Luce (San Francisco, CA)

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Have you ever gone to a restaurant and decided to recreate the dish that you had that evening?  Well, this was me reenacting the dish (Poached Halibut) that I had at this Michelin Star Restaurant.  During my travels to California, the state with the most Michelin Restaurants in the United States, I made a priority to dine at one.  I was able to get reservations around 5 p.m. at Luce, which is located inside of the Intercontinental off of Howard Street. I figured if I went to California without dining at this restaurant, I’d hate myself. What attracted me to this restaurant was the fact that everything looked so “clean”.  Clean in a sense of the dishes being beautifully presented and the decor being nice and sleek.


If you’re looking for a date night spot or a fine dining restaurant than this is the place for you.  High ceilings, high windows, and a knowledgeable staff that help make the experience worth while. I was able to meet the Executive Chef Daniel Corey, who is the mastermind behind the restaurant receiving their eight consecutive nods on the Michelin Star list.  We had a nice conversation on some of his cooking techniques and some restaurants that he enjoys in the D.C. area.


During my visit at Luce I was able to try three different dishes.  The Beef TarTar, Halibut, and Duck Breast were my choices for the night.  I’ll start with the Beef Tartar.  It consisted of Confit Yolk Egg, Puffed Wild Rice, Black Garlic, and Marigolds.  I’ve never tasted a Beef TarTar as well as this one.  I fell in love with each bite, and wanted more, but I had to remember I had two other dishes coming out to me from the kitchen.  The wild rice was an interesting choice to use with the dish, but I understand it was a substitute as a grain being used other than some kind of bread that’s usually presented with this dish.  The runny egg yolk made the dish come together because it made it more savory.  The presentation looked amazing, and I’m pretty sure I’ll never have tartar as such again.  Well, let’s hope that’s not true.


The second dish that was ordered was the Halibut.  It consisted of Halibut being poached in olive oil, grilled octopus, spring onions, and bordelaise.  This was the best piece of fish I’ve had in my life.  It was moist, juicy, and melted with every bite.  Come to think about it, I don’t think I chewed any of the fish.  I’ve never had fish that was poached in olive oil, and thought that was an interesting concept.  The grilled octopus and spring onion worked well together, too.  The spring onion was actually fried but worked well with the sweetness of the bordelaise sauce.  Bordelaise sauce is generally made with red wine and shallots, along with some other ingredients, so to have that accompanied with the spring onion was genius.


The last dish that was ordered was the Duck Breast.  It was Poached then roasted, accompanied with Caramelized Endive, Fuji Apples, and Toasted Hazelnuts.  I’ll be honest with you, I usually order my meats medium, but the waiter insisted I have it cooked medium rare.  The waiter definitely knew what he was talking about, because I have never tasted a piece of duck that was as juicy as this one.  The apples worked well with the flavors of the duck as well, and the caramelized endive along with the hazel nuts gave it a roasted after taste with each bite.  This was the first time in a while that I trusted a waiters decision when ordering.  I’m pretty sure this won’t be a trend of me trusting waiters choices, but at that moment I’m glad I did.


Overall, this restaurant is booking a flight worthy.  Meaning, if you live in another city or state besides San Francisco, it’s worth planning a trip around dining at this restaurant.  A Michelin star is definitely deserved for this restaurant, but I’d argue it deserves two.


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