The latest addition to the corner of 22nd Street and Guerrero, Company, opening in the Fall of 2012, is a good spot to grab a burger at lunch. Whether you'll want to dine there at night depends on how much time you have and if you're up for eavesdropping.
I've eaten at Company twice now, once for lunch and once for dinner. Company, through its food, wants "to comfort you with the familiar flavors of Tuscany, Provence, and other locales throughout the Mediterranean while also celebrating the bounty of our beautiful state. Our goal is to welcome you as family and treat you like "company," whether you join us for lunch, dinner, brunch, or just a drink at our bar. We want to welcome you."
The food is competently prepared. And, at lunch, it's the perfect place to venture with a toddler. There's a reasonable buzz from other diners' conversations to hide an inquisitive toddler's antics. (Gates enjoyed her first taste of solid food here, deciding that she wanted what the adults were having. Thank goodness for french fries, the universal, allergen-free children's favorite.)
Where the lunch staff was perfectly attentive with a full dining room, the dinner staff was less so. The service and the timing could definitely use some polish. I don't know if we all descended on the restaurant at the same time, but it was about 15 minutes before we put our drink order in, at least another 10 minutes before they arrived at the table. Our appetizers appeared after we'd been sitting in the restaurant for over half an hour, well before the bread. If the restaurant had been packed I would have expected the food to take awhile, but it was a Tuesday night and not obviously slammed.
cubes and I ordered appetizers and entrees, deciding on appetizers after it became clear food would be slow to arrive tableside. I selected the Warm, Marinated Olives, one of the few options that was dairy-free, and cubes chose the House Ricotta Cheese with roasted red peppers, fennel, and green garlic. The olives were a little oily, but the citrus and rosemary flavor was nice. For dinner, I had local Pacific Cod served with saffron potato, garlic spinach, and Salsa Verde. cubes had the wild mushroom and asparagus risotto with Meyer lemon and pecorino.
Out of the other restaurants at the corner of 22nd Street and Guerrero, Company doesn't stand out for its food. If you're in the mood for entertaining eavesdropping, this is your place. While the restaurant was nearly empty the night we dined there, the tables were pushed close together towards the front windows. We were maybe twelve inches from the tables on either side of us.
The couple at the table next to the window screamed hipster from their clothes and their self-important outside voices. It was hard not to hear them. The conversation was definitely not family friendly, so I wouldn't recommend taking children here for dinner, unlike at lunch when the crowd and the talk is more tame. The two discussed the challenges of dating. One suggested crazy challenges for potential dates to gauge how interested they were. I kept looking for the hidden camera, but there was none.
What are your must haves for a dinner out?
Overall, Company offers a good burger. The ambiance at night is more suited for a night out with friends than a date night. Also, be sure to plan for a leisurely dinner; don't arrive starving, as you'll be waiting awhile.
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