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The Rotunda Restaurant Review

The Rotunda Restaurant Review | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Hello there.  It’s been awhile since we had a restaurant review on Just One Cookbook.  We want to share with you today one of the restaurants we enjoy around Union Square, The Rotunda.

When Nami and I were dating, we used to go to downtown San Francisco about once a week for dining and walking around.  Near downtown Union Square, there are many restaurant choices and you could almost find any food you are in the mood for.  One of our favorite restaurants in Union Square is The Rotunda located on the 4th floor of Neiman Marcus.

The Rotunda

On Mother’s Day, we celebrated with our friends and their family by going to the Rotunda for lunch.  We had made the reservation many weeks prior and were promptly seated when we arrived.  Children were provided a fabulous coloring book and crayons.  I was surprised on the last page of the children coloring book, Neiman Marcus actually shares their delicious popover recipe.

Neiman Marcus Coloring Book

The meal started with a savory shot of consommé and cheese puff pastry.  The consommé is very rich with the perfect amount of flavoring and definitely leaves you wanting another shot.

chicken consommé the rotunda

After the consommé, we were served the popover and strawberry butter.  The popovers were a crowd favorite and kids absolutely loved the strawberry butter.  See recipe here.

Popover neiman marcus the rotunda

Since there were a few of us, we were able to order a variety of our favorite dishes, including soup, salad, and main courses.  The soup we had was lobster bisque with crème fraîche, chives, and lemon oil.  The tasty creamy soup is filled with sweet lobster essence.  It’s a bit on the heavy side so I recommend sharing it with another person.

lobster bisque with crème fraîche the rotunda

The seared miso scallop salad with marinated shimeji mushrooms, cucumber, carrots, wakame, in yuzu-soy vinaigrette was very refreshing.  The generous serving of scallops were seared just right and the light dressing didn’t cover up the flavors from rest of the ingredients.

Seared Miso Sea Scallop Salad

The only disappointing appetizer we had was the lobster egg rolls which is usually superb.  Not sure if it was Mother’s Day and the restaurant was extra crowded, but the egg rolls feels like it’s been sitting there for a while.  The egg rolls contains Maine lobster, glass noodles, tree ear mushrooms, and bean sprouts served with a sweet chili sauce dip.

Lobster eggroll the rotunda

The overall food presentation that day was not as great as they usually are plated.  The children shared a burger and grilled chicken.  The burger was juicy and loved while there were plenty of leftover chicken.

Grilled chicken breast the rotunda

For the main course, we shared achiote and lime marinated flat iron steak sandwich, two orders of lobster club, and grilled filet mignon.  The lobster club is one of the primary reason we went there, the applewood smoked bacon, avocado, arugula, and lemon aïoli served on a toasted brioche is amazingly good.  The presentation subpar but tasted just as great as before.

Lobster Club The Rotunda

Both the filet and the flat iron steak sandwich were average and I would recommend trying something else on the menu instead if you are there.  The filet was tender but not very flavorful, it was served with heirloom tomatos, grilled artichokes, and chimichurri on the side.

Filet Mignon Medallion Rotunda

We were too full for the dessert but couldn’t resist the special Mother’s Day complimentary chocolate from the Rotunda.

The Rotunda Mother's Day Chocolate

Overall, it was a fun experience for us celebrating Mother’s Day with our friends and children in the city.  Even though the food presentation isn’t as good as it usually is, the service was great.  Our server was very attentive to all our needs even though it was a super busy day.  We’ll come back to Rotunda again to enjoy our favorite lobster club and popovers, but definitely not a busy holiday.

Posted in: Reviews

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  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) June 20, 2013, 9:14 pm

    Last year I had lunch at the Rotunda for my grandma’s 85th birthday. It was so fun to dine by the window and take in the views. I think the popovers alone are worth a visit! :)

  • CCU June 20, 2013, 9:49 pm

    What a perfect celebration time my friend :D
    Love this review!


  • A_Boleyn June 20, 2013, 10:03 pm

    The Rotunda looks like a very elegant place for a date and a Mother’s Day Celebration.

