Thursday, February 18, 2010

I am all about the deals around town. Why not spend smart? I love to eat good food, try out new places, and without breaking the bank. Ms. Lin had planned out a night of Happy Hour-ing around town. We were flexible on time and the night was young. Our first stop was Circolo. They offer Happy Hour Tuesday – Friday from 5 to 7 PM in the bar and lounge area only. It had been raining on and off but that cannot stop us. Parking was not too hard since it was early and Circolo is located a ways away from the crowds. It was definitely the most happening place around that area. Since we were only there for Happy Hour, we just sat down around the lounge area. The place is very dimly lit like a club. There was a very hip and posh feel as we can look through beaded slits into the dining area where the kitchen is clearly visible. Our server was very friendly. We started the night off with some drinks. As many of you know, I don’t like to drink alcohol but I thought it would be nice to start off the night with a bang. They had a few drinks on the list. I wanted to try their mmmmmmojito! for $7 because they offered some interesting fruit flavors. Sadly they didn’t have the guava anymore and I decided to go with the Lychee flavor as a safe choice. Ms. Lin chose the Leblon Calpirinha’s Lychee. At first I thought we were going to share the drink so I was a bit caught off guard that she ordered a drink since I would not be able to finish it. If you like strong alcoholic drinks, then this is the right place for you. The HH price was definitely worth it for the potency. At least you know they aren’t skimping on you, although… sadly I wished they did. lol Still, I recommend them for their drinks. To make things easier for our server, not because we are greedy O=), we told her that we wanted one of everything on the HH menu except the oysters. They offer Chilled Oysters with Margarita Ice for $1 each. What a great deal! The oysters were big and had a good amount of Margarita Ice on top. This has been a popular new trend to add more unique flavors and a twist to your everyday oyster. If you are looking for delicious oysters and variety, then you need to check out Hog Island at the Ferry Building. If you are looking for oysters at a good price and to try something new, then Circolo’s HH would be just right for you. The Orange-Chipotle Glazed Pork Ribs weren’t bad, $5 for 6 pieces. I couldn’t really taste the Chipotle flavor. It reminded me of Peking Pork Chop that most Cantonese restaurants serve. Still I liked the flavor and the meat was tender. Ms. Lin wasn’t that big of a fan so I was able to consume most of this appetizer. They offer 2 Grilled Hanger Steak Butter Lettuce Cups for $6. The steaks were nicely cooked and looked very succulent. As for the components, there were marinated cucumbers inside to help give the dish more flavor. I felt this fell just a little flat because lettuce is so rich and full of water that it tends to drown out other flavors. They probably needed just a bit more flavor to overcome the lettuce. I am sure the steak would be good by itself but together as a whole didn’t accomplish the flavor palate they were probably aiming for. One thing on the menu that caught my eye was the Crispy Free-Range Chicken Lollipops 3 pieces for $5. How can you not like meat on a stick that tries to sound like candy? O=9 Alas, it really is just chicken with the bone sticking out. I enjoyed the flavors and the tenderness of the meat. It was good juicy fried chicken. Ms. Lin was not that into it so I had the extra piece as well. For $4 you get 2 pieces of their Tempura Fish Tacos. There were a lot of interesting flavors mish-meshed into one. It was a very cultural taco. They were trying to mix a variety of Asian flavors some Mexican flavors, then to up the ante with crumbled goat cheese on top. Be sure to eat it while it is hot so that the fish batter doesn’t get soggy sitting out. Sadly that night they had ran out of the Atkins Ranch Lamb Sliders. So the last appetizer is the Angry Black Tiger Shrimp, $5 for 4 pieces. The shrimps were a good size and had a nice kick. They laid atop a bed of vegetables that would balance out the spices. The taste reminded me of a cross between spicy barbecue, Jamaican jerk, and chipotle... if that makes any sense. O=9 Since it was spicy and had a strong flavor, Ms. Lin liked this dish probably the best.

All in all the prices were great and the portions were good. It’s a good place to go for Happy Hour to unwind and relax. A great find. It was a great way to start off the weekend and the night. Funny story about the strong drink, Ms. Lin and I were working hard to finish the drink. This time around Ms. Lin was not “woman” enough to finish my drink so we started a dare. I asked her if she think I could down my mojito and she believed I could. Being cunning, I asked what was in it for me. She said that she would pay for my drink if I did so. Done! I took out the ice and chugged it all down! *Gulp Gulp* P.S. Mine was the taller drink. =P I did it for the gold, literally. Hey at least I didn’t have to pay for my drink. ^_- A good time was had by all.

500 Florida St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 553-8560
Circolo on Urbanspoon


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