Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Oola
860 Folsom Street, San Francisco, CA
415-995-2061


Review by SuSu







I was here for a work event — a reward, perhaps, for the all-day meeting with people I had not met face to face before. Understandably tense, and I was asked to choose the venue for the post-work wind-down. Why did I choose this place? Duh, I'm a Star Wars fan, and my first response was "wonder if Femi Taylor is involved with the restaurant?"

Best she isn't — there are some rich and hefty things on offer, and no way Ms. Taylor could have kept that figure for so many years (she just dipped herself in green paint and became Jabba's Twi'lek dancing girl without so much as a workout between the first and second variations of ROTJ ... we're digressing, aren't we ...)

San Francisco is all into sustainable and local foods (sustainavores and locavores — I swear, these are terms used in casual conversation!), and this town's French background means a lot of meat and rich, even dark, flavors. Take, for instance, the fois gras special — a cone of fois coated in a gelée, served with dry brioche toast and microgreens. It's been done, we know, but it was a nice thing, nonetheless. Also on offer was a plate of riblets, wihch were braised in a Chinese-y, sweet-ish sauce and extolled via foodie boards as "to die for," even though they were not barbecued in the least.

The main plate special was a double-rib pork chop — huge in presentation, and cooked till barely pink in the center. It tasted brined prior to its pan roasting, which meant it remained succulent and juicy, even if it had been overcooked. Hooray for them for knowing to brine their pork chops! Pork is these days an ultra-lean meat (even leaner than skinless chicken breast), which means it often lacks in flavor and juiciness, which is a shame. And they served the chop with the bones, which made for mighty fine gnawing.

Accompanying the chop was a swiss chard cooked with fennel and bacon. Nothing like pork with my pork, as one of the other guests pointed out.

Desserts included such local ingredients as Meyer lemons, but despite the fact that there is no chocolate grown locally to San Francisco, there was a molten chocolate dessert. After all, "sustainable" also begets "organic," and "fair trade," and so you can feel good about importing your ingredients from further away.

This is sort of like a tavern, in that you can sit and have a drink or order a meal. It's a deep, narrow space, and the tables and chairs were spaced a wee bit wider than they'd be in a place like New York. Though not by much, since real estate costs in some parts of San Francisco do rival those of New York.

The food prices are very reasonable for the quality, and though the interior features dark furniture and walls, it's not a dark place. It's a bit noisy, which is great when unwinding after a day of a long, long meeting. The waiter was friendly, especially as the tables were deep, and he often had to reach over those of us sitting on the outside of the banquet-placed table.

It's a big bar scene in what looks like a déclassé area of town and it wasn't really that easy to find from a moving vehicle. It's apparently next to or across the street from a tattoo parlor.

Photographs from www.oola-sf.com

Disclaimer: The opinions and observations noted are the property of the author. Neither Wookieehut nor any associates makes any claims or lucre from the posting of this report or review. This webpage is presented by Wookieehut.com. Enjoy!