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While on a trip to San Francisco we decided to swing by Nopa for some lunch. Upon our arrival we were quickly seated in the upstairs dining area and started to look at the menu. Unfortunately the bacon flat bread pizza from The Best Thing I Ever Ate was not on the menu so we had to go a different direction. I ordered goat cheese bread pudding, whiskey braised pork with jalapeno biscuits, and of course a side of bacon. I thought about ordering a specialty beer but at those prices, it was not going to happen.
Before I talk about the food, I am going to say this now, our server was awful. He wasn’t rude just sort of indifferent. He never told us his name, never looked us in the eye, and barely asked us if we liked the food. I thought for a minute that maybe the hipster theme translated to the service but then our food was brought out by someone else. This server was friendly, talkative, and excited about the food. Too bad we only saw her once because she would have made us feel much more welcomed. I will always knock a restaurant for bad service especially one that is going to cost me more than $50 for lunch. They should probably work on that.
First my bread pudding arrived with the goat cheese on the bottom. While I wasn’t overly impressed by the presentation, the flavors were pretty good. The bread pudding was moist but I was surprised that the goat cheese was mostly at the bottom. I expected the cheese to flow across the entire dish but alas, you had to dig to it. I really liked the pickled beets perhaps better than the pudding itself. Enjoying the vegetable side will be a theme in this meal. The arugula was completely unnecessary.
My entree came out next with my side of bacon (Not pictured but decent). I was very surprised by the presentation. I was not expecting it to come out as a kind of stew. I really like my pork but this was a little bland. It was cooked really well though and melted in my mouth. The only thing that was truly memorable from this dish was the brussel sprouts. These were slightly charred and delicious soaked in the pork broth. Tasty veggies aside this was a disappointing entree. The two biscuits also left me a little wanting. If you call somethings jalapeno cheddar than it better be just that. These biscuits just tasted like normal biscuits where I was hoping for cheesy and spicy flavors.
I was expecting so much more from our trip to Nopa but sadly it was only mediocre. At the price point I was hoping for a more engaged server and better flavors but it seemed that all I was paying for was a nice seat at a sleek modern eatery. While I do love my beets and brussel sprouts when they are the things I remember best from a meal that included pork and goat cheese, you have a problem. The meal just did not come together how I would have hoped and I will probably not return to try it again.
See if you like Nopa and tell me I was wrong, check out their website here
- Nopa (justonefille.wordpress.com)
- NOPA: Behind The Scenes With Chef Laurence Jossel (thebolditalic.com)
- Lighten meal with Asparagus-Goat Cheese Souffle (triblive.com)
- Beet and Goat Cheese Hummus (abeautifulmess.com)