Kokkari – San Francisco

Kokkari StorefrontKokkari Estiatorio
Neighborhood: Financial District
200 Jackson St
(between Front St & Battery St)
San Francisco, CA 94111

Rated: ♣♣♣♣♣

I had the honor to dine at Kokkari a few week ago for a work dinner and it was the BEST Mediterranean food I’ve ever had. Our VP selected 9 different dishes for a set dinner and everything was superb. I’m definitely taking K here on our next special occasion.

The scene:

The interior is very rustic, very Mediterranean. With dim lighting and a giant cozy fireplace, Kokkari makes for a perfect date spot. We sat in an intimate private room towards the back with 20 or so coworkers. Everything visual about this restaurant is perfect.

Service was a little on and off for me. The waiters were very kind, but they kept hitting me on the head with the serving platters as they were serving each person around the table. One waiter even spilled a drop of tomato sauce on my lap from the meatball appetizer. Thank goodness my napkin was on my lap! He apologized and gave me an extra meatball to make up for it.

The food:

The food was outstanding! The only thing I didn’t try was the Greek salad which consisted of tomatoes and cucumbers. It looked amazing, but I couldn’t get myself to eat it because of the tomatoes.

Kokkari Patates (oven roasted potatoes with oregano & lemon) – Wow, these were amazing. I never thought I’d love fries this much. The potato wedges were crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.

Soutzoukakia (grilled meatballs with tomato & green olive compote) – The meatballs were tender and juicy. It literally fell apart in my mouth once I popped it in. Good thing I got that second meatball!

Melitzanosalata, Taramosalata, Tzatziki, Favosalata or Tirosalata with housemade grilled pita – The first dish on the table was the pita and dip platter. I was hooked on the Melitzanosalata which is a puree of eggplant and spices. I love eggplant, especially when it’s turned into a smooth, creamy dip and paired with a warm fluffy pita bread.

Kokkari Greek SaladHoriatiki (classic Greek salad of tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, oregano, olives & feta) – I think I might’ve offended the waiter when I told him I didn’t want any salad. No offense to the restaurant, I just don’t eat tomatoes!

Makaronia (ravioli of winter nettles with mushrooms, pine nuts & feta) – This is probably one of the best raviolis I’ve ever had. I’m a big fan of nettles. Nettles are a kind of leafy vegetable that’s been growing popular in restaurants within the last couple of years. The mild flavor of the nettles paired with the crumbled feta, crunchy pine nuts and creamy sauce made for a great contrast.

Kokkari Rack of LambArnisia Paidakia (grilled lamb chops with a lemon-oregano vinaigrette & Kokkari potatoes) – WOOOOW! This was the best rack of lamb I’ve ever had. The meat was so tender, the knife cut through it like butter. The strong aroma and flavors of lemon and oregano were so Greek and so perfect for lamb. When I come back with K, I’m getting this dish.

Kotopoulo Souvlas (lemon-oregano chicken with roasted root vegetables & Kokkari potatoes) – I never order chicken when I go out just because… it’s chicken! It is so simple and can often be dry. I was amazed when I cut through this yogurt marinated chicken. It was so juicy and flavorful, I couldn’t believe it was chicken!

Sokolatina (flourless dark chocolate cake with sweetened whipped cream) – This may surprise you, but another WOW goes to this dish. This was a mixture of heavy, rich, smooth, creamy, chocolaty goodness. It was almost like eating pure chocolate ganache. The cake just melted in my mouth from the heat of my tongue.

Turkish Coffee – The wait staff were taking after meal drink orders and someone shouted, “They have Turkish coffee!” In a spur of the moment, I said, “I’ll have one of those!” Little did I know Turkish coffee is the strongest coffee out there. After one sip, I could just feel the jolt of caffeine run through my blood stream. At 9:30 at night, I regretfully put the coffee down and let that $6 tiny cup of coffee go to waste.

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