Tag Archives: Restaurant Review

An Average Pizza Place Worth Celebrating

A restaurant is always flavored by the event that brings you there. A date, a breakup, a special occasion- the experience impacts the way you feel about the restaurant, be it from the pleasant additions of a good one or the added salt from tears at a bad one.

My experience at Pizza Orgasmica came about when I decided to throw a surprise party for a dear friend a few weeks ago and was hopelessly lost trying to find a suitable restaurant for the resident picky eater in our group. I settled on pizza, because you can’t go wrong with that, and chose the provocatively named pizza place on the recommendation of yet another friend.

The night of the party I arrived with my friend who, caught completely by surprise, was met by 15 of her own friends in a space that was absolutely perfect for our party. Though the Embarcadero location of the restaurant has many tables, they had specifically marked off two of the large picnic-table style tables, with spacious tabletops for all the pizzas and bench-style seating so that we could all slide in and seat as many at a table as we liked- which was perfect when they brought out a pizza with birthday candles in it and we all had to squeeze in to help sing.

The pizza itself was almost too good for words- even though the birthday girl was almost 45 minutes late to her own party, the restaurant timed the pizzas so that they arrived to the tables just as we finished getting settled. Pizza Orgasmica offers several “party packages,” and I went ahead and ordered the “Wild Thing” pizza sampler for us. It included 6 large pizzas and easily fed the 20 people in our party, and we still had almost half a pizza to take home afterwards! The “Wild Thing” came with one cheese pizza, a pepperoni pizza, a vegetarian pizza, another with sausage and mushrooms, another with chicken and garlic, and the last pizza was our choice of one of the “Orgasmica Special” pizzas- assorted gourmet pizzas that are unique to their restaurant only. I chose the “Inspiration Point” pizza, which was topped with tomato sauce, pesto chicken, spinach, mozzarella cheese and their house-made pesto, and it was unlike any pizza I’ve ever had before. The mozzarella was the perfect accompaniment to their delicious pesto-covered chicken, and the spinach added just the right amount of freshness to an otherwise heavy combination of cheese, olive oil, and thick pizza crust.

All of the pizzas we ordered were absolutely delicious, but my favorite of the evening was the chicken and garlic- I was lucky enough to snag the last remaining slice, and it was so worth almost being stabbed by a competing friend with a fork. The chicken was crispy (such a good textural addition to an otherwise mushy pizza!) from being cooked in the pizza oven, and the chunks of garlic were roasted to an almost sugary sweetness. It appealed to my palate perfectly, and I was disappointed that I had already eaten the last slice.

Though I’ll be honest and tell you I didn’t eat an entire slice of every type, (I tried at least a bite of each!) I didn’t need to taste them all to see on my companions’ faces that the food was delicious. There’s a moment that sometimes happens where a group of people fall silent at a meal because the food is so tasty, and that is exactly what happened when we all took our first bites- a feat that’s particularly impressive, considering it takes an awful lot to get such a large group of girls to ever be so completely quiet. Fear not though, the party recovered quickly when the birthday girl quipped that she “never thought pizza so be so ‘Orgasmica-tastic’!”
Pizza Orgasmica seemed to be a relatively inexpensive dinner option, with our “Wild Thing” package costing $117, coming out to around $12 per person, plus tip. Another visit a week later with a much smaller party revealed that the place is a touch more expensive when you’re ordering individually, with my garlic and chicken (it was so good I couldn’t resist having it again, and this time I didn’t have to share!) costing me $17.52, plus tip.

Realistically, celebrating with my friends probably would have made any meal fantastic regardless of the food, but we got lucky and found a place where the food is fantastic, even if you’re celebrating nothing at all.

Floating Fish Slabs: Warakubune Sushi Boat Best in SF

I have not yearned for many things in my life. In fact, my parents would call me fortunate. But it does not mean that I have not mastered the facial expression of being discontent and in definite want of something. It pains me to say that I wore this look of displeasure, most recently, because of sushi.

