Review: Angler.

The anticipation is over…the spinoff of fine dining destination, Saison, has opened their newest restaurant right along the Embarcadero.

Avid diners in San Francisco have been waiting for Angler to open up which is in prime location along the water with views of the Bay Bridge. While Angler is considered their “casual” restaurant, perhaps compared to three Michelin starred Saison, but to the average diner it’s still upscale. Angler’s focus is all things seafood related with a few other additions. The menu is intended to be shared family style with selections from the raw bar, salads, roasted/grilled assortment of seafood and/or meat, and vegetable side dishes. The restaurant features an open kitchen with a wood-burning hearth and live tanks nearby filled with fresh abalone, sea urchin, king crab, and other sea creatures. The restaurant has a modern cabin feel with wood and brick interior decorated with mounted animals on the wall.

Once looking over the menu, numerous dishes sounded enticing which made the decision on what to order quite difficult.

Pretty Silverware and Homemade Hot Sauces.

Gift: Angler Private Batch Beluga Caviar with Seaweed Butter and Plantain Waffles (9/10).

Talk about getting hooked up…In conversation with one of the staff, I had mentioned that I worked in the industry and this luxurious caviar course was gifted upon us! Buttery warm waffles had nuances of sweet plantain that married beautifully with the salty beluga caviar and complex seaweed butter. Truly I was speechless when this came out as it’s quite an extravagant complimentary treat.

Marbled Flounder with Plum and Sudachi (8/10).

A stunning presentation of flounder crudo with a vibrant plum vinaigrette with pickled radish, aromatic shiso, and fresh sudachi (a type of Japanese citrus). I do wish that the fish was a little more tender as it did have a little bite to it.

Grilled Spot Prawns (9/10).

Fresh spot prawns from their live tanks are grilled over embers and perfumed with citrus. These beauties were fantastic and I could have easily eaten more!

Gift: Big Eye Tuna with Tomato Gelée and Seaweed Cracker (8/10).

Another gift from the kitchen which was too generous. Supple big eye tuna was finely chopped and topped with a refreshing tomato flavored gelée that melted in my mouth. Basil buds were garnished on top and the dish came together with the crispy seaweed dusted chip.

Parkerhouse Rolls with Cultured Butter (9/10).

Who doesn’t love bread and butter?! Warm homemade parker house rolls were fluffy and buttery and finished with flaky sea salt. Even better with their cultured butter which does cost extra but I highly recommend it.

Chicory Caesar (8/10).

A refreshing take on a caesar where the chicory had a great crunch and that naturally slight bitterness. Topped with finely grated cheese, it was delicious.

Antelope Tartare with Lettuce (8.5/10).

I’ve never had antelope tartare so obviously this dish intrigued me. The antelope was tender and almost reminded me of a leaner beef. The raw lettuces on the side were layered with various herbs that perfectly seasoned the meat when you made your own lettuce wraps.

Angler Potato with Cheese Sauce (8.5/10).

Potato and cheese? I’m in heaven. The potato itself was thinly sliced, almost like layers of crispy potato chips with a soft interior…so good! The cheese and chive sauce encompassing the potato only took the dish to the next level.

Epine Artichokes (8.5/10).

Beautifully fried artichokes reminded me of one of my favorite Roman dishes, carciofi alla giudia.

Salt and Pepper Fried Blowfish Tails (8/10).

These lightly fried blowfish tails were salt and pepper spiced with a little jalapeño that added the perfect amount of heat. Tasty niblets.

Soft Serve Sundae with Caramel and Cocoa Nibs (9/10) and Coffee Sundae with Chicory Granita (8/10).

Both sundaes were great but the milk flavored soft serve was the winner. A subtle milk flavored creamy soft serve ice cream was doused in warm caramel and crunchy cocoa nibs.

Without a doubt Angler will be the newest hotspot in the Embarcadero area. The swanky yet inviting ambience paired with the simple yet bold flavored dishes will win over San Francisco diners. My overall rating is an 8.5/10.

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