2100 Van Ness @ Pacific
phone: 415.673.1888
hours: Mon-Thurs 5:30-9:30pm, Fri 5:30-10pm, Sat 5-10pm, Sun 5-9:30pm
Full Bar
Steak House

Harris' is old school, famous for their huge window display of meat proclaiming "Corn-fed Midwestern Beef Dry Aged for 21 Days." I guess that's good? A little pricier than my usual SF eats, Harris' is an upscale steak house with no pretense of being anything else.

The Ambience:
Half-shell leather booths, crisp tablecloths, and a cozy lounge for those out-of-touch folks without reservations (us) give the aura of ole timey class. The live jazz band was talented, subtle and upbeat. The had too much lighting for my taste, but steak houses aren't known for being ideal romantic rendezvous spots.

The Menu:
Beef! NY, prime rib, filet mignon. Potatoes! Scalloped, baked, fried. Appetizers of crab cakes, escargots and salads run about $10-$15. The price of steak starts at $30 and climbs sky high. Harris' is probably the only place in SF without a vegetarian dish. The wine-list book is extensive, complete with table of contents. We found a great Syrah for $40.

The Food:
Pretty damn good. Our crab cake appetizer was crisp, fresh and zesty. The steaks (we got NY strip) were a touch undercooked, which is the traditional steak house way. They were smoky and tender, so I'd say just about perfect. Nothing to rave about, but really, how much can you do with steaks? No bbq or steak sauce offered OF COURSE and thank goodness. The bread was fresh baked, warm and flaky. No idea about the desserts, because we were ready to roll home by the end of our meal.

The Service:
The hostess, or I suppose at this level we'll call her the maitre d', came over and checked on us halfway through the meal. Classy. Our waitress was the perfect balance of very professional and extremely friendly. The aspiring busboy, who was disheveled with tangled hair and wild eyes, asked us in broken English if we wanted a dessert menu, which I don't think he was supposed to do. No harm done.

Reservations: Strongly suggested, but you can get a walk in table in the lounge by 7pm most weekdays.

Overall: A-
Certainly good steaks, but nothing exciting for the adventurous diner.

Reviewed : April 2004

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