Sometimes you just don’t want to wait. Instant satisfaction is what you’re craving and it just so happens that you can have it in the form of a Japanese delicacy.

So when I sat down at Warakubune Sushi’s boat bar I expected to see a plentiful amount of colorful fish slabs floating by.

Sushi by Rachell

the Special House Roll (Rachelle Phillips/Foghorn)

This brings me to the unfortunate discontentment residing on my face: there was no sushi on the sushi boats.

Aside from three California Roll plates and a Tamago (egg) plate, there was nothing. I was ready to eat the big plastic Marlins right off of the walls.

Most would think that on a Wednesday night, a sushi boat restaurant wouldn’t be that busy. But Warakabune proves the exception – every seat around the cozy boat bar was taken.

If it’s this busy, it’s got to be good! Now if I could only try the food…

I waited and waited, and my demeanor grew more dismal by the minute. Then the chef put out a plate of octopus tentacles. It was this moment that really provoked my displeasure, which alerted the waitress.

“Would you like a menu?” she asked, cheerfully.

“I might as well,” I responded, gloomily.

Sushi by Rachell

The basic but still delicious California Roll (Rachelle Phillips/Foghorn)

I have never had to order from a menu at a sushi boat restaurant before, and to this day the thought of it still depresses me. What’s the fun in that?
After placing an order for a plate of Unagi (barbecued eel – $3.65) and a plate of Kani (snowcrab salad – $3.65), I hoped things would look up for me. The sushi was promptly delivered to me, and do believe that I made haste!

And that’s when angels began to sing. I was transported to a world that believed in peace, and love, and amazing sushi always.

The Unagi was the best I’ve had in my life. The eel was glazed and grilled so perfectly, with a slight crisp on the edge and an inside of magical fishy mush. If I could consume

Warakubune’s Unagi on a daily basis it would make for a better me.

The Kani did not fail to impress, either. The snowcrab was fresh and real – no packaged fishmeal here! My attitude was finally starting to improve.

And that’s when I saw it.

I’ve never been so excited to see a chicken wing in such an unseemly place. In my enthusiastic panic of grabbing the glistening wing off the sushi boat, I managed to smear the dark brown sauce on my forehead.

Sushi by Rachell

The fresh unagi (Rachelle Phillips/Foghorn)

The deep fried piece of teriyaki-glazed glory ($1.95) was just that: glory. It was piping hot from the deep fryer and slathered in spicy salty sticky sauce with a few sprinkles of sesame seeds.

Needless to say I inhaled it. I should have left the sauce on my forehead for a taste later.

I was beginning to get excited! Maybe the sushi chefs inside the bar stepped up their game; I could see the little beads of sweat on their temples and determination in their eyes.

Sushi began to appear on the boats. I saw Uni (sea urchin), Maguro (tuna), Tobiko (flying fish roe), and Hamachi (yellowtail). I also was pleased to see fancier rolls, one of which I grabbed.

The Special House roll ($4.25) included shrimp tempura, avocado, spicy mayo sauce, teriyaki glaze, and snowcrab salad. The combination of ingredients was delicious. The most important thing in a roll like this is that the tempura inside is still hot and crispy, which it rarely is, but here it was!

After the Special House roll I saw a seaweed salad plate ($4.25), which I’m a fan of. The seaweed was crisp and cold and the sesame oil marinade was just right.

Finally starting to feel full, I took one last plate, a basic California Roll ($1.95). The pieces were large and full of the fresh crab mixture. I added a little pink pickled ginger and some creamy fresh green wasabi – yum.

If I’ve learned anything from Warakubune Sushi, it’s that patience might actually be a virtue. Although I had to wait, and stare at plates of octopus, the sushi proved to be worth all of my prior displeasure. I award Warakabune 4 out of 5 fishes for the best sushi boat sushi in San Francisco.

