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RESTAURANT OF THE WEEK
A PERSONAL REVIEW OF RESTAURANTS AROUND THE WORLD

CLIFF HOUSE
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

There's a lot of history associated with this famous restaurant located at Point Lobos.  When we lived in the Bay Area in the late 70s and early 80s we frequented this place.  It has been several years since our last experience there and checking their web site, a lot has been happening including renovations and additions.

The restaurant is perched on a bluff overlooking the blue Pacific with incredible views.  And be sure to look down below at the rocks.  There you'll see a bunch of seals lounging around.  In fact you may hear them even before you see them!

It used to be just the Cliff House.  Now with the improvements you have a couple of restaurants to choose from, some bars and a banquet center that also hosts the Cliff House's famous Sunday buffet.

Current appetizers look pretty fancy at the updated Cliff House.  I think I prefer the old selection.  It was a lot more simple.

You'll find all the usual Pacific seafood suspects on the menu, depending on what's in season and what is fresh although from checking their current web site, the menu has expanded in a way and yet reduced in another way.  We used to see local soles on the menu quite often---rex and petrale, for instance.  And they used to whip up a great cioppino.  That's a robust, rich, tomatoey seafood stew loaded with Dungeness crab, fish, clams and mussels.

If you're a carnivore, you'll find several selections on the menu including steaks, chicken and lamb all gussied up with special sauces.

This is an interesting place for people watching.  You're liable to see a local TV personality dining here or perhaps even a movie star.  Several major stars call the Bay Area home and one time while dining there Ken Kercheval walked into the place.  He was one of the stars on the old Dallas prime time soap opera series.

For information on location, history, menu selections, etc., log onto the Cliff House web site here.

The "new" menu looks okay but in all honesty, I think the old, more simple one was better.  But that's just me.  It's still a great experience with an unbeatable view.