Yay! We had lunch at the newest Pacific Catch restaurant in the Corte Madera Town Center (keep going -- it's right around the corner from the Safeway). According to this page today, the restaurant ranks as #8 in popularity for San Francisco eateries among TripAdvisor respondents.
I'll admit to bias upfront: we know Aaron Noveshen, the chef, and Amy Shimm, who helped design some of the elements in the restaurant.
That said, we love this place. The location in San Francisco was nice -- a little tight, but the Corte Madera restaurant had lots of seating when we showed up around noon on a weekday during the holiday week. By the time we left an hour later, the place was pretty full, though.
Julie had the salmon teriyaki rice bowl that she talks about all the time (the last time she had it was two years ago). I shared the mixed catch with Austin in part because I love the coconut shrimp (the sweet and spicy dipping sauce is half the joy). Aaron had told us on our last visit that the coconut shrimp was a challenge put to him by one of his partners -- could he make a version that tasted fresh and interesting and wasn't just a cloying pander to an American palate for sweet fried nuggets of food? Done. The fried fish and oysters were also delicious as were the fries (this early review singled out the delicious sweet potato fries and asked for regular fries which have since been added to the menu). Bill was kind enough to share his excellent tuna poke -- delicious chunks of sushi grade tuna in a tasty marinade.
Do you have kids? The staff was so friendly -- they handed out chalk boards to all the kids to doodle on while we waited, and when we asked for an order of fries to hold off the kiddies it appeared very quickly.Here's Mari, looking concerned that her "twin cousin" Maia is already writing Chinese (albeit with a Hungarian lilt to her brush strokes).
Aaron tells us that the place is a kiddie madhouse from 5:30 to 6:30 so if you have kids, swing by. They're more than tolerated here and you can eat decent food. And if you don't have kids, maybe you should come after 7 pm. The prices are pretty fair -- you can have a good meal for cheap or a better meal for more, but it's not going to break the bank even if you go for the gusto. (On this page, one guy says he thought the food was expensive but a few others called it cheap.)
Oh, and I have to mention the dessert. This one Julie and I have both been talking about for two years: mochi balls with chocolate sauce. Yes, chewy, sweet Japanese rice dough covering ice cream and served with a warm chocolate dipping sauce. Austin loved it as much as we did.
We have only two words for Aaron: Atlantic Catch! Atlantic Catch!