Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

March 30, 2013 8:52 AM

Restaurant: Kokkari


200 Jackson Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
Fax 415-982-0983
Debbie and I went to Kokkari with John and Sue.

You enter this restaurant at a far corner of a large dining room that turns out to be one of two large dining rooms. The restaurant has a variety of private rooms that can become part of the main restaurant.

To the far left is long bar with about 15 high chairs/stools. Behind the bar is a large mirror with glass shelves holding a vast array of liquors and liqueurs.

There are two large dining rooms hold an array of 2s, 4s, 6s, booths of four, and a community table that looks to seat about 20. The path to the community table is a bit circuitous. There are also a number of private rooms, which can be opened for general restaurant seating. All-in-all, the restaurant seats about 180 people. While the tables are relatively close to each other, they seemed to have been placed to allow for the greatest amount of private conversation.

Each of the two main dining rooms has a large table which holds an endless amount of freshly baked bread and a carving station, so that servers can prepare an ample breadbasket for each table.

Sue and John started the meal with Fakes Supa - lentil, vegetable soup with braised greens. For her main course, Sue had two appetizers: Octapodaki tou Yiorgou - grilled octopus with lemon, oregano & olive oil, and Mapakia - wood oven-roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon and Lemon.

Debbie started her meal with Kolokithokeftethes - crispy zucchini cakes with cucumber & mint-yogurt dressing. I had Pantzaria - roasted beets with Greek yogurt and pistachio.

For her main course Debbie chose Rotisserie, slow roasted Napa Valley spring lamb served over roasted potatoes. John and I selected slow roasted Goat shavings over Orzo Past, Feta, Tomato Sauce, and Artichoke.

For dessert we ordered two, very large, hot fudge sundaes (skipping the whipped cream).

Getting to the restrooms is a bit of an adventure. From where we were seated in a corner booth on the outside wall of the first dining room, one has to work one’s way through both dining rooms and down a long hall, to reach an elevator that takes you to the area in which the restrooms are located.

The men's room had a single wall-attached white ceramic urinal and a fully enclosed commode room with a white ceramic commode. There are two hand washing stations with dark wooden counters, sunken white ceramic washbasins, and appropriate mirrors. The floor is dark brown and the walls are a light tan with a greenish hue.

In chatting with our server, who was well informed about the menu and really quite delightful, we learned that she works 30 hours a week at the restaurant while attending college full-time. What she earns at the restaurant, plus a grant from the state of California, will enable her to finish her schooling without student debt.

Reservations are necessary. The night we were there, a Thursday, the entire restaurant was packed when we arrived at 7 p.m. and packed when we left around 9:30 p.m.

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