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La Folie

2316 Polk St. (Green St.) Send to Phone
Sleek neighborhood spot offers build-your-own or chef's choice French cuisine tasting menus from renowned chef Roland Passot.

Dinner Tues.-Thurs. 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 5 p.m.-10 p.m.

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La Folie, San Francisco, CA

La Folie Restaurant Review

About the restaurant and décor: French chef Roland Passot began establishing his reputation while trekking from Lyon to Chicago to Texas, eventually settling in San Francisco, where he opened La Folie in 1988. (His culinary influence in the Bay Area expanded with the mini-chain of Left Bank brasseries and LB Steak restaurants.) Polished wood accents and long, lean mirrors interspersed with earth-toned walls form a backdrop for the deep burgundy banquettes and roomy tables dressed in white linen. A private dining room is also available. Service complements the ambience --- professional but never snooty.

About the food: Chef Passot's food is creatively executed, often mixing a variety of textures, ingredients and plate components in ways that are mainly enjoyable, though at times it seems done in a more old-school French style than what is typical of modern tasting menus. Roasted Paine Farm squab is presented dramatically with the clawed foot still attached, and accompanied by a small brioche with a quail egg and slices of liver. The tasting menu can be augmented by dishes with caviar or Miyazaki A5 Wagyu, which is served as generous chunks seared with a crisp edge that balances the tender, appropriately unadulterated meat. The chef takes great pains to leverage local ingredients, going so far as to source butter made from the milk of Sonoma grass-fed Jersey cows, which varies in flavor with the seasons and the cows’ diet. Desserts are French. Baked Alaska applies the meringue crust to layers of strawberry sorbet and pistachio ice cream, while the Edam cheese soufflé is a pleasant blend of savory and sweet notes arriving in an espresso cup. The tasting menu is $165, plus $95 for optional wine pairings; or compose a menu of four courses ($150).

About the wine: California and French wineries feature prominently on the wine list curated by Passot’s brother. The Champagne collection is particularly well conceived and includes grower-producer labels, options from established houses and a selection of half-bottles and magnums. At the adjacent lounge, patrons can indulge in luxe bar bites and classic cocktails.
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