Saturday, January 19, 2008

First Worst Meal in SF

I had my first worst meal in San Francisco last week. It was so off-putting that it's taken me a week to blog about it. (That and a little trip to India that's kept me busy, but we'll get to that).

The most disappointing aspect of this meal, though, was the high expectations I had going into it - Thrillist featured the place as its hot new restaurant recommendation for the week. Thrillist overhyped;
Sangha underdelivered.

Nothing about the place, which blends Scandinavian interior design with Latin and Japanese fusion food, was great. Thrillist promises "strength in synergy," but instead diners get a chilly dining room that looks unfinished, and tasteless (or at worst, bad tasting altogether) food. The chefs may need to revisit their menu.

We tried every single specialty roll on the menu but couldn't find a single one that was worth the trip back out to Glen Park for a second serving. Even the self-proclaimed "Ecstasy" roll, which combines maguro and binchi, was disappointingly bland - and it was the best of the lot. My vegetarian friend had the worst luck - her best roll was a meager combo of rice and diced fruits. Mango, cucumber and rice do not an enticing fusion meal make! The spider roll was a disaster entirely. The seaweed wrap on the outside had such a strong fishy taste, we couldn't finish more than two pieces for fear that the softshell crab inside the roll had spoiled.

That said, it's interesting to see Sangha get such positive reviews on Yelp - maybe we just had a particulary bad experience. But even if that's true, it's not a good sign that this brand new restaurant, just 4 weeks post-opening, is struggling to capture the gastronomical hearts of diners. More likely than not, Sangha's popularity is due more to the dearth of Japanese dining options in Glen Park.

The highlight of our meal at Sangha, if I had to pick anything? The fact that Gialina's is just down the street, and you and your date can order one of their divine nutella and marscapone dessert pizzas to wash out Sangha's sad flavors.

678 Chenery Street
(between Carrie St & Diamond St)

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