Foreign Cinema

Last year, I had planned to visit the Mission while in San Francisco. Sadly, it didn't come to fruition. A full year later, I made sure of it by gathering up my cousins for brunch at Foreign Cinema. In fact, I made a reservation via Opentable to ensure that nothing would get in the way of it. Normally, the best meal to have at Foreign Cinema would be dinner. You see, as the name implies, foreign movies are shown on the large back wall of the outdoor courtyard for your viewing pleasure as you dine. Already having a reservation for dinner at Incanto later only allowed for a brunch. No matter, I still get to try out the food and that's not such a bad thing! Cable Car Guy and AZee picked me up from the hotel to meet up with Sal. Good thing too because it was absolutely pouring. What is up with that anyways? Every time I visit San Francisco, the rain seems to follow... At the very least, it washes away the plethora of dog poop off the sidewalks. Upon entering Foreign Cinema, we were greeted by a long hallway reminiscent of movie theatres of yesteryear. It lead into an outdoor courtyard with a large clear plastic tarp. So, even though it was raining, we could still sit outside and enjoy the natural light. Good for pictures too!

AZee suggested we order 4 dishes to share. It's like she read my mind! Not only are my friends trained to appease my needs, my relatives too! I decided to add a Baked Calamari to start for good measure. Tender pieces of squid and butter beans were bathed in a Romesco sauce topped with bread crumbs and aoili. As mentioned, the squid was easy to eat while the Romesco sauce had a nice kick to it. The bread crumbs offered up some crunchiness while the aoili helped temper the tang and spice from the Romesco. After this, there was a fairly long wait for our main dishes. It was so long of a delay that they voluntarily offered us a house made Pear Pop Tart. Unlike a store bought one, this was not too sweet and the pastry was flaky and crisp. Nothing amazing; but a nice treat nonetheless. I give them props for noticing that we were getting a little antsy. For my main, I went with the Seafood and Potato Frittata. Beautifully presented with 2 perfectly seared scallops, mesclun greens and crispy pancetta, the frittata was finished with a green goddess dressing. Fully cooked; yet still fluffy, this was a light frittata. The flavours were mild with a taste of freshness due to the greens and herbs.

Sal, the French-obsessed person that she is, predictably had the Croque Madame. Essentially a Croque Monsieur with a fried egg and bechamel on top, this was quite heavy. I liked the perfectly runny egg yolk, it is both aesthetically and texturally pleasing. However, there was probably too much bechamel sauce. So much so, that is all we could see. Nothing wrong with the sauce itself, although it was on the floury side. Otherwise, the French ham and Gruyere still came through, we just couldn't see it. For kicks, she added a side of slow-cooked, brown sugar smoked Bacon. Wow. This bacon was absolutely delicious. Having a texture much like freshly made soft beef jerky with a sweet gooey brown sugar glaze, I would gladly trade-in my health to eat this everyday if I could. Cable Car Guy had the Poached Eggs and Slow-Cooked Pork Shoulder with avocado, chickpeas topped off with mojo verde. As you can see, the poached eggs were perfectly cooked and aesthetically pleasing. Trust me, this is not always a given. Just because it is cooked right doesn't excuse it from looking like a disfigured Michelin Man. Hiding underneath were tender nuggets of pork in a balanced braising liquid that had depth. It's too bad that there was so little pork in relation to everything else. So little that it had not much impact in the dish even though it was the "meat".

AZee had the Champagne-Truffle Omelet - another dish featuring egg, which is not usual since it was brunch. The omelet was executed quite well. Maybe slightly on the more cooked side; but it was still fluffy. The Fontina and herbs complimented the truffle with a nice blend of earthiness and slight woodsy taste. The reason we ordered this dish was not really for the omelet; rather for the crispy Yukon potatoes. We spotted the people beside us enjoying the potatoes and wanted to have it. Turns out that they were just okay. They were indeed crispy with a nice soft potatoey inside; however, that was about it. It's too bad we didn't get to watch a movie since it was not dinner time. Although AZee and CCG assured me it's really neat (and the food is good too). For our brunch, it was mostly solid presented in a unique dining space.

The Good:
- Solid execution
- Attentive service
- Nice dining space

The Bad:
- A bit pricey
- Food expediting was slow (they did give us a pop tart though)

Foreign Cinema on Urbanspoon

2 comments:

KimHo said...

So this is the place I "missed"... Well, too bad for me because it looks good! Oh, well. "Next time"? :)

Sherman said...

The food is pretty good. Albeit kinda expensive!