I was meeting my son for lunch in the Financial District. Since his consulting job gives him just enough time to eat lunch, I wanted to make sure the restaurant was close enough and available enough for him to spend more time with me and less time walking. So, I chose Brasserie S&P. I was surprised to see it in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Unlike hotels in Europe and Asia, I don’t think the US does a good job with hotel restaurants, with the exception of The Kimpton Hotels which does an excellent and unique restaurant at every hotel. The Mandarin Oriental Hotel chain is one of the finest in the world. We stay in the Hong Kong flagship and never have a bad meal. So, because of proximity and the fact that I haven’t done SF hotel restaurants in a while, we took the leap.
Big mistake!! Brasserie S&P served a very good grilled ham and swiss sandwich on rustic country bread that tasted like whole wheat sour dough. The pickles seemed to be hand made, the ham was piled high, and the fries were delicious. My son loved it, and I did too, even though I’m not that fond of ham.
My meal was another story. I chose the smoked salmon frittata served with a baby green salad. The chef at Brasserie S&P didn’t take the time to insure the frittata was done – an easy thing you can do by just pressing the center. So, it was raw. The smoked salmon was really, really strong, and with the eggs being so flavorless and uncooked, it made for a very unbalanced and unsatisfying entree. On top of that, the greens were beautiful, but they were tasteless. I could see they were dressed, but I couldn’t taste dressing, and even the greens were bland.
I had water, and it was really hard to get refilled as no one came by our table. I had to flag someone down. When it was time for Josh to leave, I had yet more difficulty getting our waitress’ attention. When she finally saw me, she came over to my full plate and told me she thought I was still eating and didn’t want to disturb me. I told her I didn’t eat the food for the reasons I’ve already described to you. Unlike Dottie’s True Blue, she immediately apologized and took the price of my meal off of the check, a move that ingratiated me to her, giving her a good tip on what would have been the full check.
So, unfortunately folks, San Francisco hotel restaurants are still, in most part, lacking in flavor and creativity. With so many choices of restaurants in San Francisco, I would suggest you find somewhere else to dine.
Brasserie S&P Wrap-Up