Review: O’ by Claude Le Tohic.

One of the newest additions to the San Francisco fine dining scene comes from an experienced international chef hailing from France.

Chef Claude Le Tohic opened his ambitious multi-level culinary building last summer near Union Square with 4 stories, each with a different concept. The bottom floor is a patisserie, followed by a café and bistro on the second floor, a swanky cocktail bar on the third floor, and O’ by Claude Le Tohic on the top floor. While I knew that the high-end French restaurant wasn’t as cutting edge as other restaurants in the city, I was curious to see chef Claude’s classic French technique and style.

Table Setting.

Bread Selection.

A beautiful array of various breads and pastries. Of course, we got one of each to taste them all! Highlights were the cheese canelé, seaweed bread, and country raisin bread.

An Assortment of Bread with Butter and Olive Oil (8.5-9/10).

Amuse Bouche: Mini Waffle with Truffle and Cheese (8/10).

A tasty miniature “fancy” grilled cheese with truffle cream. What’s not to like?

Amuse Bouche: Pomegranate Gazpacho with Roasted Beet Marmalade and Herb Salad (8/10).

The natural sweetness from the roasted beets and tanginess of the pomegranate made for a vibrant, refreshing, and balanced opening dish. The fresh herb salad only enhanced the dish.

Caviar Composition: Dungeness Crab with Avocado (7/10), Madai Carpaccio with Finger Lime (8/10), and Corn Velouté with Lobster Gelée (8/10).

A beautiful presentation of caviar prepared in several ways. The silky smooth corn velouté was a canvas for the lobster gelée and caviar which was hiding on the bottom of the bowl. The madai carpaccio was cured in seaweed, a delicious preparation. My least favorite of the trio was the crab only because it lacked some brightness where some acidity really would have amped up the flavor.

Tuile with Shrimp Mousse (8/10).

A crispy accompaniment to the following soup.

Seafood Broth (8/10).

Small Ravioli in Broth with Various Seafood (8/10).

The seafood broth was flavored with Mimolette cheese which added a rich umami flavor. Pieces of luscious scallop, scampi, and geoduck were underneath the pillowy ravioli morsels.

Lobster with Scampi, Gnocchi, and Chestnut (8/10).

The beautifully cooked lobster was dressed in a seafood nage with soft sweet gnocchi and roasted chestnut.

Caramelized Black Cod with Lemongrass, Cauliflower, and Seaweed (8/10).

Black cod is easily one of my favorite types of fish due to its natural fattiness. Perfumed with lemongrass and seaweed, this was scrumptious.

Roasted Venison with Pear and Parsnip Purée and Sauce Veneur (7.5-8/10).

Perfectly medium-rare venison had an intense pepper crust which I thoroughly enjoyed. The accompanying vegetables were fine but not outstanding.

Kagawa Wagyu Ribeye with Horseradish with Jus (7.5-8/10).

While the wagyu was impeccable, fatty and luscious, the overall dish slightly fell flat. I find that typically main courses are always the weakest dishes in a tasting menu.

Exotic Pineapple with Coconut Milk, Limoncello Emulsion, Frozen Pineapple, and Passionfruit (8.5/10).

This was my kind of dessert where numerous flavors mingled together to create a cohesive and delicious dessert. It truly was a tropical explosion.

“Mont Blanc”: Vanilla, Chestnut, Cassis, and Rum Ice Cream (8/10).

This was their take on a mont blanc, a classic French dessert. Creamy vanilla pudding topped with chestnut cream, cassis jelly, and rum ice cream. Another stellar dessert.

Birthday Boy!

Mignardises Cart.

The mignardises cart was one of the more impressive ones I’ve seen. Of course, we got one of everything and took home whatever we didn’t finish.

An Assortment of Chocolates and Mini Pastries.

O’ by Claude Le Tohic showcased beautiful classic technique and flavors. To find this style of cooking is almost rare these days when it comes to fine dining so it was a fun change. However, the food was what I was expecting and not as innovative as I would like. The demographic at the restaurant were older couples and I could see why this type of cuisine would perhaps be more enticing to them. Since I personally like more modern high end restaurants, my rating is a 7.5-8/10.

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