1450 Lombard St, SF, CA 94123 | 415.683.7007 | website
I recently had the chance to check out Bobo’s Lounge in the Marina which offers diners the option for a cozy and intimate meal in the lounge next door to Bobo’s Steakhouse. The name Boboquivari is Italian for court jester, which the restaurant is named after, although they go by the affectionate nickname Bobo, which tells you that they don’t take themselves too seriously. Bobo’s Steakhouse is known for their dry-aged 100% USDA prime beef and especially for their bone in filet steak, which you can now order from the menu in the lounge. Executive Chef Andrea Froncillo has enhanced the lounge menu, so that it now includes a robust selection of California cuisine with Asian influenced small, medium and special plates, plus their premier steaks. The lounge serves food until 1 am in a theatrical Italian atmosphere with striped walls, red velvet tufted booths, red Murano glass chandeliers, which creates a festive carnival atmosphere where you can either enjoy a meal or wait for your table at the restaurant next door.
We were welcomed by the manager Gabriel Alamilla (formerly at Sushi Ran), who encouraged us to relax and enjoy our meal. Our server brought menus for us to look over although she said that our meal had already been ordered as we were dining as guests of the house. Gabriel poured glasses of crisp and refreshing Sauvignon Blanc (Honig 2014) and we toasted to the start of our meal. I was eager to try the Italian Pot Sticker ($9), which were wrapped in delicate folds and filled with sausage, basil, mint & garlic and had a gorgeously crisped bottom. I enjoyed the rich Italian flavors combined with the spicy and piquant sauce made of soy, rice vinegar, sesame oil and chilies for the potstickers, which made for an exciting exchange of flavors.
We also shared a plate of Shishito Peppers ($9), made with fish flakes & grain salt, which are generally mild, although it is a known fact that I will always pick the hot ones… I popped the pepper into my mouth and felt the heat begin its slow burning at the tip of my tongue and with increasing intensity began to numb my lips and make clouds of steam pour out of my ears. Whew, I remembered to take a small bite first to test the waters after that. There are many interesting sounding dishes on the menu of small ($9.00) and medium ($14.00) plates like cupcake lasagne, smoked salmon and crab in puff pastry, crab cake lasagne, and parmigiana panna cotta to name a few.
The next dish was the dramatic Branzino Chinese ($21) a whole fried bass, served over a bed of baby arugula, strewn with cherry tomatoes, seaweed and drizzled with potsticker sauce. It was intimidating, as it resembled a small dragon, but this was the my favorite dish of the meal. I ate with my fingers, pulling juicy morsels off the carcass, savoring the crispy chewy fried skin. This was accompanied by glasses of lush and fragrant Viognier (Gregory Graham 2012).
The next entree were Lamb Lollipops ($21) served over sautéed artichoke hearts & kalamata olives. The lamb was well seasoned and tender, although overcooked a bit so that I wished there was a bit of sauce or something to add succulence to the dish. We enjoyed this with a mouth filling Hess Select Chardonnay 2013.
We shared a dish of Bomboloni ($8) which are Italian baby doughnuts filled with pastry creme and drizzled with both warm chocolate ancho chili and raspberry sauces. I would have liked the bombolini better with just the chocolate sauce, or even plain as the cream filling was sweet enough. This was served with glasses of Grandma’s Housemade Limoncello, which was really sweet and quite strong to boot.
We were feeling quite stuffed and very festive by the end of the meal. Thank you Bobo’s for an excellent meal, I enjoyed sampling the unique flavors of chef Froncillo’s Italo-Cali-Asian menu and plan to come back to try the cupcake lasagne and bone-in filet!