This might be the beginning of the end. We have turned the corner to the Vegas-ifying of San Francisco restaurants. It’s all downhill from here.
After a few ventures to Dirty Water, the new meat-slinging restaurant and bar in the Twitter building on Market St., we are deeply concerned for the spirit of San Francisco. Here are the main issues with Dirty Water. It is engineered for overpaid, homogenous tech bros who are totally down to drop $16 for a cocktail when four floors above them are free, fully stocked beer fridge and wine on tap. Everything in the restaurant is comically large, to the point that, depending on your upbringing and morals, make you feel like you are either in a Vegas steakhouse or ate the mushrooms that make you tiny in Alice and Wonderland. The wine glasses are goblets, and the armchairs in the “lounge” are essentially Barcaloungers. The high ceilings also make everything seem smaller. The Heath-inspired plates are the size of vinyl records and the food is plated in an “artsy” way that makes you feel like you actually maybe did take mushrooms. I guess they’re on the #eatingfortheinsta boat, which we would fling ourselves from if we ever found ourselves to be passengers on said vessel.
The dimly-lit space is mainly devoted to the bar, and the many, many (large) fine leather chairs that take up a lot of space but don’t serve as good spots to consume food. Again, Vegas. Unless you’re part of the happy hour crew that descends here hard from 5-8, this doesn't make much sense. That said, the drinks - a solid wine and beer list, and some good cocktails (that you order off an iPad) - are probably the main reason you'd want to come here anyway. Aside from a few good appetizers, the food is mostly pretty disappointing. And it comes out so fast you feel like you're at Tao and they're trying to get you out of there so LMFAO and their entourage can take over your tables.
Ultimately the iPads, overplated and overpriced food, and the ability to watch the full evolution of male engineers from intern to team lead within a span of 6 feet, make this place pretty hard to stomach.
Charcuterie & Cheese Plates
A little pricey, but a nice selection of meats and cheeses. If you are coming here for a post-work happy hour and throwing down an expense account, this is the move. The Mt. Tam Cowgirl Creamery cheese is all the things you need.
This is a seriously good, if ridiculously plated, salad. Quality tomatoes and a dressing that somehow tastes meaty, which would be concerning if it didn’t taste so good. Little pieces of fried kale mixed in are a pleasant addition.
They added some nice touches like avocado and bacon, but it is very basic, unexceptional octopus plated in a way that looks like it swam into an underwater chainsaw.
The deer isn’t gamey at all, which is surprising, but it also doesn’t have a ton of flavor. The horseradish sauce that comes with is great, as is the egg yolk to dip it in, but then you’re really just using raw meat as a sauce vehicle.
Best part about this dish? The delightful, earthy mushrooms. Terrible sign. Again, plated in an Instagram-desperation-play of carrot tops and sauce splatters. The steak is just ok, and there are probably 5 pieces of meat on the entire massive plate.