Design

Farallon’s show-stopping nautical design lives on at a new S.F. seafood restaurant

Orignally published on 2021-12-02 16:57:31 by www.sfchronicle.com

A new restaurant has taken over the former Farallon space in San Francisco’s Union Square — and it has preserved the opulent, fantastical design that made it so famous.

Called Ula Mediterranean Dining & Cocktails, the new restaurant comes from Krishan Miglani, who also owns 25-year-old Union Square spot Zingari Ristorante. To lead the kitchen, he recruited chef Ryan Simas, who worked at Farallon for 14 years, including nine years as executive chef, and more recently as the executive chef at Rosso Pizzeria & Wine Bar in Santa Rosa.

When Farallon closed in 2020 after 23 years in business, Miglani said he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take on an “iconic place.”

Farallon was designed by noted American restaurant designer Pat Kuleto, with an over-the-top, one-of-a-kind look with a hand-painted dome ceiling, jellyfish chandeliers, octopus-inspired stools and a “caviar staircase” pebbled with 50,000 blue marbles.

The dining room at San Francisco restaurant Ula Mediterranean Dining & Cocktails will host live piano nightly.

Provided by Ula

Miglani largely kept the original design with some minor updates, such as changing some furnishings in the bar area and laying down wood floors. He also kept the seafood focused menu, while giving it a Mediterranean bent. Friendly service is an emphasis, he said, because he doesn’t want people to feel intimidated by the aesthetics.

“We want to be more welcoming, more friendly, more easy going,” he said. “More smiles.”

Ula Mediterranean Dining & Cocktails has taken over the eclectic Farallon space in San Francisco's Union Square.

Ula Mediterranean Dining & Cocktails has taken over the eclectic Farallon space in San Francisco’s Union Square.

Provided by Ula

The biggest addition is a piano in the main dining room. After the restaurant’s grand opening on Dec. 8, it’ll host live music every night of the week.

“The acoustics of this restaurant are so beautiful,” Miglani said. “Having a dome ceiling, the music goes everywhere.”

Seafood starters include lobster ravioli topped with lobster roe ($21) and ahi tuna tartare with a quail egg and wonton chips ($18), while entrees include grilled scallops over herbed couscous with labneh ($38) and grilled salmon over fresh fettuccini and beurre blanc. There are also vegan options and meaty mains like roasted pork chop ($34), brined for three days and paired with a dried fruit compote.

A private dining room at Ula Mediterranean Dining & Cocktails in San Francisco. The restaurant is already seeing demand for private parties.

A private dining room at Ula Mediterranean Dining & Cocktails in San Francisco. The restaurant is already seeing demand for private parties.

Provided by Ula

Despite the struggles facing Union Square amid a lack of tourism and boarded-up storefronts because of recent thefts, Miglani said he’s optimistic about the future.

“We understand the challenges this pandemic has brought upon us and how long it could continue, but having said that, people are eager to venture out,” he said, noting the immediate interest Ula is receiving in private parties. “We are committed to Union Square.”

Orignally published on 2021-12-02 16:57:31 by www.sfchronicle.com

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