The house has been around for ages and is pretty popular among locals in the Bay Area. They serve their version of Asian Fusion; using local ingredients as the star with asian flavours. I was quite excited bout trying out the place especially after checking out some reviews on Yelp.
A tiny tiny place with about a dozen tables and it was cramped! We had to wait in that little corner by the door for over 20 mins eventhough we had reservations. They had some empty tables but they were for 4 or 2. Bad planning on their part when they seated the walk in guests.
It was so cramped that it was hard to get into seats that were against the wall without bumping into the next table.
Ahi Tuna Tartare with roasted Nori Chips $10
Not a great rendition of the ever so “old-fashioned” ahi tuna tartare. The tuna did not look pretty when it hit the table, It was grey and murky looking. It tasted primarily of wasabi and the nori chips were very very greasy. I ended up eating only half a chip.
Deep Fried Salmon Roll with Chinese hot mustard $9
One of the table’s favourite. The salmon was cooked medium rare, with nice nori on the outside and crispy springroll wrapper. It turned out a be a little more greasy than I had expected but tasted good. The chinese hot mustard was great and brought the whole dish together. I didn’t care much of the spicy slaw that the salmon was sitting on. It was just a little spicy and bland; did nothing for the dish.
Roasted unagi with avocado sushi rice $10
Favourite dish of the night. The unagi was plump, moist with a nice char on the outside and the avocado rice was perfectly cooked rice covered in creamy avocado. Each bite was heavenly.
2 orders Warm wasabi house noodles with Angus flat iron steak $18
For both orders, the meat came out perfectly cooked with a nice mountain of wasabi house noodles topped with a spicy slaw. The same slaw that was served with the salmon rolls and were not very good. Spicy but bland.
The steaks were tough and bland. We actually struggled to cut through the already sliced steak. I think we ended up leaving a couple pieces behind because it got tiring trying to cut and chew these leather.
Noodles were ok. Very flavourful but I am not sure the flavours worked so well with everything. Strong wasabi flavour and sweet soy sauce.
Angus ribeye steak, housemade teriyaki toasted garlic butter $25
served with Chinese broccoli & mash potatoes
Another disappointing dish. This meal is starting to look a little dismal. The medium rare steak was cooked perfectly, with a nice char and topped with crispy bits of garlic. There was not really much teriyaki flavour, and the steak was again bland and tough.
Meep gave up cutting the pieces and I was going to mention it to the server but she was not around for a long while. We just ate about half the dish and left the rest. The potatoes were ok, not creamy or buttery but grainy and dry; flavour wise it was ok.
Mushroom rice with grilled prawns $20
One of the better mains for the day. The mushroom rice was actually quite delicious, cooked a little on the “al dente” side but packful of flavour. It was mushroomy, creamy and pretty good overall. The shrimps were grilled well and seasoned nicely.
2 orders Grilled seabass with garlic ginger soy $26
The sea bass was served with soy noodles with green beans. The sea bass was actually really good. It was grilled well, flaking off nicely with glistening fat. It was actually underseasoned until the side soy sauce is drizzled over. The beans were very oily and bland. The noodles were also very oily, with hints of soy sauce, shallot oil and wasabi; that being said it was great noodles, with a nice chew to them. Other than the fish, I didn’t eat much of everything else.
Total Damage: $220 (including a glass of wine, tax & tip)
Personal Rating: 2.75 out of 5 (average)
I was quite disappointed with my experience at The House. I tried not to have high expectations for such a popular place, but there were definitely some. The food in general was way too oily and pretty one note. A lot of wasabi, soy sauce and oil in almost every dish.
For the prices paid, it made it hard to justify the low quality of beef used (eventhough the seabass was great).
Service was lacking; we waited over 20 minutes for a table eventhough we had reservations (but they were packed so I was ok with that). Food came really fast after we ordered but it took over 15 minutes to get someone to ask us for orders. No one checked on how our food was till we were almost done so eventhough the beef was close to inedible, we just ate it but left bout half of it on the plate.
1230 Grant Ave
San Francisco, CA 94133