange juice and a spicy spicy bloody mary.  My coffee arrived in a cavernous bowl which absorbed half of the tub of cream before it began to lighten in color…

I couldn’t resist trying the house made organic Persimmon Pop Tart ($6.75).  It did indeed look home made with the mark of fork tines along the rough edges but the rustic exterior housed a masterfully buttery and flaky pastry dough

The persimmon filling was delicate and slightly spicy.  I always preferred the pop tarts with icing as a child, and I must admit that I my tastebuds haven’t changed… the light dusting of confectioner’s sugar helped though.

New Life Farm organic eggs whipped up in an omelet whipped up with golden chanterelles, lager and flagship cheddar cheese, lebnee (Lebanese yogurt) and crispy potatoes ($15).

Several of us ordered the Fried Eggs which are fried in olive oil and deglazed with a sweetly tart balsamic vinegar.  They are served with paper thin slices of sheer Prosciutto, grilled tender endive over roasted garlic potato hash ($13).  The eggs were well cooked, one dark golden yolk was cooked until it was soft but no longer runny, the other oozed thickly.  The combination of tastes and textures was very good, the only thing missing was toast, which wasn’t mentioned anywhere on the menu, although I didn’t really need it.

I sat next to Mank who ordered a side of the Slow-cooked brown sugar smoked bacon ($6.5) that he shared.  The thick slices of crispy, chewy bacon candy were finger licking good.

Mr. K enjoyed his Tunisian Chicken sandwich ($13), served with french fries and a small bowl of tarragon mayo.  The proportions of the sandwich were perfectly balanced, crisped buttery focaccia surrounding succulent strips of chicken breast that were infused with aromatic and exotic spices and a layer of peppery fresh arugula.  The french fries were well seasoned and crispy and my hand kept reaching over to pilfer more.

We thought we were too full for dessert, but Mr. K’s dad Don ordered a satsuma and citrus granita that was very light and refreshing, a perfect ending.

There was a festive group outside wearing party hats in honor of some exciting occasion.  We must come back on a warmer day and sit outside next time!

The kitchen which was still whirling with activity when we left.

We took group photos out front on Mission Street and then proceeded towards bart, enjoying the cheesy monophonic christmas music emanating from LED encrusted santas hanging from storefronts as we walked by.  It’s a short walk to the station and I am plotting my next visit already.

Foreign Cinema on Urbanspoon

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Single Guy Ben December 21, 2009 at 1:08 am

Foodhoe, you’re a rock star for taking such focused photos with your cell phone camera! I’m always impressed by your phototaking abilities, but then again you’re not afraid to stand there with your camera until you get the right shot! 😉 I think Foreign Cinema is great for brunch and it’s an institution so I’m sure your visiting guests were impressed you brought them there. The balsamic eggs are one of my favorites, plus the bloody mary!
.-= Single Guy Ben´s last blog ..Single Guy’s Planner – Holiday Edition =-.


Kirk December 21, 2009 at 10:20 am

Hey FH – In spite of all the wonderful dishes, it’s the poptart that I keep going back to. ;o) Happy Holidays!


hungry dog December 21, 2009 at 11:59 am

Hey, your phone takes great pictures! I’m impressed. I guess I should say YOU take great pictures!

I can’t believe I’ve never been to FC, all I ever hear are rave reviews. Everything looks delicious. I would have loved that chicken sammie, as I’m not really a breakfast person. Yum.
.-= hungry dog´s last blog ..Lonely heart Mexican wedding cookies =-.


grace December 21, 2009 at 3:37 pm

man, i love brunch. i also love poptarts, and that version of the childhood treat sounds much better. i hadn’t even heard of persimmon when i was a kid.


Cookie December 21, 2009 at 4:17 pm

We keep meaning to go to Foreign Cinema for lunch after seeing it featured on the food network but haven’t gotten around to it yet. We did have dinner there a couple of times and loved it! That Bloody Mary looks PERFECT!


Cocochanelella December 21, 2009 at 10:27 pm

I never been to FC for brunch either but those sticky sweet pieces of bacon are calling me.
.-= Cocochanelella´s last blog ..Bah Humbug! Candy Cane Nail Art for Tiffany =-.


Phyllis December 23, 2009 at 2:23 pm

Yummy looking food in a gorgeous space!
Happy Holidays!!
ps. How is it that your cell phone takes better pics than my camera? 😀
.-= Phyllis´s last blog ..The best kind of gifts are the ones you can eat… =-.


Carolyn Jung December 23, 2009 at 11:34 pm

Persimmon Pop-tarts?? I love it! I wish I could make one appear out of my toaster tomorrow morning.


foodhoe December 28, 2009 at 9:15 am

single guy, LOL! You are correct sir I have no shame… I’m glad I finally went there for brunch.
Kirk, that poptart was amazing
hungry dog, thanks! the phone camera only works in daylight. I tried to take some in a dark restaurant at night and they are just plain bad.
grace, you and the baked goods!
cookie, you have gotta go for the brunch!
Coco, everything was good, but that bacon was especially memorable.
Phyllis, a steady hand and a big memory card helps
Carolyn, genius isn’t it?


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