Last night found Puff and I at Bix, because we felt like going out to eat some glorious food. And also because I wanted to test out OpenTable. I must say, Bix is a fun place to be…it feels sort of like stepping into a classy speakeasy, with soaring ceilings, tables upstairs and down, fun art, and great music. The decor and the atmosphere were both really great.

We started our meal with tuna tartare and firey shrimp. Both were excellent—the shrimp came with an aioli dipping sauce that somehow managed to be light and lemony instead of greasy and overpowering. The tuna was cool, melt in your mouth soft, on small crusty toasts that crumbled away to allow the tuna to tumble down.

Puff followed with an arugala salad that had shavings of Pecorino and Asian pear. It was studded with pine nuts and presented with a very mild dressing that allowed the flavour of the ingredients to come through really nicely. The cheese was soft and creamy, and paired with the crunchy pear beautifully.

I followed with dungeness spaghetti in a lobster cream sauce. Dangerously rich, it also was filled with spicy and caramelized notes that caused me to keep squirreling about on the plate with my spoon in search of more. Puff had sauteed Alaskan char on a on a bed of greens and roasted potatoes.

All in all, our meal was quite excellent, although it was marred by poor service. In the beginning, we have a very attentive and together waiter, but I think he may have had a few too many tables because after the entrees came up he just disappeared and was nowhere to be found. Puff and I were left staring at our dirty plates for awhile until a busser grabbed them, and then we stared at an empty table for quite awhile before dessert menus appeared. This seems to be a common problem for me with service in the City…either there’s something about me that demands poor service, or poor service is the par in San Francisco restaurants.

I would say that the food was superb: they used a lot of great flavors, and we had a struggle deciding what to order because everything looked so delicious. Alas, the service kind of marred the experience for me—I’m going to be charitable and assume it’s not always like that, and I have a sense that we will be going again so I can test this theory out for myself.

The Maitre d’, however, was excellent. His impeccable service and superb manners were a pleasure to experience. Likewise with the bar staff, who were kind, attentive, and informative. It seems like it would be a fun place to spend the evening sipping on a glass of something and nibbling at dainties. Yes.