We love to dine at trendy, upscale, nouvelle cuisine restaurants in San Francisco but we also have a soft spot in our hearts for the old school “tried and true” as well. Scoma’s Restaurant has been serving fresh right off the boat seafood for almost 50 years at Fisherman’s Wharf. Surely things have changed since 1965 but there are reasons that both Bay Area locals and tourists from around the world keep coming back including the fresh seafood, large portions, warm hospitality and the stiff cocktails. You drive down Al Scoma Way off of Jefferson Street and you return to yesteryear. The restaurant is wedged between commercial fishing boats right on the water and set away from the maddening crowds. There are views from their big windows of the fishing boats as well as Coit Tower, the Transamerica Pyramid and on the sunny day that we dined we could see some fog out toward the Golden Gate Bridge.
We were seated at a window table with a white linen table cloth, ordered cocktails and soon received a basket of authentic San Francisco Sourdough bread. You definitely get a “San Francisco” pour on the cocktails. The Cosmopolitan was excellent as was the Whaler’s Rum. We chatted with some of our neighboring diners as we looked at the menu. A San Francisco Firefighter and his family were enjoying Pasta Seafood dishes and a couple from Arkansas, who always make sure they dine at Scoma’s Restaurant every time they are in town, were happily sharing a bottle of Napa Valley Wine and the Lazy Man’s Cioppino.
We stared out by tasting the Soups. Both the classic Clam Chowder and Lobster Bisque were just rich enough and very flavorful. A cup is not too filling and a great way to begin your meal! Next, we had their traditional Dungeness Crab Cakes. They were almost all crab, perfectly seasoned with fresh celery and nicely browned. The Oysters Rockefeller alla Scoma was another tasty appetizer. These hot oysters were served off shell and were healthier and lighter than most we’ve tasted.
Dungeness Crab is in season so we knew we needed to have the Cracked Crab which was roasted with herbs and olive oil. It was so much fun cracking the crab and digging out the crab meat. Our other entrée was the classic grilled Shrimp and Scallops alla Gannon. This was a mountain of food with shrimp and nicely sautéed scallops adjacent to mashed potatoes, rice, broccoli and cauliflower. This was easily enough food for two meals or lunch the next day. The Sides that we ordered were all large portions and absolutely delicious! We loved the Sautéed Mushrooms, classic Creamed Spinach and the Parmesan Polenta.
Scoma’s Restaurant has an Award Winning Wine List with quite a few wines offered by the glass. We enjoyed the 2011 MacMurray Ranch Sonoma Coast Pinot Gris with our appetizers and the 2009 Hitching Post Rita Hills Pinot Noir paired perfectly with our entrees. The Desserts were both excellent and exceeded our expectations...can’t wait to have them again! The Apple Crisp had a lot of brown sugar and reminded us of the Apple Betty our Mom’s used to make. The Crème Caramel was perfect also which is not that easy to find. A Mr. Espresso and a 2005 Taylor Fladgate Ruby Port were the perfect finish to our fabulous dinner.
Scoma's Restaurant is open daily serving fresh, sustainable seafood as well as steaks, salads and pasta dishes. Executive Chef Alan Fairhurst who graduated from the California Culinary Academy has led the kitchen since 1999 and the staff is friendly and professional. The portions are huge and everyone we talked to enjoyed their food and drinks. We loved our dinner, the Old School feeling, felt the family love and look forward to returning soon.
Scoma’s Restaurant Fisherman’s Wharf - PIER 47
1 Al Scoma Way (at Jefferson St.)
San Francisco, CA. 94133
Complimentary Valet Parking