La Folie is honestly one of the best restaurants in San Francisco. It is without a doubt better than Michael Mina and at the same level as Gary Danko (La Folie is way easier to get a reservation). If you’re looking for a way to spend your annual bonus or wanting to celebrate a special occasion, you should go to La Folie. The restaurant serves classic French food and you can choose a tasting menu or pick and choose your own 3, 4 or 5-course meal. Chef Roland Passot is a genius in the kitchen. I met him briefly and acted like a 12-year old girl meeting Justin Bieber (OK, let’s be real. I’d hyperventilate even at my age if I met Justin Bieber).
My family and I ate here last month for a family holiday dinner and to also celebrate my brother’s return from six months in China. The meal started with two lovely amuse bouches, salmon lollipops and a delicately poached egg yolk in a potato leek soup (served inside an eggshell). We tried a variety of dishes but my favorites are the seared foie gras, poached lobster on a ravioli, sauteed snails and the rack of lamb.
If you enjoy foie gras, I suggest you go to La Folie before July 2012 (then, it becomes illegal in California). Chef Passot cooks the foie gras perfectly and serves it with a poached apple with an apple consommé. It has the perfect “melt-in-your-mouth” consistency and I love the savory/sweet combination pairing with the apple. Definitely better than Michael Mina’s foie gras at NobHill Tavern in Las Vegas.
The poached lobster on top of a ravioli is exceptional. It is the best thing I ever ate. This beautiful piece of lobster tail is butter poached and served on top of a ravioli filled with pumpkin with truffle butter. Everything is cooked perfectly (I even watched the chefs cook each ravioli in it own special pot). I honestly can’t even use to words to describe this dish because it is so amazing. You must order this if you go.
If you like escargot, I really recommend the sauteed snails. The chef hollows out a bone and fills it with snails, bone marrow and delicious lemon butter. It’s a unique and beautiful presentation and a clever twist on the normal French-style escargot dish.
I was really impressed with the rack of lamb and how thick the two lamb chop pieces were. I appreciate that La Folie does not serve bite-sized food (I am not a bite-sized person). Lately, I feel like all these “higher-end” restaurants serve really tiny portions and then I’m left hungry after shelling out $50+ for food. You will not leave La Folie hungry.
My family ordered almost every single dessert on the menu and they have some interesting dishes like the cheese soufflé and the peanut butter opera cake. Truthfully, I’m not a fan of a savory soufflé. I’ve tried them a couple of times and I definitely prefer the normal, sweet ones. Out of all the desserts, my favorite was the apple tart tatin. The presentation was gorgeous again and it’s not a normal tart. The pastry chef made it in to a beautiful, layered “cake” almost with Maker’s Mark ice cream and a pumpkin creme caramel.
La Folie is the perfect package– amazing food, warm decor and exceptional service. Anthony Bourdain just ate here in his recent episode on The Layover. So the next time you have money burning a hole in your pocket, go to La Folie.