Okay, so I got take-out from Flora last night (they have their liquor license, finally!), and I’m sorry to say that the food was just plain not good. At all. My salad (which arrived already dressed in the to go box!) was incredibly bitter, to the point of basically being inedible. There was almost none of the promised shaved fennel and I was unable to identify any pomegranate flavor in the pomegranate vinaigrette.
My cheeseburger (bizarrely) tasted of vinegar more than anything else, although it was also oversalted. Also, it was pretty close to raw in the center (I ordered medium rare). And while I’m usually a big fan of bloody meat, I get a little paranoid about undercooked ground beef when I haven’t done the grinding myself, so I really prefer that something like a hamburger from a restaurant make it to a full 130 at least. This one didn’t get close. The french fries that came with the cheeseburger were beyond oversalted, and also incredibly mealy. And where were the carmelized onions?
I have much more tolerance for mediocre food in restaurants than some of my commenters, but every single thing I ordered was just straight up bad. And the place isn’t cheap. On the plus side, the staff is very friendly.
A commenter on SF Covers wasn’t impressed with her meal, nor was at least one Chowhound poster. But early reviews aren’t universally negative. A friend who went to dinner there on Saturday said the duck and the ravioli were excellent, and both Pat Kernighan and Larry Reid said at last night’s Public Safety Committee meeting that they thought Flora’s food was fabulous.
At this point, they’ve been open less than a week, so I’m going to give the restaurant at least one more shot before I write off the food for good. I’ve opened restaurants before, and it really does take a while for things to gel. I’ll probably give them another month or so to work out the kinks before I try the food again.
But the place is just gorgeous, and I can’t wait to go drink Manhattans at their bar.
For those interested in visiting, Flora’s full menu is posted at Grocery Trekker.