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Foreign Cinema

Restaurant Review

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Foreign Cinema is a very unique restaurant where foreign films are shown on the side of a building during dinner. The restaurant was rated "best new" by multiple newspapers in San Francisco so expectations were high for our meal. There are two seating areas -- one outside in the film area's courtyard; and one inside like a normal restaurant. You enter the restaurant through stainless steel doors with round windows. Once inside, you walk down a long hallway lit by candles. Foreign films are shown during dinner, but it is very difficult to watch because you are not necessarily seated facing the screen which is the back of another building. If you are seated inside, you really can't see the movie. In a way for many diners, the film is "background noise / ambiance."

I had the herb crusted chicken breast with garlic mashed potatoes. There was a lot of mustard seeds embedded between the chicken and its skin which made the chicken very flavorful. It was also served with a brown sauce that enhanced the chicken's flavor. The garlic mashed potatoes were quite good. There were actually pieces of roasted garlic on top of the mashed potatoes.

My guest dined on a fresh trout almondine that was quite good. The trout was covered with almonds and a butter sauce and filled with chopped kale. Underneath were four (very small) slices of fried potatos.

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I also had the side of sauteed spinach which did not have a whole lot of flavor nor did it seem sauteed due to the fact that it was not oily. It almost seemed like the spinach was just blanched and served immediately without any spices added to it.

The service was somewhat aloof, but professional. I felt at times that our waiter was more interested in watching the movie rather than attending to us. He did not come around once to ask if our dinner was okay or if we needed anything else.

If you plan to come to Foreign Cinema and have dinner, make sure that you leave plenty of time. I thought that service was particularly slow.

For dessert, we had the apple cranberry crisp a la mode. It was good but not excellent. The crisp was topped with almonds and streusel topping then baked. The ice cream accompanied the crisp but I thought they could have used a bigger scoop.

I had very high expectations of Foreign Cinema since it has been reviewed as "Best New" by several other newspapers and websites. Foreign Cinema did not meet my expectations after having read so many wonderful reviews. The atmosphere was great but the food was not incredible. I would say the restaurant's ambience is VERY romantic for a date...

Our meals were a total of about $36 each including entree, shared salad, shared side dish, a drink, and shared dessert. Our Underground Rating is a "B".

2534 Mission Street Between 21st and 22nd Street 415-648-7600

Tue-Sat. 6pm-2am Sunday 11am-2am

Reservations Strongly Encouraged - Very Popular...

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