Tadich Grill

We recently visited the Tadich Grill on California St. in San Francisco.

I read that it is the oldest restaurant in San Francisco, founded in 1849. However the sign on the lintel above the door claims it to be the oldest restaurant in California. Kind of makes you wonder what accounts for its staying power. I imagine it’s due to a dedication to food and service that has passed down through the generations.

The menu–specializing in seafood–is very big. Lots of good choices.

We were a party of four, and had a long wait, but this is expected at Tadich Grill; they don’t do reservations. In the meantime, you can sit at their long bar (which takes up nearly the entire middle space of the restaurant), or stand. But it’s a good people-watching area, and you are just as likely to rub shoulders with stars and politicians as with locals from just down the street. The place is that popular. And noisy. But it’s a good kind of noisy. The white-coated waiters bustle around and attend to their duties with what looks like absolutely no wasted movement–which is to say, they all look like they know what they’re doing.

We were really happy to get one of roomy wooden booths.

For my dinner, I chose Pacific Oysters and Bay Shrimp Creole, with rice–a baked casserole. To say that the oysters tasted fresh is an understatement.

M. chose the house speciality, the Cioppino seafood stew with garlic bread. He liked it very much. He noticed one thing different from other cioppino: the crabmeat was shelled, making it less messy to eat–no bib needed!

I’d definitely return to the Tadich Grill, and look forward to trying another house specialty: the Hangtown Fry, an oyster and bacon frittata.

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