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Kuletoville and Yoshi's: A Tale of Two Mega-Projects

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In a town that loves its quaint little Delfinas and SPQRs, the past several months have seen the debuts of a pair of super splashy, over-the-top productions in Yoshi's and Pat Kuleto's Epic-Waterbar combo on the Embarcadero, and now that both mega-projects are in full swing, the fashion police are out for blood. Over the weekend, the Chronicle (coincidentally?) ran a pair of pieces, slamming Kuletoville's aesthetics rather harshly while praising Yoshi's. To wit, consider the early verdict at Pat Kuleto's baby:

It's all grand atmospheric fun, especially if you can afford a $45 strip steak or a $75 dish of Maine lobster. But drop these stage sets into Rincon Park on San Francisco's downtown waterfront, and they become something else: incongruous impositions on a landscape that doesn't need to be gussied up...

But despite the expense, the result is jarring. Everything's choreographed, from the olive trees clustered on a hillock next to Epic Roasthouse on the north to the nautical curve of Waterbar's private dining room to the south.

This showmanship would be fine in a setting such as Napa Valley, where whimsical indulgence goes with the terrain. Here, it pales next to the muscular march of the Bay Bridge or the green allure of Yerba Buena Island.

As for Yoshi's, the Chron focuses more on the interior architecture brilliance as opposed to the big picture, but seeing as how the first sentence includes the phrase "perfectly capturing a paradox," suffice to say, the piece praises Yoshi's design as something special. But we want to know what you're thinking. San Francisco loves its neighborhood flavor and its holes-in-the-wall, and pricey theatrics of the likes of Kuletoville and Yoshi's have been frowned upon in the past. The Chronicle has made clear its thoughts on the duo; do share yours in the comments.
· Kuleto's newest: posh, out of place [Chron]
· Morimoto's design of Yoshi's evokes stillness [Chron]

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