Warakubune Sushi:
307 Church Street
(between 15th St. & 16th St.)
San Francisco, CA 94114
Wed-Sat: 5pm – 10:30 p.m.
Sun-Tues: 5pm – 9:30 p.m.
(415) 252-8383

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-Editor: Natalie Cappetta

Scene Editor: Tracy Sidler

Ditchin’ the Dining Hall: Clement Street Edition

Clement Restaurant

Clement Street’s Q offers a sophisticated and moderately priced version of comfort food perfect for USF students looking to leave campus to eat, but not venture too far. (Hunter Patterson|Foghorn)

A few weeks ago on a crisp Friday evening around 7:30, my girlfriend and I were walking down Clement Street looking for a place to eat. We stumbled across the restaurant Q, a place she had eaten at before and suggested we try. It almost looked like a nightclub from the outside: there was music playing, people waiting outside sipping drinks and a curtain blocking the entrance. The wait was about an hour and we decided to head elsewhere, but we were intrigued. Last Sunday, around 8:30 p.m., we decided to try again. This time, Q was much less chaotic, proving that the weekend really does end after Saturday night. We passed through the curtain, to discover that Q was not like a nightclub at all, but rather a very eclectic diner with a lively atmosphere, upbeat workers and fascinating wall decorations.

The walls of Q are unlike anything I have ever seen before in a restaurant. For starters, there is an electric giant half moon on the ceiling, adding some mood lighting to the restaurant. Below the moon and on all the walls hangs new age art. There are some very abstract pieces and sculptures with vibrant colors as well as drawn art. In the back of the restaurant is a table for a bigger party that has a tree growing through the middle of it. Christmas lights and bicycle chains hang from the tree. Somehow the tree table fits right in and does not seem at all out of place because after your mind has taken in the unique artwork, you’re ready for anything (A ninja could come to your table and prepare sushi for you with his ninja blades of death and you would accept it as the norm.). My favorite oddity was the magnetic letters next to each table that you could make words with while waiting for the food.

The wait staff is very friendly, and our server Alex was upbeat. I even caught him flirting with the female bartender and waitress and singing along to some of the indie songs playing over the speakers. When we sat down, he started us with almost shot glass-sized cups of water. Knowing I wouldn’t be ordering a soft drink or alcoholic beverage (still no fake ID), I asked if I could upgrade my shot of water. Alex returned with pint sized beer glasses.

The menu of has a little of everything. Alex described their diverse menu as “American funky comfort food” with a touch of the Southwest. They also had a very extensive wine list although, sadly, all I could do was admire it.

I decided to be adventurous and try something I had never eaten before- the “Slammin’ Loch Duart Salmon Burger on Potato Focaccia with chili-lime aioli and garlic Kennebec fries,” priced at $9.75. The chili-lime sauce put a spin on the salmon that was new and different; however I felt that it left something to be desired. It was missing that one sauce or ingredient that would really put everything together perfectly. On the other hand, the garlic fries were out of this world and rivaled the famous garlic fries sold at the San Francisco Giants baseball games.

My girlfriend ordered the “Macaroni & Cheezy with tater tots,” priced at $9.50. She said that she had had this dish here before when she was down and it had helped lift her mood. This made me worry a bit when she ordered it again, but our lively activity of making dirty words on the walls pushed my worries aside. The macaroni dish wasn’t the usual bland macaroni and cheese that you would expect. It includes herbs and spices that add an extra kick you are not ready for on the first bite. The dish works perfectly, with the tater tots making it perfect comfort food.

Consistent with the comfort food theme, the dessert menu offers ice cream, apple pie and milk and cookies. Unfortunately, we were too full to try to dessert, but it sounded delicious from the descriptions on the menu. For example, “Pipers pipn hot chocolate cookies, ($5.00), comes with a glass of milk or two scoops of Double Rainbow vanilla bean ice cream. (Add $2.00).”

Because the kitchen is in the same room as all the diners, it both adds and detracts from Q’s overall appeal. The sizzling sounds from what’s cooking while you wait for your food make you anxious and excited for what is to come. However, the clanking of the dirty dishes and the dishwasher can get a bit loud.

Overall, it was an exciting experience, which provided artwork to make you wonder and comfort food for the soul. 4 Stars out of 5.