Review: Waxman’s Restaurant.

These days chefs are more recognizable and well known due to popular culinary shows such as Top Chef or anything featured on the Food Network. Chef Jonathan Waxman, a Berkeley native and pioneer of Californian cuisine, can be considered a celebrity chef after appearing on the second season of Top Chef Masters.

Chef Jonathan Waxman already has numerous restaurants such as Adele’s Nashville and Bajo Sexto Taco both in Nashville, Jams in New York, and Brezza Cucina in Atlanta. It only made sense that his next project would be here in San Francisco where he started his culinary career.

Waxman’s Restaurant is located inside the iconic Ghirardelli Square in the Marina District. The restaurant is divided into two sections: the restaurant featuring a more extensive menu and the pizzeria with salads, sandwiches, and pizza. We dined at the restaurant to sample chef Jonathan Waxman’s specialities featuring a simple cuisine utilizing local fresh seasonal ingredients.

We started off with an appetizer and two kinds of primi dishes.

Roasted Figs with Ricotta Cheese, Speck, and Grilled Baguette (8/10).

The roasted figs were nicely caramelized yet juicy served with crispy meaty speck, creamy Ricotta cheese spread, and pieces of grilled chewy baguette. Simple but done right.

Gnocchi with Corn, Cherry Tomatoes, and Basil (8/10).

Tagliatelle with Clams, Prawns, Peas, and Mint (7/10).

Both primi dishes were tasty but I preferred the gnocchi. Pillowy potato bites with a slight crispness on the outside tossed in a light sauce with sweet corn, juicy vibrant cherry tomatoes, and aromatic basil. Once again, simple yet delicious. The tagliatelle was good, all the seafood was cooked nicely (tender) but lacked some seasoning. Also the sauce could have been emulsified better so that the noodles were more evenly coated by the sauce.

Even though I rarely ever order chicken at a restaurant, one of chef Jonathan Waxman’s specialities is the roasted chicken so I decided to try it along with two side dishes.

JW Chicken wth Salsa Verde (7.5-8/10).

Wood Roasted Fairytale Eggplant with Yogurt Sauce (7/10).

JW Potatoes (8/10).

The entrée was a half roasted chicken, quite tender and moist with a golden brown crispy skin, served with salsa verde and mixed green. Pretty tasty. The wood roasted fairytale eggplant was cooked nicely but lacked some seasoning even with the yogurt sauce. Lastly, the jw potatoes, another speciality, were bomb! The potatoes were twice fried, super crunchy exterior, but still had a soft inside sprinkled with cheese and rosemary. Yum. Since portions were quite generous, we were too full to order dessert even though the menu looked delicious (that salted caramel sundae sounded on point).

While the menu isn’t inventive by any means, everything was executed well and showcased the beautiful bountifulness of Californian produce. Also the price point was reasonable due to the portions of the dishes so my overall rating is a 7.5/10.

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