February 9, 2015

San Francisco: Presidio Officers' Club + Arguello restaurant; things to do + restaurant review

San Francisco 

Presidio Officers’ Club  50 Moraga Blvd., (415) 561-4400.  Tu-Sun 10-6.  Free.  Public events scheduled Thur & F eves; kids’ events Sat & Sun; free. 

This storied former Victorian building was converted to Spanish Colonial style in a 1934 remodel.

Moraga Hall in Officers Club at the Presidio in San Francisco, California
Once an elite gathering place for military brass and accessible only with an officer, the lovely main Moraga Hall—which was always a celebratory room--has been recently brought back to life as the site of an array of free public programs that include lectures and films.

Mesa Room in Officers Club at the Presidio in San Francisco, California
The adjacent Mesa Room, which was a billiard room in the 1930s,  now is a museum where you can see exposed adobe walls, 1930s stencil work, and hand-distressed wall beams.

military uniforms displayed at Presidio Heritage Gallery in Officers Club at the Presidio in San Francisco, California
Upstairs, the high-ceilinged Ortega Ballroom is modernized with concrete floors and exposed ductwork and has been transformed into the Presidio Heritage Gallery museum.  It displays artifacts, photographs, and rare videos as well as some of the 60 species of bee that live in the Presidio.

Andrew Goldsworth's "Earth Wall" in Officers Club at the Presidio in San Francisco, California
A patio is home to the Presidio’s fourth Andrew Goldsworthy art installation, “Earth Wall.”  Installed in 2014, this piece is made of dead-found Eucalyptus logs protruding from a rammed-earth wall.  A tree line shows above the wall and gravel ground is below.  This is to be Goldsworthy’s last piece at the Presidio.  Andrew Goldsworthy's other installations at the Presidio. 

the bar at Arguello restaurant in Officers Club at the Presidio in San Francisco, California

carnitas tostadas at Arguello restaurant in Officers Club at the Presidio in San Francisco, California

Arguello  (415) 561-3650.  L-D W-Sat, SunBr; $$. 

Owned and operated by local celebrity chef Traci Des Jardins, this small restaurant is just off Moraga Hall--the main room of the Officer’s Club.  Bar bites and cocktail service are available there.  It is named for Luis Antonio Arguello, who was Presidio commander from 1806 to 1822 and then became the first Mexican Governor of Alta California.  Mexican cuisine is the specialty, including tacos and Tequila cocktails.  I was particularly fond of the carnitas tostada, but the meaty mushroom quesadilla and the shrimp taco were also delicious.  A simple but tasty jicama salad (recipe) with orange, avocado, and a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds made a good starter and some powdery wedding cookies provided a nice ending.  An outdoor courtyard with fire pit and heaters is particularly inviting in good weather.

Arguello Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

More things to do at The Presidio.
More things to do in San Francisco.

images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


  1. I love it when places are beautifully and respectfully repurposed. It honors their history. This looks like a fun (and delicious) visit.

  2. The Presidio Officers’ Club looks like a unique place to visit and eat in its latest restoration.

  3. Wow! The Presidio Officers' Club looks like such a good place for ambiance and cuisine! Hope it is still affordable!

  4. I love these kind of places - when history and food combine. Food sounds delicious.

  5. I am a fan of Andrew Goldsworthy's art installations - there was an exhibit here in Austin several years ago and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Looks like the Officers' Club has been restored with care. The mushroom quesadilla and shrimp tacos would be delicious right about now :)

  6. I love visiting historic buildings. And if they have good restaurants, that's even better!

  7. This looks like a wonderful place to visit! Art, history, and excellent food - what a great combination!

  8. Thanks for the intro and tour of the Presidio Officers Club. The building restoration looks impressive and I'd love to see the museum, vintage uniforms and old photos.

  9. I love that they integrated history into the restauration and the food looks great too!

  10. So nice to see the integration of history into the restoration. Looks like a fun place to eat.