The most stylish debut at the San Francisco food mecca aka the Ferry Building in recent years goes to Bouli Bar, which opened last month with an eye-catching decor that looks like something out of a hotel lobby.
Bouli Bar is the next generation of Boulettes Larder, the popular brunch spot that’s been in the building nearly 10 years in a tiny spot next door to Sur La Table. The Boulettes Larder space is currently undergoing renovations, but the new Bouli Bar is Chef-Partner Amaryll Schwertner’s larger canvas to continue what’s worked from Boulettes Larder.
The space is definitely a big statement, with the dimmed mood lighting and glittery screens. There’s a window on the side that sells pastries, but Bouli Bar is more of a sit-down restaurant serving up wood-fire pizza and other Mediterranean-style dishes.
I made an impromptu decision to get some brunch one Saturday, and the service was welcoming and accommodating. The menu is limited, and while the pizzas sounded great (I really wanted to try the fig pizza), I didn’t know if I wanted to eat all that starch. So instead, I ordered a calamari and octopus dish ($24) with socca, a chickpea flour crepe.
The calamari and octopus were perfectly cooked tender, and with a light and simple dressing mixed with sugar snap peas. The socca was thick like pita bread, and I liked the burst of salt on the top.
I also tried the Meyer lemon cannoli, which had a flaky shell that kept its shape and a creamy filling but it didn’t have a strong lemon flavor, which disappointed me because I’m a big Meyer lemon fan.
The Last Bite
Bouli Bar has a zen environment, like eating at a spa. The high price means eating here is definitely a splurge, but it really delivers when you’re looking for a special treat.
Rating: 2.5 out of 4 camera snaps
Bouli Bar, 1 Ferry Building Marketplace (next door to Sur La Table), San Francisco. Open for lunch, Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Major credit cards accepted. www.bouletteslarder.com
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