Anomaly is a pop restaurant run by Chef Mike Lanham in San Francisco, CA. Since 2018, they’ve hosted at a few different locations. From Serpentine to The Five Star Boutique Hotel, Mansion on Sutter, there is no surprise why diners from all over The Bay Area travel to try this one-of-a-kind tasting menu.
I’ll cut straight to my review because after all, that’s what you’re here for right?
I’m going to list the pros and cons first, for those of you who’d rather I be concise. If you’re looking to get a feel of what this soon-to-be Michelin Star restaurant experience was like for my husband and me, then keep on reading!
Overall excellent service
A Michelin dining experience without the price tag (for now… we’ve heard that they’re vying for a Michelin Star)!
Plenty of surprises throughout your dinner.
A bit of miscommunication between guests and staff regarding ingredient availability.
An odd start to our meal (see situation below).
When I made the reservation, there were only two times available - at 6:00pm or 8:15pm. We chose 8:15pm for this occasion. According to Anomaly, dinner service starts 15 minutes after which is thoughtful to do on their end. We arrived relatively early (a little after 8pm). There were already two other couples present. I told the host our last name and we were greeted with a couple of glasses of Prosecco. We were then told that they were still setting up the room for our dinner service. We grabbed our glasses and walked around the ornate boutique lobby, checking out the art and decor. I have to mention that it was stunning in #TheMansiononSutter! I highly recommend you check them out if you’re planning your next trip to San Francisco, CA.
Once we were called back, we proceeded into the dining area. It was quaint, dimly lit, and in a pretty intimate setting. I must also mention the room had a loud echo and even the softest voice could be heard clearly throughout. Each table was about 6 feet apart which allowed plenty of space to have a quiet and somewhat private chat with your date. The best table, of course, was already occupied by a couple from the previous 6:00pm sitting. That’s not what mattered. What put us off was the oddly loud conversation they were having as each party was seated. Now, I honestly could care less about people conversing after a completed meal and occupying a table BUT when you’re in a rather small room (with bad acoustics for diners), you think they’d tone it down or that maybe the waiter(/manager?) would wrap up the conversation and have some manners/respect for everyone else right? Nah, that’s not what happened. This couple and the gentleman kept going on. He ended the conversation when they finally started to bring out the first course. However, my husband and I had the caviar supplement so unfortunately for us the conversation didn’t end until our second course. A bit disruptive and not at all what we had imagined for the first 10-15 minutes of our dinner. We could tell that other guests had similar emotions…
Another thing that threw us off was paying extra for a sea bass supplement course and receiving salmon. While the course itself was delicious, it would’ve been nice to have been informed at some point during our service. We thought they forgot but it turns out they changed the menu. I knew this could be a potential issue but it would have been nice to have been informed ahead of time via email or perhaps a printed formal tasting menu upon arrival or a quick mention to your guests at some point during their dining experience.
So, What’s up with the Food?
Now, on to the good stuff. For $111 plus tax, you can enjoy 10 beautifully curated courses at Anomaly. For a San Francisco dining experience, this is such a deal! If you add in the supplements, you will see an increase in the tab. For example, we added the caviar supplement (one for two people) and the sea bass supplement (one per person). The total for two people came out to $450. This includes taxes, fees, and a 20% service charge. If you add on wine pairing once you’re there, it’s about $70 more per person. Considering we were going out afterward, I was fine with a glass of Red Barbera. I highly recommend it. Once properly air-rated, the taste was phenomenal. Light notes with a dry finish, yum!
Here’s what was listed on the tasting menu:
Siberian Sturgeon Caviar *Supplement*Carrot Chip, Beet CloudGreen Goddess Soup & Parmesan SnowAn Egg; sort of. hot potato. hot yolk Tomato, Basil Ice, Bacon TeaPao de Queijo // Smoke Celtuce, Whipped Brown Butter, TarragonScallop: Coriander, Lime & Avocado *Supplement Course*
(funny that they never addressed why we didn’t get scallops either and that it was listed as a supplement option when sea bass and caviar were the only two options available. Sad, because I love scallops and was looking forward to this dish in particular).Vande Rouge Duroc Pork, Apricot Curry, FennelWhipped Cream Cheese, Strawberry Sorbet, Champagne Granitea few small cookies & sweets
Believe it or not, we left FULL! Even my husband, who is hard to fill up, left not needing to pick up a slice of pizza afterward, haha. When I tell you that this was an experience and not just a meal, I mean it! I’ll fill you in on some of my personal favorites of the evening. There was a dry ice presentation in the Green Goddess Soup & Parmesan Snow - this was an experience. It was a delectable hot off-the-stove soup with a chilled snow-like topping that blew our minds. The topping created a smoking / billowing effect that covered the entire table. The way the cold Parmesan cooled the soup as you ate it was genius. I didn’t have to blow on it one time. Truly a great idea. The duck was also absolutely fabulous. A real stand-out course in my opinion. I wish I could more adequately describe to you how perfectly balanced this dish was. Bites of sweet and then savory with crunchy elements of fennel that brought the dish alive. The last item I want to mention that I loved was the egg dish. I don’t want to ruin the surprise for you on this one. It’s super unique and not at all what you think it’d taste like or be! You’re going to have to book yourself a seat at Anomaly to find out what I mean.
Overall the dinner moved at an ideal pace. You felt like you had enough time to enjoy each bite and just when you thought you couldn’t take another, they put another gorgeous dish in your face. You tell yourself, it’s just a couple more spoonfuls and you’re able to finish it all. This is why we enjoy tasting menus. It’s like going to a buffet but you don’t have to serve yourself, you don’t need any condiments or seasonings and you get to try a little bit of everything. When I tell you my water glass was always full, y’all… ha it got to a point where my husband told me to slow down because he was so on point with the refills. It was nearly instant! I honestly loved the attention to detail. He even folded my husband’s napkin ever-so neatly and then placed it on the dinner table when he left to use the restroom. A nice touch that you don’t get at some Michelin Star establishments if you ask me. Everyone knows what they’re doing and they all do a pretty bomb job.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5