July 27, 2013
By Amy Powell
Positioned on the bustling corner of Folsom & 8th Street in San Francisco, Citizen’s Band is not only highly visible to foot and car traffic, it neighbors two local nightclubs – the Cat Club and the F8 Lounge. Boasting a moderate industrial atmosphere, and tiny (only 1,200 square feet) space, Citizen’s Band has a fresh face, cozy feel, and local esteem.
On a Friday night, I was lucky to get one seat at the frequented “seat yourself” counter. If parties of two or more did not have a reservation, they were in for a wait (30 – 45 minutes at least). Despite the crowd, I was greeted quickly by the night’s manager, seated, and served silverware, a full glass bottle of water, and an eco-friendly, double-sided dinner menu.
The menu featured an equal amount of savory American diner-style plates (fried chicken, macaroni & cheese, grilled burger) and flavorful vegetarian selections (kale salad, padron peppers, daily vegetarian special). Each of Citizen’s Band’s plates provided a yummy-something for every palette. Portions were generous, and each plate was complimented by an exciting, artistically placed addition – a tower of onion rings atop the mac & cheese, an asparagus bridge next to the Caesar salad, and a melting stack of “12K” (everything you’d ever want, if you were daring enough to order it) on your Kobe beef burger.
I ordered the “Asparagus Caesar Salad” and “Padron Peppers” appetizer, paired with a chilled glass of NV Prosecco Bel Casel from Italy. As my server cracked open a fresh bottle of Prosecco, the two-man chef team acknowledged my order for a brief second as they seamlessly prepped, steamed, grilled, fried, and plated dish after dish in their open, back-corner kitchen.
As my appetizers arrived, the manager motioned to one of the three parties patiently waiting at the front door. While she showed them to the “community-table,” without missing a beat, my server quickly filled a bottle with water, grabbed four glasses and delivered them to the new diners. He was then quickly back in the kitchen to help carry hot food to a table across the room. The quality of service and attentiveness of staff was impeccable. My appetizers were unique, flavorful, and portioned to perfection. And the prices were moderate.
Before I could ask for my bill, my server was printing and dropping my check in front of me alongside two homemade mini sugar cookies. Delicious. I left the restaurant with a full belly and a satisfied palette – tastes of salt, sugar, hot peppers and cool Prosecco lingered on my tongue. Next time, I’ll order the burger (all “12K” of it)!