Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

March 30, 2013 8:51 AM

Restaurant: Cliff House

Cliff House

1090 Point Lobos
San Francisco, CA 94121
During one day of our California visit, Debbie and I spent a good chunk of the day checking out the sights of the Bay Area. Beginning with a walking tour of Muir Woods, we went from place to place. At lunchtime we ended up at Cliff House.

Cliff House has several observation areas and it is worth checking out each of them. On this particular day there were no seals in evidence, but an endless number of birds were hanging out on the various islands.

There are two restaurants in Cliff House. One is the Bistro, which is on the main floor. It is the most casual of the two restaurants. It includes two separate bar areas. No reservations are necessary, but there can be a wait at the height of meal time.

We ended up in Sutro’s, which does take reservations, and has the best view of the ocean and several small rocky islands, which historically are hangouts for seals. We were lucky enough to get a table for two right at one of the wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling, glass windows.

Debbie chose Bouillabaisse - soft shell crab, shrimp, clams, mussels and saffron-tomato broth. I selected the Petite Romaine Caesar Salad to start. Then I went for the Two Crab Sandwich - warm Dungeness crab salad, fried soft shell crab, and root vegetable chips. The latter were a little too hard for my taste.

The menu offers eight appetizers and thirteen entrees. One of the appetizers, the Shellfish Platter, would make a fine entree.

Sutro’s seats about 170, and the Bistro seats as many, if not more.

There are two restrooms, side by side, each designated for men and women. There is a single ceramic commode and a metal washbasin in a marble counter in each, with a large mirror over the counter. The floor is covered with large blue tiles, and the walls are covered with smaller tiles, some blue, some cream colored.

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