Friday, March 5, 2010

Citizen Cake was a Let Down

I don't often blog about the bad stuff. But this experience was so sorely disappointing, I can't help it.

Compared to the dream like gnudi I had at Restaurant Zoe the week before, I recently ordered a dismal version of the same dish at Citizen Cake. To even call both plates by the same term is misleading. Would you call a Ford and a Bugati both luxury cars? Hershey's and Recchiuti both gourmet confections? Here too, the Citizen Cake version was a flopping failure compared to what Zoe's kitchen had majestically created.

The dish had a series of problems. One, the gnudi were pan seared and cooked as opposed to being boiled or steamed as they had been at Zoe. As a result, they had a hard almost skin-like texture on the outside and a mushy cheesy center. There was nothing delicate about the dish, and the texture was so severe it was hard to concentrate on the flavors. Although there wasn't anything notable going on there, either. The flavors overpowered. Too much of an eggplant-tomato-olive mush of sorts was served under the gnudi. The red onion puree at Zoe was tart and simple; the Citizen Cake accompaniment was overly sour and chunky. The marriage on the Citizen Cake plate was not a happy one.

I've eaten at Citizen Cake before and had a far more enjoyable experience. Maybe Elizabeth Faulkner's kitchen is growing lax?

Then again, something else was clearly afoot (and afoul) that evening. The kitchen was out of a number of the wines and dishes on the menu. I mean, they didn't even have potatoes to make french fries to go with their burger! Apparently Cake's getting ready to move to a new location in the Fillmore. But can't they at least keep a stocked kitchen in the meantime?!

Citizen Cake
399 Grove Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 861-2228