Palm House 2032 Union St./Webster St., Cow Hollow, (415) 400-4355. L-D daily. Reservations advised.
Named for the more-than-150-year-old palmetto palm that the front of the restaurant wraps around—it is Union Street’s oldest tree and thought to be the second-oldest palm in the Bay area—this popular drinking spot has seating in several areas, including a heated sidewalk-side patio and a slightly quieter back room adjacent to the busy open kitchen.
In the central area by the long bar, colorful vintage birdcages hang from a 35-foot ceiling, and live plants enhance the tropical feel.
Suck-‘em-up drinks are primo and include several show-stopping group punch bowls served up with mega-straws and a floating rubber duckie souvenir,
a really tasty house Slushy (my fave is the passion fruit version),
plus a Mai Tai,
Pina Colada, Chipotle Mango Margarita, Aperol Spritz (recipe), Island Bloody Mary, and plenty more, and most are enhanced with an orchid. When I visited, I witnessed a nearby group of six go through two of the monster punch bowls, and the photo they let me take came out as fuzzy as they must have been feeling. Flavorful calypso wings with chili sauce and tasty fries with sweet mango ketchup are popular appetizers. A tall bottle of chili-vinegar sauce is on the table for further flavor fine-tuning. The California-tropic cuisine pulls from Cuba, Hawaii, Brazil, and the Caribbean such dishes as kalua pork shoulder with curried black beans, blackened or West Indian jerk mahi mahi, and Jamaican jerk roasted half chicken. A burger is always available. From the brunch menu, I chose the BLT on a soft topedo roll stuffed with delicious pineapple-sugar cane-glazed bacon and topped with a beautiful and tasty sunny-side-up egg that I slid right off and ate separately.
A Cubano sandwich, kalua pork hash, and huevos rancheros are also available.
To top things off, we shared an order of light and fluffy jalapeno-cheddar biscuits with kawaihae honey butter and it chased a grey May day right away.
Allow time before or after to stroll the street and shop the boutiques. Don’t miss the sweet Le Bouquet flower shop down the street at #2205.
If you plan carefully regarding open hours, you can also stop in at the Octagon House located a few blocks the other way at Gough Street;
tiny Allyne Park is adjacent and usually open even when the house isn’t.
More things to do in San Francisco
Way more things to do in San Francisco.
More ideas for exploring Northern California.
images ©2015 Carole Terwilliger Meyers