West with the sun - Page 2


And one of Clark's most successful cross-cultural innovations must be his Thai-style bouillabaisse ($26.95), a collection of clams, scallops, large prawns, and large pieces of Dungeness crab still in the shell — all this looks like a seafood junkyard — swimming in a coconut–red curry broth that replaces, rather spectacularly, the traditional fumet (an herb- and saffron-infused seafood stock) and provides a blast of chili heat one does not typically associate with tourist spots.
Given the scale of the portions — of course I am thinking of the lethal-weapon shank, but nothing else is small either, just as at Starbucks the smallest size is "medium" — dessert is for the hardy few. I did enjoy my stolen samples of banana cheesecake ($9), though the roasted banana was tough. Aficionados of postprandial liqueurs, on the other hand, won't be disappointed; the wealth of possibilities here includes the usual cognacs and ports but also several Armagnacs, beginning with an entry-level pour at an affordable $9. The cordial was of a caramel color deeper than the typical cognac's and of a surprising, rustic fieriness reminiscent of, but distinct from, that of Calvados.
I do have a few complaints. The sun, if any, can be nearly blinding at certain times of the day. The noise level is at the high end of acceptable, in part because of a live jazz quartet that sometimes plays in the lounge on the mezzanine. And the service, while friendly and knowledgeable, can be a little sluggish if the restaurant is full, as it often seems to be. Tourists or locals? Both, no doubt. SFBG
Lunch: Mon.–Sat., 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m.; Sun., 11 a.m.–3 p.m.
Dinner: nightly, 5–9:30 p.m.
Cliff House
1090 Point Lobos, SF
(415) 386-3330
Full bar
Wheelchair accessible

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