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Strikingly creative fare in an equally impressive SoMa setting.
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  • 4.5 star rating
4.5 rating over 3 reviews
Dining room at Luce, San Francisco, CA

Luce Restaurant Review

: Located at lobby level in the InterContinental San Francisco, Luce inherits the cathedral-height ceilings affordable only to an ultra-premium hotel. (The restaurant’s logo and name are also inherited, in this case from a joint venture between the Frescobaldi wine family and California winemakers, the Mondavis.) The sophisticated dining room combines rich taupe tones, an exquisite marble floor and glittering, hand-blown, hanging orb lamps. Executive chef Daniel Corey is as expressive on the plate as the setting is in its grandeur. Opt for a six-course tasting menu (available Tuesday-Saturday) to fully experience his vision. A slate slab is used to present a delicate heap of house-cured Pacific amberjack, marinated in yuzu and olive oil and lightly sprinkled with trout roe. The dish delivers a clean, fresh flavor --- a consistent characteristic across the preparations --- with a light note of citrus. Crispy sweetbreads are a highlight, served with quail egg, wafers of new potatoes and black truffle, and a dash of pickled mustard seed to lend texture. Wine pairings are thoughtful, and selections tend to span the globe far more than one might expect given the restaurant’s dual-family winemaking origins. Dessert is the weak link --- opera cake delivers artistically but lacks the classic’s signature richness. Consider doubling up on the appetizers instead.

User Ratings & Reviews for Luce
Average rating    5
Reviews 1 - 1 of 11
Beautiful, artistic, harmonious, delicious!
by elementsinculinary on Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:23 pm
We had the tasting menu here on last Saturday evening. I have to say it was one of the best tasting meals I've had this year.

After the amuse, the first course was matsutake consumme. Raw matsutake with herbs and broth poured at the table side. Very settle and showcased the flavor and the fragrance of matsutake to the very front.

Then to kampachi crudo. Beautiful plating. The textured black plate acted as canvas to the shiny fish and seaweed puree, yuzu gelee and other components. Eating this "piece" was really like how the rat from Ratatouille following the colored bubbled pop in his imagination. The combinations you can create on this plate were all amazing.

Progressively, we moved on to venison tartar and lobster tail. I have to say I'm usually not for the gamy meats, but this tartar tasted fresh and very pleasant. We were at our second wine here, Rioja tempranillo. The pairing of this wine and this plate was magical. It enhanced flavor of the dish as well as the wine and gave a depth in both. It was so harmonious that I don't think I can remember the flavor of them by themselves.

The next course was absolutely perfectly executed. It was bone marrow with celery leaves and Italian parsley, and foie gras with amazing sauce with vanilla. The portion of the marrow was perfect, and oh the combination of the ooze and the crisp slight saltiness from the herbs! This plate was really "the" one for my high cholesterol but we only live once. I'm glad that I experienced this plate before the high cholesterol may kill me.

The pork belly with quail egg sounded very good. But the plate before exhausted my three day cholesterol intake max, so I couldn't finish the whole thing. The sauce with essence of coffee with the pork was a beautiful combination.

The Napa merlot we had from the pork to the cheese course was fantastic. The way this wine tasted with presented California soft goat cheese was as if somebody just put 2 missing puzzle pieces together. Because it was so perfectly paired I wanted to test it out with the Rioja from earlier. Ugh. It just proved that the sommelier here really knew how to paint a beautiful picture of flavors.
Reviews 1 - 1 of 11
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