What You'll Get
The monopoly tycoons of the 19th century traditionally did their wheeling and dealing at exclusive restaurants, cleverly concealing the fact that they still lived with their moms. Celebrate affordable opulence with today's deal: for $20, you get $40 worth of food and drinks at Restaurant Paul K, located in the heart of the Hayes Valley.
Tapping into Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors, Paul K serves up an array of small plates and entrees for brunch and dinner. Start tongues a-twinkling with the mezza, a symphony of lamb riblets, kebabs, and baba ganoush harmonized with cucumber salad, olives, feta and yogurt ($16), or share small plates such as the sautéed squid ($9) and batter-fried sweet peppers with lemon aioli ($7). Grilled figs, hazelnut, and watercress flirt with the Syrian spiced duck breast ($24), while a weekly updated prix fixe menu offers three courses of perfectly paired plates ($29 per person, $41 with wine pairings). Cull an army of sweet teeth with the chocolate lava cake served with peanut butter ice cream ($8), or slay a legion of parched palates with cocktails and beer or wine.
Named for owner Paul Kavouksorian and headed up by chef Shawn Bayless, Paul K's modern, intimate setting boasts white linens, stylish lamps, and an exposed stainless steel kitchen where you can watch chefs summon ingredients by whistling through a spatula. Call ahead to make a reservation.
The View from the Bay featured Paul K. The Michelin Guide recommended the restaurant for 2009, and it was reviewed in Zagat and the San Francisco Chronicle. Yelpers give the restaurant an average of 3.5 stars:
- paul k blends exotic touches of the Middle East into its Mediterranean-accented fare. The likes of meze platters (in meat and vegetarian versions); duck breast rubbed with Syrian spices; grilled prime ribeye peppered with spicy harissa; and pressed sumac chicken fill the small, frequently changing menu. – Michelin Guide
- A slightly “offbeat” “alternative” to the usual “pre-performance” options in Hayes Valley, this “arty” Med entices opera-goers with an “inventive” menu, wines “enjoyable for every taste” and “great cocktails” – Zagat
- The restaurant's focused menu, wine list and attractive setting make it a prime choice for eating in the performing arts neighborhood. – Miriam Morgan, San Francisco Chronicle
The Fine Print
Promotional value expires Feb 17, 2011. Amount paid never expires. Limit 1 per person, may buy multiple as gifts. Limit 1 per table. Must use in 1 visit. Dine-in only. Reservation required. Tax and gratuity not included. Not valid with other offers. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.
About Paul K
Led by executive chef Shawn Bayless, the culinary savants at at Michelin--recommended and _Zagat-praised Paul K modernize Mediterranean dishes in a warmly elegant setting. Servers whisk complimentary black-and-white hummus and cucumber-infused water to white-draped tables as guests scan the dinner menu. A diverse selection of small plates—ideal for sharing or sating a single Lilliputian—includes potato gnocchi, house fries with harissa ketchup, and pomegranate-braised lamb riblets with garlic yogurt. Entrees weave together Greek, Middle Eastern, and European flavors, as well as Armenian touches from owner Paul Kavoksorian's heritage. Meats are pan-seared, grilled, and wine-braised, and mezza platters feature the traditional tastes of kebabs and baba gannouj, as well as unique flourishes such as carrot-mint yogurt. Selections from an import-heavy wine list—with descriptive headings such as "Bottles Full of Bubbles" and "Rich, White Wines Showing Appropriate Restraint"—fill glasses as diners linger, admiring abstract artwork against a slate gray wall in a dining room with red and yellow accents.
On Saturday and Sunday mornings, the brunch menu proffers sophisticated takes on breakfast dishes—in the form of orange pancakes topped with toasted walnuts and a hash of confit duck and onion salsa— as well as lunch sandwiches, soups, and greens. Sipping a mimosa or maple-bacon-infused bloody mary awakens taste buds, and downing a latte made with espresso or green tea gives diners a morning jolt akin to mistaking the muzzle of a pet tiger for an alarm clock.