San Francisco: Fresca

A Napa day wasn't enough to celebrate my precious T's 26th birthday.  Oh, no ho ho.  She had to have a birthday weekend too.  Which is how I ended up in SF on a Friday night at Fresca:


The place was packed, but T had reservations for her near and dearest (aka me...and some other peeps):


With 7 of us squeezed into a table, we ordered quite a bit of food.  First came the plantain chips:


Which went well with the itty bitty servings of ceviche tastings:


Itty bitty.  There's no other way to describe it.  With the help of our server, we picked three ceviches: ceviche ¡pasion!, ceviche de coco, and ceviche chifa.

My least favorite was the ceviche ¡pasion!, which came with salmon, passion fruit, red onion, yellow pepper, cilantro and purple corn.  Way too sour.  The ceviche de coco was interesting with its ahi tuna, lime, coconut juice, rocoto, green onions, and purple corn.  The ceviche chifa wasn't too bad either.  It consisted of ahyi tuna, soy, crisp wonton, avocado, sesame seeds, peanuts, aji, and lime.  As filler, we got black beans and yam.

T is a paella monster, so of course we had to order some to appease the birthday girl:


Lots of seafood (mussels, clams, shrimp, calamari, fish, and scallops), but it was kinda mediocre to me.

The lomo saltado or wok fried tenderloin steak strips with onion, tomato, cilantro, soy, french fries, and jasmine rice was a bit better:


But the best had to be the aji de gallina or pulled chicken stew:


The stew itself was creamy from the aji amarillo cream and yukon potatoes. It was topped with walnuts and a hard-boiled egg.  And also came with jasmine rice.  So good.  Probably the only thing I would recommend ordering at Fresca.

No birthday dinner can be complete without dessert.  Or two.

We got the tres leches cake:


The only enjoyable part of that plate was the scoop of dulce de leche ice cream.  The cake itself was bitter from too much alcohol.  I didn't even know there was alcohol in tres leches cake.  Blech.

The picarones or Peruvian beignets weren't much better:


A little too hard to be pleasant and the honey citrus syrup had a strange bitter tinge to it.

In my humble opinion, Fresca was just...okay.  The food was easily eclipsed by the company.  Then again, we were a pretty spectacular group.

Happy birthday, T!


Fresca
2114 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 447-2668
http://www.frescasf.com/fillmore/

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