Eat San Francisco: Waterbar


I’ve been to Waterbar a couple of times. I think it’s one of the best choices for a special occasion meal or place to bring an out of towner. it is a beautiful restaurant, in a great location, with really delicious food that is a little on the lighter, more delicate side. I couldn’t resist going back for their DAT deal.

The view of the water and the bridge is available from any seat in the house, thanks to the wall of glass facing the bay. We were seated right next to a window, an ideal spot for watching people cruising by on the heavily trafficked boulevard between the restaurant and the water.


My fish tank geek husband goes into a trance looking at the two pillar tanks located in the dining room. They are super cool:



We all went with the Ginger Snap for our pre meal cocktail. Skyy vodka, luxardo maraschino, ginger beer, lemon. I forgot to get a photo of it, but, anyway, it was really refreshing and a little sweet.

We knew things were off to a good start when super rich, heavily salted, room temp butter showed up at our table with two hunks of crusty San Francisco sourdough:


Our first course was the little gem salad from the DAT menu, along with the lime marinated ceviche from the regular menu.


Little gem lettuce is awesome stuff. it’s delicate, and crisp, and just really lettucy tasting. I love it. I loved this salad. There were two or three little hearts in there, and three of us, so we each got one, to dunk and swirl in that garlic parmesan dressing that coated the bottom of the plate. The shaved levain croutons were pretty spectacular too. They were crunchy and just slightly oily; the combination made for a really great mouth feel.


The ceviche was one of the better ceviche’s I’ve had. It wasn’t swimming in thin acid, there was a nice thickness to the marinade, and the flavor was just a little deeper than your average lime juice solution. The chiles did not hurt either, I was delighted to see them and even more delighted to taste some spice in the dish.

Our first main was the DAT grilled yellowtail jack with English pea ravioli, lemongrass broth, maitake mushroom, sugar snap peas, and pea leaves.


I starved myself so much before lunch that I really needed that steaky, meaty fish to feel satiated. It was simple, and perfectly cooked, and the lemongrass broth was mellow and not overpowering, but a nice complement. The pea ravioli was kind of sweet and boring, but, it’s supposed to be sweet, it’s English peas. I just felt like the flavor was a little flat in those.

We ordered our other main off of the regular lunch menu, the grilled Monterey squid with green papaya slaw, grilled pineapple, and tamarind barbeque.


Huge hit. That squid was so damn soft; not at all chewy or tough in any way, and the rest of the flavors were so Southeast Asia. Not a lot of places get squid right, but Waterbar nailed it.

We went with our servers recommendation for dessert-the lemon verbena panna cotta with blueberry compote and lemon shortbread.


YES, and, arrrgglllarrggg. One of my dining companions (who is also one of the world’s best dessert makers) drank the remnants from the bottom of the cup. It was that good.



399 The Embarcadero, San Francisco CA 94105
Phone: 415.284.9922

Sunday & Monday 5:30-9:30pm
Tuesday-Saturday 5:30-10:00pm

Monday-Friday 11:30am-2:00pm

Saturday & Sunday 11:30am-2:30pm

Everyday 11:30am-Close

Monday-Friday 2:00-5:30pm

Everyday 11:30am-5:30pm

<a href=””><img alt=”Waterbar on Urbanspoon” src=”; style=”border:none;width:104px;height:15px” /></a>


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