Monday, January 30, 2012

Dine About Town: Luna Park

After finishing up my lovely brunch with Ms. Michele we made our way back to her house to meet up with Andrew and spend some time together before he and I would head to the next Dine About Town meal of the day- dinner at Luna Park. We killed a little time before dinner watching Baz Luhrman's Romeo + Juliet and reminiscing over our pre-teen years in the late 90's. I always forget what a killer soundtrack that movie had, I need to fish around for my CD and get it uploaded on my itunes. As the movie reached it's pivotal double suicide scenes it was time to head out to dinner!

Luna Park is located in the Mission District which we found jam packed full of hipsters this lovely January evening. Entering the art filled dimly chandelier lit room I realized quickly that I had actually been here once before about 4 years ago with a friend and her sister who lived up in the city. I have always cherished the memory of that meal as one of the impetus's that drive my desire to live in San Francisco at some point because I so loved the look, feel, & taste of the restaurant. While I had already looked a their Dine About Town offerings I was excited to peruse them again and make my final decisions on what to order.
I was so pleased that we were given so many options but it was easy to narrow down what looked best to me. We ordered drinks, a Negroni for me (trying to see what the growing hype around this classic cocktail is) and a glass of Zin for Andrew and we were off to the races!
Our meal started with the presentation of an "Amuse-Bouche" (translated to mouth amuser, a little nip from the kitchen to get you excited for the meal to come) of butternut squash soup topped with some toasted seeds in an espresso cup. The soup had an excellent silky texture and rich butternut squash flavor but was a little simple for my taste. I like to doctor my own Butternut Squash soup up with ginger and nutmeg and other flavors. As a start though this was very nice and I always love that little something extra offered at the meal!
Next we enjoyed the Luna Park famous Goat Cheese Fondue with crisp green apples and Toasted bread. So simple but SO YUMMY! The goat cheese melts down to the most decadent creamy dip and the simple apples and bread are the perfect dipping apparatus. Tart matched with creamy for the apples buttery crunch matched with the tangy for the bread it felt so simple yet very satisfying. There are plenty of pieces of the rustic thick cut toasted bread as well as apple slices so you are able to enjoy all of the goat cheese. I loved the presentation over the little candle keeping the ramekin warm. I could easily see myself filling up just on this as it was so good and I'm glad we shared.

Our entrees arrived in a timely manner and I was pleased to see nice healthy portions for each. Andrew's Mac & Cheese came with broccoli florets and well as bite of smoked ham growing this dish up a bit with it's increased flavors and textures over the average childhood iteration. The shells held in just the right amount of creamy (yet not dense) cheese sauce and there was a lovely toasted bread crumb crumble over the top.

While the waitress let me know in advance that the salmon would be served medium rare (in case I took issue with that, which I do not) I actually found that it was cooked through, still nice and moist, but with a heavy char on the outer skin (as you can see in the picture). The fillet was served on a bed of white Gigante Beans, Roasted Mushrooms, butter braised Leeks, and Greens, in a light white wine broth. The green were absolutely fantastic soaking up lots of flavor from the broth and contributing their own inherent sweetness. The beans were cooked to a nice al dente texture and filled out the dish nicely. In terms of the mushrooms and leeks they were almost unnoticeable, the mushrooms being very tiny in size and the leeks braised to the point of melting into the sauce (not a bad thing they added great flavor). While not entirely missed with the beans 'n greens I could have gone for some heartier mushrooms in the mix as I was excited when I read the menu description.

I had ordered my dessert right at the top since I was having the prix fixe, unfortunately our waitress forgot and it did take some time to arrive (happens to the best of us) I had expected it to be nice and hot but it was instead only luke warm, the ice cream on top was freshly scooped and not melted so I have to wonder if it sat around for a bit waiting to be picked up and topped with the ice cream. Regardless the flavors were good I especially liked the crumbled top with it's nice big chucks of shortbread tasting crumbs. It was a sweet and satisfying finish to a really lovely meal.

Over all Luna Park was great. With it's hip vibe and soul satisfying dishes I would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun, casual, and unique dining spot in SF. This would make a great place for a first or second date or a night out with a good friend that you need to catch up with!


  1. How are the drinks here? Would like to bring my hubby...

  2. The cocktail I had was good! There wine list isn't huge but I think you guys would like it!

  3. Everything looks yummy! Glad you had a nice dining experience.