Lure

We have been meaning to visit Lure ever since San Francisco Magazine gave it an "excellent" opening review. Maybe it was all those months of having the idea of such addictive seafood in the back of my head, but the reality disappointed. It's a bit hard to squeeze through the door of this matchbox-sized restaurant--if only they would move the host's station back a foot!--but the atmosphere away from the overly-lit bar is dark and soothing. The service was a bit thrown-off at the beginning when we asked for a starter for the table while we considered the menu, but things improved from there. The food itself had some unusual ingredients and pairings and good attention to detail, but it failed to leave a lasting impression. The big eye tuna and hamachi in the raw tasting were both good quality fish slightly overshadowed by their dressings; the ono struck me as a bit off. The chicory salad was one of the favorites of the night. The four seafood entrees our table ordered were equally matched: good enough to finish, but unremarkable. Lure clearly has its sites set on creating a "fine dining experience" with an amuse bouche (two small papadum wafers with a spicy mint sauce) and complementary sweets at the end (peanut brittle shards and tasty chocolate-covered malt balls), but it has a ways to go in any direction.Lure204-A 2nd Avenue at S. Ellsworth Avenue, San Mateo, California650.340.9040Reservations on OpenTable

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Explanation of ratings

Attire: Subtly clubby-cool, but still San Mateo. Think hipster jeans and top. I wore funky slacks and a sweater and was not out of place.