Happy Hour at Cosmopolitan Cafe

by foodhoe on March 19, 2009

121 Spear Street (b/t Mission and Howard), SF, CA | website | Happy Hour 3:30 – 7

It’s high time for a happy hour, even better if the hour extends to at least a few…  The Cosmopolitan Cafe is tucked in a corner of the Rincon Center south of market and has a very festive and reasonable Happy Hour running from 3:30-7.  Cody, DebbieG and I first visited last year in May and then again just a few weeks ago.  The first time we came here it was so crowded that we couldn’t sit together at a table, and this time we were one of two tables that were filled in the bar area.  Times have certainly changed…

Appetizers were $6 and designated happy hour beverages ranged in price from $4 to $6.   We started with an order of the Mini Corndogs, which were served on little lollipop sticks and glued onto the plate with a smear of spicy brown mustard.

They weren’t as good as I remembered, the cornmeal crust seemed a bit saggy and the proportion of meat to cornmeal was  just not satisfying; however, I did like the tiny hotdogs – they are coarse and more like a little sausage than a hot dog.  On our last visit we had several orders and couldn’t stop eating them, but we only had the one plate.

We liked the $6 pizzas the best, this was my favorite, the Margherita, a plain and simple tomato sauce, basil and fresh mozzarella cheese.

It had a thin crisp crust with the perfect ratio of toppings, sauce and crust.

This was the daily special, canadian bacon with jalapeno peppers that achieved a searing and painfully high score on the scoville scale.  Even slices that had no jalapeno pieces on them packed a wallop, what, heat transfers just by existing on the same crust?  Perhaps it oozes all over via the melted cheese…

We also had the Italian Sausage with caramelized onions that was topped with a soft gooey cheese.  It was good, but I liked the plain margherita pizza best.

Crisp Duck Spring Rolls with Thai Chili Lime Dipping Sauce were bland with delicate wrappers and did not seem fresh from the fryer.  The texture was similar to a frozen eggroll from costco, which was unfortunate because the plate did come with some nice fresh herbs and leaves of butter lettuce to roll things up with…

I am a big fan of fried foods, and love the combination of wrapping up the crisp roll in a lettuce leaf with some fresh herbs.  This was lacking in flavor and texture all around, even with a good dose of the chili lime sauce.  

I was the only one who liked the Fontina stuffed meatballs, polenta, spicy tomato-basil, which  meant I got  to finish the extra one on the plate.  What’s not to like?  A well formed meatball filled with melted cheese, cooked in marinara sauce served over a small blob of polenta…  I thought these were a very tasty and fine fingerfood.

The Crab Quesadilla was very disappointing.  These were rolled up in a spongey crepe-like thing and topped with a super tart guacamole that overwhelmed the rest of the dish.  I noticed a strong fishy odor as well.  No one liked this very much and everyone tried to make me finish the dish, hmmm… I was beginning to see why the place seemed so empty…

Tempura Green beans drizzled with Wasabi Aioli were very good, the beans were fresh tasting and encased within a thin delicate tempura batter crust.  They were served with a soy sauce dipping sauce and drizzled with a creamy aioli with a pungent wasabi burn.  

This is a picture of the restaurant which is a few steps down and sports a sleek clubby feel with the dark wood paneling and white tablecloths.  Unfortunately, my dining partners weren’t interested in dessert, because there was a dish that really caught my eye: Trio of Childhood Treats: Peanut butter cup, Malted milk fudgesicle, Cream filled cupcake ($8).   Ooh, those are some of my favorite things…

It’s a nice bar.  I’d come back for the happy hour and order more of the pizza, tempura beans and the meatballs… and that dessert trio. 

Cosmopolitan Cafe on Urbanspoon

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Single Guy Chef March 20, 2009 at 10:40 am

Oh my gawd, foodhoe, this review was like riding a rollercoaster! Ups and downs, I was all happy for you when something was good and so sad for you when something was disappointing. In the end I was so exhausted! 😉 I have to say those little corn dogs looked cute, but yeah, soggy dogs can be sad. And that’s a lot of pizza choices. The Rincon Center is tricky in my opinion. There’s a lot of business workers there but seems like everyone wants to leave and not hang around. The center just seems so sterile and poorly planned, with things hidden in a way because of their weird pathways and such. Oh well, happy hour pricing is still a fun way to try lots of food on a dime these days!


Cookie March 20, 2009 at 11:49 am

WOW, I work in the financial district and haven’t discovered this place yet! Who doesn’t LOVE happy hour right? I can’t believe EVERYTHING was $6! Have you been to Fuzio’s in the Embarcadero Center? They have some pretty good priced appetizers too. I believe they’re all around $5 or $6.

Cookies last blog post..Happy Spring Everyone!


foodhoe March 20, 2009 at 12:37 pm

single guy chef, you crack me up! yeah it was very up and down, good thing they kept the drinks coming….
cookie, it is very tucked away, but worth seeking out. I love Fuzio, that is a great deal, but their happy hour seems to end a little early…


grace March 22, 2009 at 10:22 am

mmm…there’s nothing quite like a corndog smothered in mustard. in high school, i used to mix ketchup and mustard and make a lovely orange sauce for my dogs. 🙂

graces last blog post..the only thing irish about these…


foodhoe March 25, 2009 at 7:39 am

Grace, I agree. I love corndogs! My favorites are the ones where they dip them fresh in the batter and deep fry them for you, cooked to order…


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