    Your party enjoyed a delicious assortment of dishes especially that lobster bisque and the seared miso scallop salad. Although the lobster egg rolls sound great as well even if they weren’t too fresh on that day. I just had a lobster for supper today and can’t wait to go and order an couple more … maybe I’ll make some egg rolls as they’re something I’ve always wanted to try.

  • Eha June 20, 2013, 10:34 pm

    Hello and a big ‘thank you’ to someone across the Pond as to what to expect from a SF restaurant currently! Clear, concise, fun :) ! Lovely surroundings! Great that children were acknowledged and catered for . . . Hmm, the food to me seems somewhat a mixed bag . . . perchance I’m simply not ‘into’ sandwiches’, however good, at a celebratory lunch!! Actually the scallop salad was the only one which would have made my tastebuds tremble in anticipation . . . Trust you had a wonderful time nevertheless . . . :) !

    • Nami June 30, 2013, 6:17 am

      Hi Eha! Oh the scallop salad was wonderful! I try to copy the same salad and I still need to tweak a little bit to finalize the dressing. :D Thanks so much for your kind comment! xo

  • Denise Browning@From Brazil To You June 20, 2013, 10:42 pm

    Wow!!! What a gorgeous building…So elegant! — and all dishes look great. I wish I still live in the Bay area to have a meal at the Rotunda.

  • Mandy - The Complete Cook Book June 21, 2013, 12:34 am

    What a fantastic restaurant – I can only imagine how incredible the presentation of the food must be on a less busy day – I’m sure they were extra busy with it being Mother’s Day.
    :-) Mandy xo

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef June 21, 2013, 3:37 am

    What a pretty restaurant! All that food makes me hungry. :) Thanks for a peek into your life.

  • The Ninja Baker June 21, 2013, 4:10 am

    Definitely putting the Rotunda on my list of restaurants to visit next time I’m in the San Francisco area. Believe the stop might be worth it just to get the popover recipe =) And the miso scallop salad does look very tasty….Glad Nami-san was treated to a beautiful Mother’s Day =)

  • Marta @ What Should I eat for breakfast today June 21, 2013, 4:27 am

    It was one honest review. The next time I am in San Francisco, I’ll check this out and will definitely follow your recomendations.

  • Kimmi June 21, 2013, 6:01 am

    Thanks for sharing the review and the food photos! The salad looks really delicious, and it looks like a great summer-y choice as well. And that special piece of chocolate looks so cute. =) Good luck, Nami, with the preparations for your trip to Japan!

    • Nami July 15, 2013, 6:04 pm

      Hi Kimmi! Sorry I just found this message in my inbox which I haven’t responded. Thanks for your kind feedback. I’m enjoying our stay in Japan. Hope you are having a great summer so far too! :)

  • Elizabeth @Mango_Queen June 21, 2013, 6:18 am

    What a great restaurant review and I’ll be sure to take note of your suggestions next time we go. Thanks for sharing this! Nami, I shall miss you during the summer but I look forward to your updates from Japan (oooh wish I was going, too!) Enjoy and safe travels :-)

  • Kristy June 21, 2013, 6:33 am

    This looks delicious!!!! And your photos are just gorgeous. Neiman Marcus should hire you for their menu! :) I love how bright the restaurant is too. Looks like a great place to dine. Hope you all are enjoying the start of summer. :)

  • Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking June 21, 2013, 6:55 am

    What a gorgeous restaurant this is and a treat to share this place as a memory with Nami! Thank you for sharing this review, Shen. It was very interesting and next time I’m in San Fran, I’ll have to stop in.

  • Kate@Diethood June 21, 2013, 7:43 am

    Beautiful place! The food looks SO! good!

  • john@kitchenriffs June 21, 2013, 8:17 am

    It’s been awhile since I’ve been in a Neiman Marcus restaurant, but their popovers and strawberry butter are worth the trip. Sounds like you had a great time even though the food wasn’t all that it could have been – that must have been a bit disappointing. But I’m sure the company of your family and good friends more than made up for that! Good review – thanks.

  • Sissi June 21, 2013, 11:07 am

    Excellent review! And so sincere too. Everything looks so gorgeous… pity the food wasn’t perfect, but kind gestures and perfect service must have made your meal much more enjoyable. The scallop salad looks amazing.

