UPDATE: The chef/owner announced in early 2015 that she will be closing the restaurant to focus more on her family.
To me, Bar Jules epitomizes the neighborhood restaurant: cozy dining room, friendly service, casual menu, and simple dishes.
The 5-year-old restaurant on the edge of the popular Hayes Valley continues to draw a crowd, and its quaint and bright surrounding makes it a perfect setting for brunch. A sign of its popularity, when I visited for brunch last weekend with my friend Craig, we got there when the doors opened at 11 a.m. and there were already a crowd of people waiting to get in.
We flowed in with the rest of the crowd to easily fill the tiny restaurant, still brightly colored in the distinctive turquoise blue that I remember when I first visited. The menu highlights seasonal ingredients, so it changes regularly, which is why you just look at the chalkboard for the day’s plates instead of a printed menu.
Simple and Fresh
Bar Jules have developed a following because of its simple and fresh plates of food — no fancy ingredients, no crazy plating. A perfect example is Craig’s order of scrambled eggs with black trumpet mushrooms, prosciutto toast and arugula salad ($17).
My order maybe sounded like the most complicated, but definitely said breakfast. It was a plate of baked eggs with braised pork, broccoli di riccio and new potatoes ($17). Unfortunately, my order seemed to be suffering from water moisture that my guess came from the greens. That moisture made the braised pork a bit bland, and the soft cooked baked eggs were a bit squiggly in the whites.
The Last Bite
While still a cute spot for dining, Bar Jules still suffers from kitchen execution issues that I felt when I first visited many years ago. On paper the ingredients and dishes sound enticing, but the taste tend to be mild and restrained (and in my case, washed out), which doesn’t necessarily create a lot of memorable bites.
Bar Jules, 609 Hayes Ave., San Francisco. PH: 415.621.5482. Open lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; dinner, 5:30 to 10 p.m.; Sunday brunch, 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Major credit cards accepted. Reservations only accepted for dinner. www.barjules.com
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