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New Restaurant in Sausalito Dazzles the Eye as Well as the Palate


Jeff Morgan
Posted: June 24, 1999

San Franciscans looking for the best restaurant view of their city should consider leaving town and crossing the Golden Gate Bridge to the newly reopened Ondine, perched over the bay in Sausalito. From the Asian-influenced art deco interior, diners can see downtown San Francisco shimmering in the distance, as well as Alcatraz and pristine Angel Island.

Chef Seiji "Waka" Wakabayashi has created a French-influenced Pan-Asian culinary experience to match the marine panorama. An appetizer such as foie gras and langoustine or crispy Dungeness crab lumpia is a fine way to start off the meal. Striped bass with ginger-scallion black rice, shiitake mushrooms and lemongrass beurre blanc or perfectly seared, rare bigeye tuna make fabulous follow-ups. Meat eaters will also find such items as filet mignon, lamb and duck on the menu.

The all-California wine list is extensive, though a bit pricey; so are entrees, which range from $24 to $38. But you're also paying for atmosphere, and it doesn't disappoint.

Ondine's seaside location has dazzled San Francisco Bay area residents for a century. Originally built as a yacht club in 1898, Ondine was renowned in the 1960s and 1970s for its classic French seafood but closed when it lost its lease. New ownership failed to revive the restaurant's former glory, and it shut down for a decade in the late 1980s. The newest owner is Bob Freeman, chairman of California Cafe, a nationwide chain of 14 restaurants. Freeman also operates smaller restaurant chains such as Napa Valley Grille and Alcatraz Brewing Company. Ondine, however, is one of a kind.

Ondine
558 Bridgeway
Sausalito, Calif. 94965
Telephone: (415) 331-1133
Fax: (415) 332-0795

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