Tuesday, April 20, 2010

LARK CREEK STEAK - Respite from Receipts & Recreation

My eldest daughter was visiting from New York City, so we’d decided to do a girls’ day out and spend it in the Westfield Shopping Center in San Francisco. After a few hours of vigorous, conspicuous consumption, we were tired, so we opted to take a break and eat something.

My sister-in-law came with, as did my niece. When my New Yorker said she was craving actual Mexican food (which is apparently impossible to get in NYC) Sis-in-law suggested we check out Zazil, the Mexican place upstairs in the Westfield mall. Upon arriving at the top of the escalator, we found that Zazil was closed. Permanently. A victim of the recession. Apparently, as the hostess for Lark Creek put it “it’s pretty hard to compete with high end Mexican food in a mall, especially in a City that is known for really good and inexpensive Mexican food.”

She was right, of course. Even I will balk at lavishly priced tacos, since that is a comfort food. In my mind some of the more abundant home-style foods should come with a reduced price tag. There are exceptions, like the pizza at Dopo or Boot & Shoe, or even the mexican tapas at Tamarindo. When it’s an elevated comfort food, one can always justify paying a little more, but generally, high-end Mexican food in a mall is hardly a recipe for success.

So when we found ourselves at that moment, hovering in the doorway to Lark Creek Steak, we opted to go ahead and eat there. We were all pretty hungry and after all, shopping IS hard work!  I started with a Sazerac, something to take the ache out of my legs and back. It was perfectly blended, a nice whisky flavor with just enough sweetness and the suggestion of licorice wafting up from the absinthe used to rinse the glass. I was pleased. My sister-in-law loves a Margarita. Theirs was done using a nice silver tequila, overall a crisp citrus cocktail that I found refreshing.

My NYC Makeup Artist ordered something called the “Black Island,” it was a Johnny Walker black label with a hint of lavender. It was evocative of elsewhere, and pretty tasty. Overall I’d say that much to my surprise, Lark Creek has a kick a$$ bar.

I had plans to dine out again in a few hours, so I wanted to keep my appetite intact. With that in mind, I opted for a Shrimp Louie salad, which seemed the perfect solution to my hunger, while allowing me room to manage a heavier meal later than evening. It was a good Louie, simple with a great dressing, and nice, crunchy lettuce. Fresh fresh fresh. I have to say fresh is much more the norm than it was when I was a kid and everything was pre-packaged and pre-made, even a lot of the components of restaurant food were pre-fab. I am, after all, a member of the TV dinner generation.
A few of us tried the Garlic potato soup, which was also simple and quite good. I loved the taste of it I tried. My NYC daughter and sis-in-law tried the Cowboy burger, which was a nice, fat traditional burger. It came with a healthy serving of french fries. Standard American fare but good. My niece had the Caesar salad. The grad student had a pulled pork sandwich.

The food at Lark Creek Steak was steady comfort food. It was nothing unusual, but what they offered was done really well. The drinks were really outstanding. So, if you’re in the mall, and you need a bite, go for it. Check it out, and Bon Appetit!

Lark Creek Steak
845 Market Street
4th floor, Westfield Mall
San Francisco, CA
(415) 593-4100



  1. The Black Island was amazing. I wish I paid enough attention to recreate it. :)

  2. They sent me the recipe. Isn't that sweet?


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