A favorite


Conservatives by definition respect tradition. Not all traditions are worth retaining, of course, but when they offer enduring values, they are to be treasured. The oldest restaurant in San Francisco, the Tadich Grill, is one such tradition. When I entertain out of town visitors in downtown San Francisco, unless they are anxious to try out Chinese or other ethnic delights, or proffer the use of an expense account adequate for dining at Aqua (right next door to Tadich) or one of the city's other ultra—expensive pleasure domes, I generally end up taking them to the Tadich Grill.

The San Francisco Chronicle did a feature story on the Tadich Grill yesterday that actually does justice to the place. Click on an enlarge all the pictures, which give a good sense of the place. Ingredients of the highest quality, prepared simply and expertly, are the essence, but the atmosphere is a worthy co—star. I can easily imagine my father and grandfathers eating there, and somehow I feel connected to them and their eras when I dine at Tadich. It is always somewhat noisy and busy, and if you arrive for dinner after 6 PM, you are guarranteed a wait. But it is worth it.

It is a frou—frou—free zone. Very masculine and without pretension. One little touch at the Tadich, not mentioned in the article, is the dish of lemon wedges that sits on every table. Tadich serves a lot of seafood, but even non—seafood dishes (and beverages) can sometimes benefit from a squirt of fresh lemon. A simple touch, but very nice. Another factor I find reassuring is that the kitchen is visible from the dining room. I like that. It keeps the cooks honest.

A number of today's culinary trends, like grilling over mesquite charcoal, were pioneered long ago by Tadich. If you visit San Francisco, you will enjoy a delicious and colorful meal there. I have never been disappointed.

Thomas Lifson  9 29 05