Red Grill

4063 18th Street @ Sanchez
phone: 415.255.2733
hours: Daily 5pm-Midnight
Full Bar

The Red Grill is one of those restaurants I always forget about and then, in a pinch, remember triumphantly. Oh YEAH, let's go there! That is to say I always have a pleasant time and a good meal, but it never blows me away and apparently hasn't made a dent in my memory.

The Ambience:
Behind the red exterior is a small, cozy front room with leather booths, a larger, more crowded back room and a comfortable full patio. The kitchen and wait-station fall somewhere between the front and back dining rooms. It feels almost like a house, which is unique in SF where the restaurants so often are single, large, crowded rooms with high ceilings. Upstairs is the sparse, dark Whiskey Bar and restrooms.

The Menu:
This upscale bar and grill offers a simple red meat and potatoes menu, with a bit of fish and chicken thrown in for good measure. The dishes have minimal sauces and a choice of sides like creamed spinach and scalloped or baked potatoes. Home-style, no-frills and the definition of comfort food before it was a catch phrase. Entrees are about $12.

The Food:
A fresh soft loaf of bread is always a winner in my book. The salads are iceberg, which is a lettuce I didn't know even existed in restaurants anymore. The rest? Well, I'm always happy. The scalloped potatoes are awesome, the meat is juicy, and you pretty much can't go wrong. Unless you're vegan.

The Service:
Generally good, though occasionally distracted. They're a little slow and it's sometimes difficult to get their attention but they're always very friendly and welcoming. Once I was there when the power went out several times. They closed the restaurant, and though they finished serving us, we received no compensation. Where's my free wine, dammit?

Reservations: Suggested, but not necessary

Overall: A-
Comfort food you can count on in a cozy setting with friendly folks.

Reviewed : March 2004

Design and Content © 2003-2008 Sez Giulian