Loved despite her flaws

Posted by Anita on 08.01.06 7:40 AM

Last night after work, we interviewed Architect #3 for the kitchen/bath/laundry remodel (more about that later, and elsewhere). At the end of the meeting, we realized that it was already almost 9pm, and we really had no desire to cook, or to wait around for food to be delivered. We originally were going to go to Valentina, but when we got there, there were only 2 tables occupied, and both of them looked to be near the end of their meals. Not wanting to incur the wrath of the waitstaff — or eat in an empty restaurant — we turned back down Cortland and headed to Chez Maman.

We’ve ended up making Chez M. our default on the hill. The food rates 3 stars, maybe even 2 on a bad day. But the manager, Olivier, is such a sweetheart, and the ambiance is so appealing that you can’t help but be won over. (We haven’t seen Monsieur O. lately, but a co-worker who eats there even more often then we do says we must be going on the wrong nights…) I’m a sucker for their hachis parmentier — who doesn’t love shepherd’s pie with a french accent? — and their croque monsieur. Neither one of them are life-changing, or even worth a drive across town, but that’s beside the point.

It’s maddening when they send out a crepe with the cheese still cold and unmelted in the center, or a salad missing one of its key ingredients. But, on the other hand, at these prices I’m willing to put up with missteps in the kitchen; I just wish they were more of an exception than a rule. They always make it right…. eventually. And you have to love a place that’s open nonstop from coffee through nightcaps.

Every neighborhood needs a bistro, and I’m glad that Chez Maman is ours.

Chez Maman
803 Cortland Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94110
415.824.2674

Bernal, restaurants
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