Perry’s on Magnolia fails to offer same quality as other locations

Catherine Conrow

Perry’s San Francisco has opened its newest semi-casual dining restaurant, Perry’s on Magnolia, which offers traditional American cuisine in a loud atmosphere.

The Bay Area chain has already proved itself to be popular at its other locations (Union Street, the Embarcadero, the Design Center, and SFO), and the restaurant once again delivers good food at a reasonable price. However, service at the new location falls far behind that of the popular Union Street restaurant. 

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Upon arrival at Perry’s, our table was not ready and we were asked to wait. However, there was no waiting area, so we were forced to stand at the front of the restaurant for an uncomfortable 10 minutes. Once seated, we had to wait an additional five minutes for our server to come to our table, and service remained slow for the rest of the night.

For $14.95, the traditional cobb salad was large enough to be an entree and was served with chicken, bacon, avocado, egg, blue cheese, and a red wine vinaigrette. However, the salad ultimately lacked flavor and freshness, and the salad dressing tasted like it was pre-made.

Despite the poor service and bland salad, the other entrees were tasty and the portions were generous.

Starters range from $8.25 to $13.95 and were large enough to share. The grilled artichoke with lemon aioli ($9.95) was moist and full of flavor, as were the unique-yet-tasty baked potato skins ($10.95), which were served with bacon, white cheddar, scallions, and spicy ranch dressing.

For $12.95, Perry’s delicious signature burger impressed with its heartiness. Bacon and avocado were available for an additional $2 and cheese for $1. Perry’s also offers a veggie burger ($10.95), which is made with barley, oats, caramelized onions, mushrooms, olives, garbanzos, and raisins.

Despite little seasoning, Perry’s salmon tasted very fresh and tender. The fish was served with potatoes and kale, which paired nicely with the subtle flavors of the fish. The portions were large enough for leftovers, and made up for the $19.95 price tag.

However, the restaurant was too loud and not well suited for family-style dining. We were the only people in the restaurant having dinner, and the rest of our fellow guests sat at the large sports bar that runs through the restaurant. The noise from the bar’s energetic crowd made casual conversation difficult.

Although the restaurant was crowded and very loud, the traditional architecture of the former inn was very welcoming and balanced the design of the newly expanded bar.

This historic building was most recently home to The Tavern at Lark Creek (previously known as Lark Creek Inn), but had been shut down after a fire broke out at the building in late March.

The new restaurant includes a private dining room located upstairs, and offers lunch on its serene patio.

Perry’s on Magnolia is a welcome addition to the dining scene of downtown Larkspur but the pricy menu and loud atmosphere make it better suited for an adult night out than a casual meal with friends.