Luna Park

694 Valencia St. @ 18th
San Francisco, CA 94110
phone: 415.553.8584
hours: Lunch 11:30am-3pm, Dinner 5:30pm-11:30pm
Full Bar

With or without a reservation, I always wait about 20 minutes to get seated in this ultra-hip Mission restaurant. It's crowded, noisy and filled with beatiful people; yet, for some reason, I keep going back.

The Ambience:
Loud loud loud. it must be those high ceilings, because it's really goddamn loud. There's some very "interesting" art on the walls to discuss when your conversations wane. Downtempo- mainstream tunes occasionally poke through the haze of conversations.

The Menu:
It's stable, and you can lean on it for support and consistency in this ever-changing world. Luna Park's menu shall never change. Ahi nicoise salad, hunters pie, pastas and assorted meats, fish and vegetables. $10-$16.

The Food:
I dream about their goat cheese fondue with apples and tasty toasts. It is one of the heavenly dishes of my days. The rest of the menu ranges from decent but boring to super tasty and mildly exciting.

Addition, Fall 2004: I got a ravioli that was literally swimming in a soup of, get this, truffle oil. Not only was it a waste of this cooking delicacy, but it was completely inedible (even after I drained the liquid to several bread plates). I'm still haunted by the taste of it; since then, a hint of truffle oil in my food makes me, well, kind of gag. The Service:
Don't be intimidated by their hip beauty. They are friendly, approachable, quick and accurate. Full props to their service aptitude.

Reservations: Strongly suggested, but not very useful.

Overall: B and F
Feel cool, eat well and above all, be prepared to yell to be heard. Addition: One more recent, traumatizing food experience there keeps me at arm's length on future visits.

Reviewed : Oct 2003 and Oct 2004

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