  • Kelly June 21, 2013, 11:22 am

    Wow, what a great review! Looks like a great place to celebrate Mother’s Day – very elegant and the dishes look great!

  • Ash- foodfashionparty June 21, 2013, 11:36 am

    Glad you had fun on Mother’s day. We love the city, especially hanging out in the Union Square watching people walk by. San Francisco might be one of the most diverse cities in the world, and the food is great. I haven’t been to the Rotunda, thanks for the review, will go on our next drive up to the city. Thanks Nami.

  • Ramona June 21, 2013, 3:00 pm

    What a fantastic meal!! I would have loved to enjoy mother’s day there. :)

  • Anne ~ Uni Homemaker June 21, 2013, 8:50 pm

    I hear fabulous things about the Rotunda and now I must go. Everything sounds and looks delicious! Have a great weekend!

  • Hotly Spiced June 22, 2013, 3:18 am

    Going to a restaurant on a super-busy day can be an issue. What a shame it was a bit ‘hit and miss’. But it sure does look like it’s in a very lovely setting and I’m so glad the children were so well catered for – I’d like one of those colouring in books! I love the look of the chocolate too xx

  • Sandra June 22, 2013, 1:09 pm

    Love your reviews and it would be so nice to have this caliber of restaurant here.

  • sippitysup June 22, 2013, 2:47 pm

    You know not that long ago I was walking around Union Sq with my partner. We went into NM around lunch and stumbled upon this place. We had no reservations so I’ll at least say that. But we asked for a table they said yes, 10 minutes. We waited 1/2 an hour and left. Now I regret our decision. I bet we were seconds away from a meal like this. GREG

  • Asmita June 22, 2013, 5:41 pm

    This looks like an amazing place to dine at. Perfect way to celebrate Mother’s day!

  • Julie @ This Gal Cooks June 22, 2013, 7:41 pm

    This restaurant looks absolutely amazing! A wonderful place for a Mother’s Day celebration!

  • yummychunklet June 22, 2013, 8:06 pm

    Everything looks so delicious!

  • Raymund June 23, 2013, 1:48 am

    Thats a really nice meal you have, even me I would be full with all of those.

  • Fern @ To Food with Love June 23, 2013, 4:23 am

    The place looks spectacular! What a lovely place for Mother’s day lunch. Love the cute colouring book. Food looks fabulous!

  • Mi Vida en un Dulce June 23, 2013, 5:47 am

    I never be in San Francisco, the times I had opportunity to go the West side I was on San Diego or Seattle. But I always want to know SF, I love places near the Ocean Pacific. And if we can have food like this, in a lovely place,well…I need to start making plan ;)

  • Priscilla | ShesCookin June 23, 2013, 8:20 am

    The grand architecture of the Rotunda reminds me of the lobby restaurant at The Peninsula in Hong Kong where they serve their famous High Tea. I would definitely go there for the lobster club and popovers – I remember when Nami posted those beauties. We generally don’t go out on Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day – it’s just too busy. Enjoy your visit to Japan, look forward to reading about your travels :)

  • mjskit June 23, 2013, 10:28 am

    Sounds like a great place to celebrate Mother’s Day or any day for that matter! Consomme and cheese biscuit – now that is a very interesting starter. That popover is incredible! I can see why it was a big hit with the kids as well as everyone else I’m sure. I’m drooling at the lobster club! What a great looking sandwich and how can it not be good with lobster, bacon AND avocado! Great review Shen!

  • Judit + Corina @WineDineDaily June 25, 2013, 2:00 pm

    Love your review and all that beautiful food makes us want to hope in the car and drive up to San Francisco for dinner!

  • Sandra | Sandra's Easy Cooking June 25, 2013, 2:03 pm

    Shen, one more great review! Restaurant looks gorgeous, and I am sure the food was tasty too.
    Thank you for sharing your inside story and have a great week!

  • nipponnin July 9, 2013, 12:13 pm

    Rotunda looks like fabulous place to eat. Foods looks wonderful, how did you take such great photos inside restaurant? I will keep this restaurant in mind when I visit San Francisco next time.