You can’t walk into Foreign Cinema in Mission and not be impressed with the size and scope of the restaurant tucked amid some cramped quarters in other parts of the neighborhood.
- The grand red runway to the check-in desk builds anticipation.
- You’ll walk by the open kitchen to get a glimpse of where you great food will be prepared.
- There are two main dining areas – one inside and one outside (covered and well heated). The atmosphere is intimate but spacious at the same time. Low lighting, a high ceiling and appropriately spaced seating give you that feeling of an intimate space while at the same time knowing you’re in one of the largest dining areas in that part of Mission. The owners have described their goal as a “sensual experience”.
Foreign Cinema opened in 1999. A bit of history about Foreign Cinema from its own website, “In recognition of 15 years of distinctive service and community stewardship, September 18th was proclaimed “Foreign Cinema Day” in San Francisco. California State Senator Mark Leno presented a City Proclamation acknowledging Foreign Cinema on their unique neighborhood and city-wide leadership and standards in excellence.”
And this from a 2014 profile on Eater.com, “”We have this quinceañera, so in the most phenomenal, beautiful way, we will present Foreign Cinema as the girl to become a woman,” laughs co-owner ™n possibly have while having dinner.”
THE “EXPERIENCE REVIEW”
Now, let’s get to the experience and the food.
You know it’s off to a good start when the server is basically waiting for your when you are seated. You ask for water and an ice tea (no alcohol for me this night). His response, “Of course. The tea will take an extra minute as it’s all custom brewed.” Every detail was attended too. Water glasses refilled before even half empty. An offer of more bread before the plate was empty. And, the server checked with us on the quality of food for every course.
The dinner menu is heavy on seafood but offers a variety to suit your tastes. The butternut squash soup and shaved Brussels sprout salad were among the many choices. The soup was creamy and light. The salad was perfectly dressed with just a hint of a nut flavor. The seafood dishes ordered were attentively prepared and plated.
Finally, yes, you can also catch a show here in the outdoor courtyard during dinner!
FOOD – VERY GOOD.
COCKTAILS –The wine and champagne list looked wonderful but I choice no alcohol this night.
LOCATION – In the heart of Mission. The understated entrance is misleading for the “grand” nature of the cinema food halls.
PATIO – (This is a courtyard) Popular, heated and a talking point for other guests around the tables seated inside.
SERVICE – Very good.
By Jeff Parsons – Food blogger, photographer and editorial content manager.
WHAT ARE “EXPERIENCE REVIEWS” The goal of our posts is to offer you insight into what you may see, hear and experience when visiting an eatery. We’ll never question how the food was prepared. Great chefs know their foods well and know how they want it prepared. We’ll only ever comment on our reaction to the tastes and flavor if at all. Our goal is to create the “experience” for you before you book a table or stop by.
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