Comstock Saloon, San Francisco

by Stevie on May 11, 2012

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the grand bar at Comstock Saloon

the grand bar at Comstock Saloon

Comstock Saloon takes you back in time. Named after Henry Comstock and the famous silver discovery, the Comstock Lode, you truly feel that you’ve walked into old nineteenth century San Francisco when you cross their threshold.

The place has a huge antique looking bar, lots of fussy lounge chairs that seem like remnants from a Victorian mansion estate sale, and music. The night we met our friends for drinks and dinner, there was a live jazz band belting out wonderful, spirited tunes. Though sometimes hard to converse, the energetic atmosphere at Comstock Saloon was infectious.

the decor at Comstock Saloon is incredibly inviting

the decor at Comstock Saloon is incredibly inviting

this isn't the best pic but just look at that wild fan

this isn't the best pic but just look at that wild fan!

Cocktail bars seem to be making a comeback lately. Certainly you’d believe that with the crowd here. I ordered the classic Manhattan, my “signature drink,” and was delighted. The down side of cocktails is that they take forever to make, so we did have to wait a bit for service. Since we weren’t in a rush and were among friends, this was fairly painless. I can imagine being annoyed in other circumstances.

cheddar crackers with pepper jelly and cream cheese

cheddar crackers with pepper jelly and cream cheese

Comstock Saloon BBQ chips with ranch

Comstock Saloon BBQ chips with ranch

glowing Comstock Saloon olive selection

glowing Comstock Saloon olive selection

hominy fritters

hominy fritters

soft pretzel with mustard--it looks funny, no

soft pretzel with mustard--it looks funny, no?

The menu is small with a focus on fairly traditional, comfort foods. We shared all the “snacks,” which included marinated green olives, a large warm soft pretzel with mustard, BBQ chips with ranch dressing, cheddar crackers with pepper jelly and cream cheese, and hominy fritters. I was ravenous so largely enjoyed these, though the rest of our group was so-so about them.

my rather sad cioppino with Dungeness crab

my rather sad cioppino with Dungeness crab

John's much more gratifying ricotta gnocchi

John's much more gratifying ricotta gnocchi

We skipped appetizers but all tried a main course. A few ordered the cioppino with Dungeness crab, clams and ling cod. Sadly this was a disappointment: simply too watered down with an apparent lack of salt. John’s ricotta gnocchi with asparagus and trumpet mushrooms was a lot more flavorful and was seasoned properly.

my Comstock Saloon classic Manhattan--now this is why I came here

my Comstock Saloon classic Manhattan--now this is why I came here!

We ended up staying for about two hours, enjoying one another’s company, the music and atmosphere. I’d go to Comstock Saloon again, but only for drinks. Perhaps this would be a good place to either start or finish an evening in North Beach.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jonny raglin May 11, 2012 at 9:20 pm

Hello,

I am honored you chose to write about our restaurant and am disappointed your cioppino wasn’t seasoned properly. I would like to invite you back to have dinner again and give a more firmly footed review of our food. Please let me know at jonny@comstocksaloon.com and I can arrange a reservation on us. Many thanks!
Best
Jonny

Alaiyo Kiasi May 13, 2012 at 5:46 am

You guys really know how to live well! The decor is beautiful, and this place is going on my bucket list for the text time we’re on the West Coast (we go every three years). It’s great that the restaurant commented and invited you back. That’s great service.
Alaiyo Kiasi recently posted..Pescetarian Bookshelf : A Cookbook Review of Good Fish–Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the Pacific CoastMy Profile

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