I went to Lefty O’Doul’s and Bamboo Pizza on the same day, Bamboo for lunch and Lefty’s for dinner. What an unfortunate day that turned out to be. I went to Lefty’s expecting to get some good comfort food but all I was served was disappointment. Shed a tear for me.
Lefty O’Doul’s is a hof brau, like Tommy’s Joynt, but a little swankier, a little cleaner and a little pricier. I appreciate their aesthetic, though I prefer the clutter and dim lighting at Tommy’s.
You order at a cafeteria-style steam table counter. I’ll stop comparing Lefty’s to Tommy’s after this, I promise, but the guys doling out the food here are not as nice as the dudes at Tommy’s. I imagine this is because, due to their proximity to Union Square, they are serving a lot more tourists, and nobody likes that, am I right?
Steve and I got our food and paid, and were directed to a table. A waitress came by to take our drink orders. I asked her about a happy hour menu that was on our table, and she said, oh, the prices on there are wrong, the cocktails are $6, not $5, and that menu shouldn’t be on your table, I need to take that. Ok, I said, and ordered a bloody mary anyway. Steve ordered a beer. As the waitress started to leave I tried to stop her to give her the happy hour menu she said she needed to take but she got away. The menu stayed on our table for our whole meal.
Ugh. This bloody mary. When I tasted it I figured either they made it with ketchup or there was some sort of mis-measurement of ingredients because it was SO sweet. It turns out that Lefty’s has their own signature bloody mary mix. They’re so proud of it in fact, that they bottle it and sell it at the restaurant. What the fuck? Who wants a sweet bloody mary? Isn’t the point of a bloody mary to be savory and spicy? I just don’t get it.
On to the food I suppose.
Here’s my dinner, roast beef with green beans and mashed potatoes and a pasta salad. The roast beef was cold and too tough to chew. Green beans were cold and bland. The mashed potatoes were warm-ish and the gravy at least was hot. Actually the taters and gravy were pretty tasty. The rest of the plate required copious amounts of horseradish to get down my gullet. The pasta salad was meh personified.
Steve had a turkey enchilada. He liked it all right. I thought it was pretty bland.
I also ate this cherry pie. It was fine, a little tart for my palate, but I think that is probably just how cherry pie is, it’s just not my taste. The crust was pretty tasty. Also in the above photo you can see probably the most exciting part of the meal, other than the olives in my bloody mary: the assortment of Beaver mustards available. I love a good selection of mustard.
So, boo to Lefty O’Doul’s. I’m taking it off my list of restaurants at which I’m willing to eat. Even beyond the food, they had some weird gathering of old people there that night, and they were managing things very poorly. Bizarrely they had given people tickets to take up to the counter to get food. There were at least 80 people in this group if not more. I can’t imagine anything less efficient for a restaurant that is still attempting to serve other customers. It was very strange. So yeah, I’m done with Lefty’s. Over and out.
333 Geary St