Foodie Chap Gets Back To Dining In San Francisco

Liam Mayclem
June 17, 2020 - 2:37 pm
Liam ventures out in San Francisco for the first time in three months.

Liam Mayclem/KCBS Radio

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Not in my lifetime did I imagine the sight of masked, gloved servers and sanitizer stations would warm the cockles of my heart when visiting a restaurant but that was the case last night as I ventured out for my first dining experience in San Francisco in three months. 

I was apprehensive about doing something that was once upon a (pre-COVID-19) time was second nature. There are lots of questions:

Will it be safe?
What do I touch and not touch?
Am I putting my fellow diners at risk?

The VAULT GARDEN, a 100-seater Al fresco dining experience at 555 California St. answered all my questions and offered the perfect setting and experience for someone thinking about how to eat out "SAFELY" during COVID-19. The tables were widely spaced with ample room in between, servers kept their distance but were present and close enough when needed. Within minutes I was at ease and this experience that felt new was like putting on a comfy old shoe. It felt safe.

Liam ventures out in San Francisco for the first time in three months.
Liam Mayclem/KCBS Radio

It was also lovely to see a few familiar faces across the garden, fellow foodies & friends enjoying a meal at a restaurant “almost” like the good old days!

The food truly stars.

We started out with oysters and the Caviar.Co trout roe on latke tots with creme fraise.

Yummy!

The lemon pepper fried calamari was a hit. For my main: fried chicken on an English muffin with a friend egg & arugula. Wow. A tasty sweet ending came in the form of a chocolate layer cake and tiramisu trifle.

Thank god for stretchy pants.

Delish crafted cocktails by AttaGirl Hospitality.

Other things that make this spot a safe spot for diners: The paper menu was disposable & the wine list accessible via bar code, all things limiting the human touch by any or multiple people. The Hi-Neighbor Hospitality Group are behind there project with Ryan Cole leading front of house & Exec Chef Robin Song on the line. From concept to execution in three weeks is nothing short of impressive.

The VAULT GARDEN should satisfy any nervous diners with an appetite for good health & safety coupled with an appetite for killer cocktails and knockout cuisine with warm, attentive service. Reserve a spot soon for word is out that there’s something tasty & special & safe happening here.

Oh, did I mention the wall of surround sound that pumps but does not pound throughout service. Four stars for ambiance & one extra for the five-star smiles in the eyes of the masked servers who greet and serve you. I will return to this new San Francisco dining spot for lunch or dinner soon...if I can get a reservation!