By Wyatt Mathers
The busy streets of San Francisco can be a daunting environment for those who find themselves hungry. The city has many restaurants that can present a nightmare to those who don’t know what is good or not. On the other hand, the city has a plethora of gems that offer their customers the finest cuisine on a daily basis. On the intersection of Haight and Shrader lies one of these restaurants, The Citrus Club.
My mother and I headed down to this famous street, in the hopes of critiquing their selection of meals. On arrival, we noticed that a festival had been going on, and soon found that there was no parking. After a long and tedious 30 minutes of searching, we finally came across a spot nearly half a mile away.
Upon entering the establishment, we also noticed the intensive amount of people who had also decided to dine there. Though the place was packed, and it felt as if there were no seats, we were promptly shown to our table within moments of arriving. The staff was kind and quick as they attended to our every need with perfect etiquette.
After ordering our meals, we talked together and even with some of the people sitting around us. “It’s like a well oiled machine,” commented the man sitting next to us. “Everything on the menu is great,” stated his friend. Before we could further discuss, our appetizers had already arrived.
We had decided to order the Vietnamese spring rolls and the garlic edamame. Both came in generous amounts, with the edamame piled on top of the plate. The spring rolls were crunchy with a minty aftertaste, leaving your mouth with a clean and refreshed sensation. When mixed with the peanut sauce that came with it, it delivered a nutty and savory surprise with every bite. My one concern, was that alone, the spring rolls were a bit bland, and it became apparent that they relied more on the peanut sauce than its other ingredients. As for the edamame, the garlic flavor was sharp, and it mixed well with the edamame pods. I found myself going back to it for more and more, entranced by its taste.
A few moments after we finished our appetizers, the waitress came back with our entrees. In one hand she held the pho-ga soup, and in the other, our Shanghai noodles. The pho-ga had light rice noodles bathed in a chicken broth, accompanied by sprouts and thai basil. The problem was that the soup seemed very dull, and left me wanting more of a kick with every bite. We added the extra sauce leftover from the edamame in hopes of adding flavor, but only produced minor results. Yet the Shanghai noodles proved to be the complete opposite experience. The noodles were very savory, keeping my mouth watering after the first taste. The tofu and beef were soft and juicy. To top it all off, the bok choy that laced the dish gave the entire concoction a cool crunch that contrasted the rest of the dish. I was filled and satisfied after eating it.
We finished our meal by having macaron ice cream for dessert. The taste was astonishing; just the right amount of sweet, with a helping mix of creaminess to coat it over. The macaron added a smooth bite as you began to chew and fully savor the chilling sensation of the ice cream.
From the atmosphere to food, the Citrus Club was a hit. The staff ran the shop with such precision and care, that even coming on crowded days felt calm and relaxing. The food was fairly priced (about $20 per person for appetizer, entree, and dessert) and tasted better than I first expected. Though some dishes are not as flavorful as others, the entire menu pieces itself together quite nicely.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars