1335 Fulton St
(between Broderick St & Divisadero St)
San Francisco, CA 94117
Tue-Thu. 6:00 p.m. -10:00 p.m.
Fri-Sat. 6:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.
Sun. 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
While parking was brisk, a spoonful of panna cotta calmed the senses. Embedded between residential houses on Fulton Street, the dessert paradise is easy to miss.
As the son of entrepreneurial parents, co-owner Tan Troung left corporate America and opened Candbar, the “first San Francisco dessert lounge.” At thirty three, Troung graduated from San Francisco State University and was in the marketing field. Together with co-owners Derek Chan and Chris Frey, their concept was to create a meeting spot that resembles a living room for desserts and drinks.
The ambiance is a stage short of high-end. The urban paintings on the wall, dark mahogany tables scattered around the room, and candlelight display create a romantic and cozy setting Weather you’re busy playing board games with friends or reading the latest coffee table- top book, the ambiance is friendly with a splatter of sexiness. The best seat is window side where patrons can dabble in chocolate mouse while perking on passer bys. With soft indie rocks in the background, the space is fit for a great after dinner spot.
His training in the restaurant industry comes from working in various restaurants since high school. Partnering up with social media sites such as Yelp.com has generated an increase of business. At Yelp.com parties, Candybar introduces their desserts to gain exposure. An inexpensive marketing campaign has been creating a Facebook page and participating in neighborhood functions.
Troung said, “Most dessert restaurants are places where you eat, then leave. We’ve created a space to meet up with friends, have great dessert, great wine, and hang out! Grab a board game or a book from the shelf, and relax. We’ve also become known as a great date place!
We’ve seen many first dates here. Dessert and wine equals a perfect first date!”
While the pros of being his own boss includes doing something that he has full passion towards, the young entrepreneur admits that cons include not having a steady paycheck, no health insurance, and no scheduled vacations. His best advice for hiring reliable employees is to find people that you enjoy being around and not just looking for experience.
A mound of shoe-string fennel, the smoked sturgeon salad refreshed the palate. Miniature beeries add sweet tones and compliments the fluffy lemon crème fraiche. Arriving in a nutty burnt cheese crust, the sweet onion apple soup was the comfort dish of the night. Infused with apple cider, the full bodied soup balanced richness with a dash of tartness. Artfully presented in a straight line, beef boulettes swimming in thick juiced carrot finished the savory course.
Made from angus beef, boulettes lacked tenderness but instead the robut beef taste played center stage. A glass of Stonehaven Sparkling Rose from Australia ($8.5) paired well with our dishes.
Trekking to the main attraction, the chocolate mousse ($8) alerted the senses with a creamy rich texture. As a temperature contrast, a peanut butter ice cream added nutty notes. The buttermilk panna cotta ($8) exemplifies the new play on dessert: sweet n salty. With frozen grapes sprinkles on the side, a few dashes of grey salt balanced the custard dessert. My favorite dessert is the apple pie ice cream ($8). Served with a triangle pie crust, the deconstructed apple pie ice cream contains all the flavors found in the all American dessert.
Service is attentive including frequent plate changes and water being refilled.