Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Cafe de la Presse : San Francisco

Some years ago, when I was clueless of the layout of San Francisco, a friend had brought me to Cafe de la Presse for dessert. For the longest time, it was an island memory - I simply had no recollection of where it actually was and how to get there, like what happens when I'm in a car with a driver who knows where they're going. I just totally zone out on my surroundings.

To my surprise, I found myself in the area again and oddly enough, in the mood to try a French restaurant.

Cafe de la Presse has a charming enough space inside. There's a dedicated cafe area upfront with an almost obscenely large magazine/newspaper rack (?) and a moderately large dining area tucked away in the back. All in all, it has a relaxed, slightly romantic feel, even though it does not quite reach an "authentic French" feel. The pictures and paintings on the wall, while better than most places, just seem like the stereotypical American idea of "French." Certainly, the glossy American magazines in the magazine rack stuck out like a sore thumb. (That being said, if I were going to the cafe, I might enjoy those magazines.)

As for the food, I ordered the steak frites and it certainly was servicable. I wouldn't call it a destination-restaurant worthy, but more than satisfying if you're in the area.

The steak was nice and pink and fairly tender, the garlic pomme frites with chives decently light with a fairly pronounced chive taste and the accompanying salad, a fitting side, topped with a creamy vinegrette and paprika (?).

And this is a random picture of their water pitcher:

I was dining for one then and I'm not sure whether it was because of that fact or not, but I received outstanding service. My waiter was out of sight most of the time, yet efficient and ultra-attentive. This together with the food made for an overall solid dining experience.

I wish I had a chance to try out the other French restaurants down Bush St. to compare (Le Central Bistro, Cafe Claude, Plouf), but for what it's worth, my experience at Cafe de la Presse was a satisfying one.

Cafe de La Presse
352 Grant Ave San Francisco, CA 94108 (Map)
(415) 398-2680
Yelp | Chowhound

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