When people ask me what my favorite restaurant in the city is, I say hands down Liholiho Yacht Club. I love absolutely everything about this restaurant. Not only is the food top notch, the entire experience is worth writing about. I have been to this restaurant 4 times in the last 3 years, and it never fails to disappoint.
I was lucky enough to get a reservation here on a Friday night. They are always booked up a month in advance, so I actually stayed up til 12am and waited until the next wave of reservations were released. Sounds crazy but it works every time! When my friend and I arrived at the restaurant, we were greeted with the din of a full dining room and the sounds of a working kitchen. The decor is one of my favorite parts of this restaurant. Bright blue tiles line the floor and the open kitchen is a happy yellow color. It just adds to the whole feeling of the place.
Everything from the decor to the food revolves around family. In fact, the name of the restaurant comes from the chef’s Hawaiian upbringing. In the 80’s, a group of “uncles” would host pop up parties on the beach with food and music to fund an activity called “Hobie Cats”. They named this gathering the Liholiho Yacht Club after the street they lived on – Liholiho.
The menu is a great collection of Asian fusion dishes. My friend and I were a little overly ambitious, so we ordered 4 dishes between the two of us. We ordered the Spam Misubi, Manila Clams in Coconut Curry, Roasted Octopus with Curried Raisins and Butterball Potatoes, and the Tuna Poke. We were so stuffed afterwards. All the dishes were on point. The words that come to mind when I think about these dishes are: flavorful, balanced, orgasmic, and homey. All the dishes on the menu are made to share family style which allows guests to sample a good portion of the menu. Other menu items I’ve had and loved are the Duck Liver Toast, Beef Tongue, and Fried Rice with Bay Shrimp. This family style of eating is something I love because it reminds me of dinner time with my family.
For dessert, I had the Instagram famous Baked Hawaii. It is a Hawaiian twist on the classic Baked Alaska. This dessert is composed of pineapple ice cream on a vanilla chiffon, all wrapped up in a bee hive shaped meringue. Out of the 4 times I’ve been here, I’ve had this dessert 3 times. I even refused to share it one time. To me, this is THE BEST dessert of all time. It is everything a dessert should be. It’s whimsical. It’s tasty. It’s unique. It looks like a work of art. It puts a smile on your face when you eat it. I don’t even know what else is on the dessert menu because I never get past the first line. If there is a thing you must get here, it’s this dessert.
Liholiho Yacht Club
871 Sutter St
San Francisco, CA 94109
Price Range: $10-$90