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Restaurant Review: Marlowe


We did not order any of the entrees, so I would call this a preliminary review. We were just getting food for snacking. Clockwise from upper left: roasted bone marrow, duck liver mousse, baked oysters.

We ordered:

  • Baked Oyster ($3.50 per oyster) - served in a rectangular dish on a bed of salt crystals. The oyster was topped with something that seemed like mashed potatoes. This was meh, the only flavor I tasted was salt. The chives and bacon bits were too few in number and size to register on my taste buds.
  • Duck Liver Mousse ($12) - a good portion size of mousse considering duck liver anything tends to be small. The kumquat-orange marmalade adds a note of sweetness without being too weird. Needs more accompanying crostini though.
  • Roasted Bone Marrow ($17) - nice and buttery. The salsa verde tastes like it has something pickled or capers in it and I love capers and pickles. Bit pricey though for the amount of food. This also needed more crostini.


Since we came here on a last minute whim, I tried finding reservations online during the drive to the restaurant. But no such luck. When we got there at around 5:30pm I can see why. The restaurant is pretty full (a good sign to its popularity on a random Thursday night) with the remaining empty tables for people who did have reservations. As such, we had to sit at the bar, something that I don't like doing. I find it difficult to have private conversations squished so close to other random people that I'm bumping elbows with them while trying to spoon my meal into my mouth. (This is the same problem I have with communal tables, unfortunately, Marlow has one of those too). The wait for the bar was about 30 minutes.

One good thing came out of siting so close to another person - the woman next to us had polenta that smelled so deliciously of truffles, I found myself staring at her plate and inhaling deeply in attempt to feed myself off the scent.

Overall, I'd come back with a reservation for a real table and try an entree - I'm thinking the polenta and the burger. I feel like I can't fully judge a restaurant without trying an entree. But for now...

Rating:★★★ Price: $$$

Marlowe 500 Brannan Street San Francisco, CA 94107