Reviews of the finest restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area by Carol and Joe Davis - the Dining Detectives. From Sushi to Prime Rib, the Detectives dine their way across the spectum of fine food. ©2006 Carol and Joe Davis

MacArthur Park
Real American Food!

San Francisco is a great town for dining and once again The Dining Detectives are fortunate to be out on a weeknight after work at a great restaurant. Can you believe it…MacArthur Park has been open for almost 30 years!

General Manager, Roddy McGoey, took us on a wonderful tour of the restaurant and shared its history. The restaurant opened in 1972 in a renovated Barbary Coast warehouse built in the early 1900’s on Front Street at Jackson Square. It’s interesting to note that Front Street bordered the Bay before landfill extended the City. Also, many people think the charming park across the street is MacArthur Park but actually it is Walden Park.

Some believe the popular restaurant was named for the Jimmy Webb song MacArthur Park and actually there is an original signed manuscript of MacArthur Park, the song made famous by Richard Harris, framed on a wall near the open kitchen. Jimmy Webb also dined at the restaurant when he was recording his song "Suspending Disbelief" in San Francisco.

The interior is comprised of a number of inviting rooms and includes an outdoor patio. The 60-foot Bar is one of the longest in The City has been a hot spot, a place to see, meet and be seen. The décor is classy yet fun and includes original exposed brick walls and some interesting art by John Van Hammersueld. We particularly liked the MacArthur Park posters by Wayne Tiebaud.

We were seated toward the front of the restaurant overlooking the park and were soon ready to enjoy our dining experience. Each table has butcher-block writing paper and crayons. Mark Taubman-Walker our knowledgeable waiter came right over and told us about the specials of the day and started us off with some signature drinks.

MacArthur Park Big City Drinks-
We had to try a few Big City drinks and here are a few that we recommend.

Between The Sheets-
" You should be so lucky"
_ oz. Bacardi Rum
_ oz. Korbel Brandy
_ oz. Cointreau
Juice from 1 fresh squeezed lime
Shaken, served up.

Ketel One Martini-
" Swank in a glass"
2 oz. Ketel One Vodka
Dry or dirty
Shaken, served up

It was now time to eat and here are a few of the menu items that we highly recommend.

Oysters on the Half Shell with Two Dipping Sauces- These iced oysters (a baker’s dozen) are a great starter and we loved the Champagne Mignonette sauce.

Grilled Asparagus with Olive tapenade and Basil Aioli. Excellent-Fabulous presentation and grilled perfectly.

Onion Strings- we have enjoyed this House specialty many times and it is a must.

Pear and Roquefort with Candied Walnuts- We loved the thinly sliced candied walnuts.

"MacPark" Salad with Sliced Tomatoes and Creamy Blue Cheese/ Dijon Dressing. This salad was fresh and delicious.

World Famous MacArthur Park Oakwood BBQ Baby Back Ribs- slowly smoked to perfection grilled over mesquite and served with housemade coleslaw, French fries and "Mac Park" barbecue sauce. This is why people have been coming back for almost 30 years. We loved the ribs and took a bottle of the sauce home.

Grilled Rack of Lamb-served with Braising Greens, Lavender, and Mashed Potatoes- Fabulous presentation and very juicy. We substituted The Garlic Mashed Potatoes and were glad we did. You won’t find better garlic mashed anywhere.

Wines: We opted for wines by the glass but the full bottle offerings can please even the most of the discerning wine enthusiasts. Here are a few wines by the glass that we enjoyed with our meals.
1999 Callaway California Sauvignon Blanc- paired well the oysters and salads
1998 Renwood, "Sierra Series", Amador County Zinfandel- Paired well with the Ribs.
1998 Jekel Monterey Cabernet Sauvignon- paired well with the Rack of Lamb.

Desserts- All are made daily on premises.

Turtle Pie- Pecan Crust, chocolate and caramel sauce, served with vanilla ice cream. Save room for this sumptuous dessert.

Rice Krispie Baked Treats- these brought us back to our youth- we ordered another round and ate them all. Fun!

MacArthur Park is one of San Francisco’s favorite destination restaurants where the Dining Detectives regularly have a great time. In this friendly atmosphere couples, families and solo diners were also having a great time as well. At our nearest table were a father and his two young daughters. The girls made sure that we knew that they loved their cheeseburgers, "comfort food" as advertised. We especially appreciated the professional tour from Roddy and the service from Mark. We loved the Ribs and Garlic Mashed Potatoes. We’ll be back for more.

MacArthur Park

MacArthur Park
607 Front Street
San Francisco, Ca. 94111

Phone: 415-398-5700

Monday- Thursday 11:30 AM-11: 00 PM
Friday 11:30 AM-11: 00 PM
Saturday 5:00 PM-11: 00 PM
Sunday 6:30 PM-10: 00 PM

Happy Hour Weekdays- 5:00 PM- 7:00 PM

(Complimentary Hot Snacks)
Major Credit Cards Accepted

Reservations Recommended

Valet Parking after 5 PM Daily
Banquet and Catering

Private Rooms up to 80 guests

Take-Out Counter

Delivery by Waiters on Wheels