Scoma’s is Seafood Heaven in Sausalito
My sister Cherie’s husband, Ray, travels a lot on business. My experience is people who travel a lot for business get to try out a lot of good restaurants in different cities. Ray recommended we have a meal at Scoma’s during our weekend. We were planning to have dinner at the Fisherman’s Wharf location on Saturday – but it wasn’t meant to be and we ended up at Postrio’s instead. On Sunday, we took the ferry to Sausalito and decided to have lunch at the Scoma’s location there.
Scoma’s in Sausalito is housed in a quirky building perched out over the bay. There are spotless, starched white linens on the tables and a fresh iris on each one, adding a pop of color. I don’t know how old the building is, but it feels old – early 1900s old. Think of a house that’s been added-on to over and over.
We lucked out. Our wait for a table on Sunday for lunch at about 1:00 pm was less than five minutes. Oh happy day! The place was lively with couples, families, business people, girlfriends hanging out together. Linda, our server, was terrific. Friendly, fast, efficient and knowledgeable. Oh, and fun.
We started by ordering two appetizers. The Cajun Shrimp and the Fire Roasted Artichoke. The shrimp were colossal and juicy-fresh. There is a certain amount of heat I associate with anything that’s called “Cajun” on a menu. Remember, my husband Ernie is from India. He enjoys heat. Not the “take the top of your head off” crazy heat I see on Man vs. Food on the Travel Channel. But a pleasing, linger in the back of your throat warmth I’ve come to appreciate.
Unfortunately for me at least, the Cajun spice on these shrimp was very mild and definitely meant for American palates – not for people who really enjoy a little “caliente.” A small arugula salad with a light vinaigrette came with our shrimp.
The Fire Roasted Artichoke with Garlic Aoli was addictive. Have you ever wanted to order the largest, most decadent dessert on the menu, and just indulge and call it dinner? I’ve never done it – too much sugar. But that’s close to the joy Cherie and I felt scarfing down this artichoke. And, how cool is this… it’s a green veggie – so it’s healthy. Couldn’t stop. The artichoke was perfectly cooked with a light smokiness. The Aoli was fresh and creamy-smooth. A wonderful pairing.
I probably could’ve eaten another Fire-Roasted Artichoke and called it good – but onward.
We went back and forth on what to order for our entrees. Cherie ended up getting the Alaskan Halibut. I ordered the Stuffed Sole with a filling of Shrimp and Crab and a Lobster Sauce.
Cherie’s Alaskan Halibut was served on top of what tasted like escalloped potatoes with Broccoli Rabe on the side. She enjoyed her lunch and said the halibut was flaky and light. My Stuffed Sole was what I expected – very mild and delicate. The Lobster Sauce on top seemed suspiciously like Lobster Bisque ladled on top. Since Lobster Bisque is one of my favorites, it’s one of those soups I know right off the bat when I taste it.
The Stuffed Sole was accompanied with white rice and garlicky Haricot Verts. I skipped the white rice. The garlicky green beans seemed like the most adventurous offering on the plate. Maybe I’m picky. It tasted fine, if a little bland for my tastebuds.
Don’t get me wrong, Cherie oohed and ahhed over everything. It’s a lovely dining experience with a lot of history in this amazing Bay area. The views out the window of the water and sky are amazing. So it’s really a matter of preference on how you like your food seasoned and the kind of dining experience you crave.
If you like American foods without a lot of fuss, adventuresome sauces or surprises – you will love dining at Scoma’s. However, if you like discovering little hole-in-the-wall places with the most authentic Vietnamese Pho or a Greek bistro where the shouts of “Opa!” and flames shooting from plates of Kasseri cheese ring out, Scoma’s might not be your cup of tea no matter how much it’s steeped in San Francisco tradition.
When Linda came by suggesting dessert – well, you know how it is. You don’t need dessert. But Cherie and I had been sugar-free all weekend. And hey, if you’re going to have dessert – why not indulge at Scoma’s, right? So we ordered one dessert with two spoons. Cherie ordered Coffee and I got Mint Tea. Yeah, I know. Tea again. It’s my thing.
The picture above doesn’t do our Apple-Blueberry Crisp with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream justice. By the time I snapped it, we already dug in and enjoyed a few bites. I’d totally forgotten to take a picture. In my estimation, it was perfect. I’ve had desserts combining blueberries with peaches – but never blueberries with apples. The healthy buggers are in our frig at home almost every week – they are known for reducing cholesterol. They’re also a yummy taste of my Michigan roots. This Crisp combined hot, cold, tart, sweet, smooth and crispy. What would be better?
If you want to experience San Francisco seafood, Scoma’s is certainly a legendary place to do it. Our lunch was relaxed and elegant and much of the food was very good. There was creativity in the Fire-Roasted Artichoke and the Blueberry-Apple Crisp. Next time I go to Scoma’s, I think I’ll get the most decadent meal ever for me: the artichoke, a bowl of Lobster Bisque and the Blueberry-Apple Crisp, all to myself.