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7.2
SF

The Square

Perfect For: Late Night Eats Lunch

For the most part, we love it when high-end restaurants introduce more casual offspring. Ad Hoc and Bouchon Bakery are a great taste of the rarefied air that we assume the French Laundry inhabits. Alta brings some of that Coi magic to more palatable price points. And we actually like Monsieur Benjamin better than Benu.

So it was with high expectations that we hit The Square, the bar-food descendant of Sons & Daughters, which is one of our all-time favorites. Unfortunately this restaurant seems like a bit of red-headed stepchild. The food, excepting the bread, came in at a solid "fine." As in, it was fine. No crimes against humanity here, but nothing particularly good. The burger was brown all the way through, the ribs were kind of dry, the fried oysters were small and lacking juice.

In fact, that's not a terrible way to describe The Square, in general: lacking juice. The room was similarly bereft of excitement, and people. The cocktails were cool takes on old school classics, but nobody seemed to be enjoying too many. Or really having too much fun, at all.

But we're hoping they can make a comeback, because we know what these guys can do with food when they put their minds to it. Maybe The Square can someday make like Huey Lewis & the News. Yeah, think about it — you enjoyed that one.

Food Rundown

Bread

I don't know who or what the Parker House is, but thank god they invented these rolls.

Fried Oysters

Very very small. It was probably some cool East Coast thing, but we like a little more MEAT in our shellfish.

Kale Salad

What did you expect? That is what you get.

Pork Belly

We give them props for not making this 80% fat, as most pork bellies are. Above-average execution.

Burger

This looks AWESOME in the pictures, and maybe execution has improved, but the one we had was pretty weak. Not a spot of pink on our "medium-rare" patty. This was ballpark-quality cooking.

Ribs

Also kind of dry. Good rub on them, we enjoyed the seasoning, but the meat didn't get all the way there.

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