Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Luna Park

Since moving to San Francisco in 2001, my route around town has often taken me past Luna Park. For whatever reason, I love their bright, semi-retro sign hanging over Valencia Street, and I've often wondered what yummies might await me inside. So why did I not go until last night? I have no idea. I suppose I thought they probably wouldn't have any good vegan food, or they'd be crazy crowded with hipsters (as they usually appeared to be), or it's close proximity to other restaurants I love dissuaded me from ever making it in the door. Boy did I feel silly to find out that they always have at least one vegan option, they take reservations via Open Table, and I am certainly hipster enough to eat anywhere in this town! With no more excuses, I grabbed some others and headed out.

I was first struck by the deeply maroon walls, and secondly by the fact that it was doing a brisk business for a Tuesday night during a recession. Many other restaurants in SF are not faring as well, so good for them. It led me to believe I was in for quite a treat. Soon after, I was even more psyched to see that in addition to the vegan entree, everything with a star next to it on the menu could be made vegan. It was only a few other items, but still, kudos to them for a well-marked, vegan-friendly, menu. I went for the vegan entree; Artichoke and farro cassoulet (thick stew) with kale and gigante beans and (oh hells yes) fried breadcrumbs. I have to admit that as much as I love artichoke and kale, it was the last ingredient that sold me.

When it arrived it was savory warm deliciousness, perfect for the season, if not for our current insanely warm weather. I think it lacked a little acid to cut through the gravy-ness of it, but other than that I really enjoyed it. In fact, I could have eaten more. And, for $14 I would have liked to. Small portion aside, I enjoyed my meal and would eat it again. Next time though, I think I'd sit at the bar and enjoy a drink with my food. The booths are so tall and imposing that it's easy to feel cut off from the rest of the world. Not necessarily a bad thing, but not quite my thing - and that about sums up my whole experience at Luna Park I suppose. Glad I went, would send others in a heartbeat, but won't be rushing back anytime soon. Maybe I'm not quite as hip as I thought....


AJ said...

Is this the same as the one in LA? It's my favorite. And if it is, I highly recommend the Warm Goat Cheese Fondue with Grilled Bread and Sliced Apples.


Sky said...

I had no idea they had one in LA, but now that I look at the website, I do believe it's true. Thanks for the tip, AJ!