The Stinking Rose

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by koolbargan on August 25, 2005

The restaurant's tagline describes it all, "A Garlic Restaurant," and for garlic lovers, it's love at first bite.

Located in the restaurant and shop-lined Columbus Street, the first problem one has to contend with will be finding a parking spot. It’s no problem for tourists like us, who took a cab from our hotel, The Prescott, on Post Street. Cab fare from the hotel was at $10. Take note, though, that it could be less, as going back to the hotel was just $7. I guess that the sights we saw that were happily pointed out to by the first cabbie explains it all. The ride also included some sightseeing "detours." It wasn’t too bad, though, as we learned that the area where Columbus Street is located is divided into what is called the "Little Italy" and Chinese (or did he say Oriental?) side.

We dined on a Wednesday night and would suggest to call ahead for reservations. When we arrived, there was quite a crowd waiting, but we were ushered right in. It was great for dinner-hungry tourists like us after a whole day of taking in the sights.

Inside, the decor comes strong with red and black - yep, Dracula’s color, no less! There were empty bottles that looked to me liked those used for "aging" wines together with clumps/strands of garlic hung from the ceiling.

Once seated, service is fast - real fast!

Some entrées on the menu are distinguished with a tagline and a caricature of a man (fangs and all) in black-and-white duds and a cape (throw in some red as well). Yep, you guessed it!!

For starters, it was the BAGNA CALDA ($4.95), oven-roasted garlic cloves in olive oil and butter, served with their house-baked buns. Take your pick. Spread it on or for real garlic lovers and just enjoy it one clove at a time.

The main entrées we chose were the GARLIC ROASTED PRIME RIB ($17.95 for the Lite Cut) and the TIGER PRAWNS GARLIC ROASTED with BABY PASTA. Both dishes we consider a 10!

From the moment we came in, no table was ever left empty for long. We noticed that as one is vacated, it is soon occupied, and this might explain why as soon as our plates were empty, they were hurriedly whisked away, a sign that our time was up. As we stepped out of the restaurant, there were still people arriving (at near 9pm).

As wonderful as the food and service was, Stinking Rose may not be one’s choice for an intimate/romantic dinner. It definitely is a choice for people who just want good food, fast.

The Stinking Rose
325 Columbus Avenue
San Francisco, California, 94133
(415) 781-7673

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