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Walnut Creek Magazine

SF’s Chambers eat + drink: Good Vibes, Great Brunch

Jan 03, 2018 11:18AM ● By Fran Miller

BY: FRAN ENDICOTT MILLER

It’s natural to raise an eyebrow when pinpointing the location of Chambers eat + drink. Situated within the hip Phoenix Hotel at the corner at Eddy and Larkin Streets in the heart of the Tenderloin, the restaurant and lounge might not come first to mind when planning weekend brunch. But to discount the venue due to its gritty locale would be a mistake…a big one. Executive Chef Yosuke Machida recently rolled out a new brunch menu with items that make the trek worthwhile. And if the new Japanese Style Croquette Burger with katsu sauce, aioli, sliced cabbage, brioche, and pickled ginger doesn’t do it for you, the poolside dining definitely will.

A literal oasis within the urban jungle, Chambers offers the only poolside dining in San Francisco. Whether seated inside or outside on the patio, the famed Phoenix pool sparkles as a retro centerpiece visible only to hotel guests or Chambers’ diners and imbibers. The restaurant’s unidealized exterior belies its sultry interior – dimly lit and lined with nearly 7,000 vintage vinyl albums in homage to the hotel’s rich rock and roll past. (For nearly 25 years, the Phoenix has played host to emerging bands and established acts, including the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Pearl Jam.) The collection can’t help but induce trips down memory lane and is alone worth a peek inside. Roberta Flack, Leonard Cohen, Hall & Oates, Chicago – peruse and find your favorite. Further design elements feature a midcentury modern aesthetic with loveseats upholstered in a lumberjack print, an oversized leather banquette, and a courtyard fire fountain. Two bars flank the dining room.

Huevos Rancheros

But back to the food. Chef Machida, formerly of Ame at the St. Regis Hotel, brings a Japanese twist to globally inspired California cuisine with his creation of surprising flavors. Making frequent use of gochujang sauce, seaweed chips, nori, shisho and yuzu-soy sauce, he continues to elevate the dishes at Chambers, and his new brunch menu is no exception. The Soufflé Pancake is a delicious, 35-minute creation utilizing apple chutney and maple ice cream. The Albacore Tuna Poke Bowl features sushi rice, wasabi, tobiko, avocado, seaweed, sesame seeds and shiso. The aforementioned burger is like none other – ground wagyu beef and ground pork belly combined and then deep fried into a large croquette. It’s crazy delicious. The plentiful Huevos Rancheros with two sunny side up eggs, crème fraiche, black beans, queso fresco, red and green salsas, fried corn tortilla, and Yukon potatoes can be topped off with slices of perfectly ripe avocado.

Caress Me Down and Garden Grove

A full bar menu features traditional brunch libations such as the House Bloody and varied mimosas, domestic and international wines, various premium beers, as well as creative craft cocktails such as the Caress Me Down (gin, lemon, blackberries, cassis, and egg white) or the Garden Grove (vodka, cucumber, lemon, mint, and sparkling wine). Service in both bars and in the dining room is unpretentious, friendly, and welcoming.

Chambers eat + drink is a quick – and ‘colorful’ - walk from the Civic Center Bart station. But for those who prefer a black and white arrival, parking is available for a small fee in a lot right outside the front door.

Chambers eat + drink: 601 Eddy St., San Francisco

(415) 496-5178

Tuesday-Thursday: Bar, 5pm-close / Dinner, 5:30-11pm Friday: Bar, 5pm-2am / Dinner, 5:30-11pm / Late Night Dining 11pm-1amSaturday: Brunch, 10:30-2:30pm / Bar, 5:30pm-2am / Dinner, 6-11pm / Late Night Dining, 11pm-1am  Sunday: Brunch, 10:30am-2:30pm