Imagine the crew from Gilligan’s Island hops off the island and wins the lottery. They move to San Francisco (they’re swimming in *money* now, they can afford it), and open a restaurant. Leo’s Oyster Bar is their new island in the sun. In all fairness, outside it’s probably grey and the sunlight is sparse, but inside it’s golden hour, every hour.
Ever sat down to lunch and prayed to see “Liquid Lunch” on a menu, but, alas, no such option existed? More than once? Cool, you’re safe here.
Before anyone is too quick to judge, this liquid lunch includes a side of petite pickled veggies with a martini of your preference. So you wouldn’t be lying if you told your coworker you ate a light lunch.
Leo’s Oyster Bar over the top for San Francisco, and for the Financial District it’s an anachronism all together. It’s a lot to digest at first glance. It’s tiki, kitschy, nautical, gilded… I might have felt seasick at first… I’m not sure. It was just A LOT. But then the Garden Party kicked off.
The Script: What to Order
Garden Party – gin, egg white and fresh herbs. This will convert any non-Gin, non-egg white, libation lover you know, guaranteed. Could’ve had four, pumped the brakes after two in under 30 minutes.
Babarita – tequila, celery and pepper. You know when you’re skeptical about celery in your cocktail bc you’re just really not in the mood for a celery with an attitude?? This celery is cool as a cucumber which makes sense bc they both like to hang out with tequila.
Office Supplies – scotch, amaro and vermouth. “Brb. Gotta run to Staples.”
These change every day but the crowd pleasers to the oyster fluent and adverse alike are: Hammersly, Kusshi, and St. Simones.
Full disclosure — I came to Leo’s before a dinner. So, after the oysters, that buzzkill otherwise known as self-restraint made its ugly appearance.
Leo’s Deviled Egg with Wing Fried Oyster – Brilliant. WING SAUCE. James Beard nomination is in order on this fact alone.
Japanese Hamachi, Charred Avocado, Sea Salt and Scallion – Hamachi can get really redundant. WE GET IT, YOU RECOMMEND THE HAMACHI. However(!), the charred avocado and thoughtfully executed presentation (insert block of Himalayan pink sea salt) made this anything but platitudinous.