I’m four days in to my new lower Haight life, which means a meal or two in the neighborhood has been had. Mostly though, I have no food at home since I am still in unpacking/organizing mode, so that has become an impetus to explore and eat – all in the name of Shikha la mode, of course.
Maven is a bar and restaurant skewing towards the nicer end of the food spectrum, although in true SF fashion, service and attire are very casual. It’s a dimly lit space at night with a unique menu of cocktails and bites. While appetizer portions can be a bit small for their price, everything is satisfying, especially when paired with a good drink.
Having eaten there twice now (clearly I am wasting no time in the new hood), I’ve found that going in a group of three to four gives a good gauge of what Maven has to offer. The salad with crispy quinoa and goat cheese made me love goat cheese even more, as there was a hefty amount of it. The gnocchi was forgettable, and since my photo of it was too blurry it isn’t included here.
Highlights: The trout was fantastic, and I ate it on both times I ate here. The leeks and the carrots showcase awesome spring produce, and the trout had a crisp exterior that melted away at the meat underneath. While I didn’t eat the burger, my friend had nothing but good things to say about it – I, on the other hand, had nothing but good things to say about the accompanying fries, which I may or may not have polished off without shame.
As for desserts, the menu is limited to two, so naturally we ordered both of them. The fudgesicle is misleading; it looks less like a whimsical fudgy treat and more like a bar of milk chocolate and peanuts. I was expecting more, and the chocolate didn’t seem to set properly and fell apart quickly. Luckily, dessert was saved by the coconut panna cotta – all the tropical flavors made for a refreshing end, and there was mango involved, so you know I’m already sold.
With the prime location a block from my place and its cocktails, I see myself coming back here for a quick drink or a classy dinner in the neighborhood. Plus, there is a brunch menu, and that bread pudding French toast is calling my name.
598 Lower Haight Street
Open everyday 5:30 – 11:30pm
Brunch on weekends