Last time I was here was April 27, 2019, I was on my way to do a big trip to Mendocino, but Betty Lou’s was calling my name, so I had to try it. There is a sister restaurant called Sotto Mare Oysteria and Seafood that I have done reviews two consecutive Christmas’s. When my friend who lives in San Francisco told me that there is a spin off type place, I jumped at the opportunity to come taste the bounty. And what great bounty it was, all politics aside the food here is as good as Sotto Mare. Betty Lou’s Seafood & Grill opened at the highly desirable intersection of Columbus and Grant Avenues in a prime space formerly occupied by Viva Pizza. Sisters Betty and Louise are third-generation Portuguese from Hawaii, and Hector is from Temascalcingo, Mexico. Hector was executive chef at Sotto Mare since it was opened in 2007 by master restaurateur Gigi Fiorucci and became an instant classic. Betty was the longtime principal server there, and Louise was the manager. Gigi Fiorucci is their brother-in-law. It’s bringing some much-needed revitalization and excitement to Broadway — that southern boundary of North Beach, now known more for its nightlife than for its fine dining.
This time around the food was just as remarkable as in 2019, its just really great ingredients and fantastic food.
Here’s What I Tried:
East Coast Oysters Fanny Bay, just the right amount of these little beauty’s, super fresh and succulent, yum.
Boston Clam Chowder, creamy with lots of clams, everything you would want in a clam chowder.
Combination Crab and Shrimp Louie Salad. I really crave a good Louie salad, especially the dressing. They did it justice, just one of my favorites.
Mikes Wok Crab, with whole crab, scallions, cilantro, garlic, ginger and soy sauce. This delicious dish is a creation of Betty’s husband, Mike – a concoction of Dungeness crab, ginger, scallions, red peppers and soy sauce; wok tossed with lots of love. This dish has become a huge favorite!
I always want crab when I am in my fair city, this crab was a bit of an adventure, with lots of terrific flavor. But however you order crab here, just make sure you order it, always the best crab you will ever have.
Seafood Pasta Fettuccine with tomato cream sauce. clams, mussels, prawns, sea scallops, bay shrimp, calamari. This dish won best noodle in the Noodle festival. The Noodle Festival returned after a 10-year hiatus, pitting Chinatown against North Beach in a culinary battle royale. I can totally understand why, it was just amazing and I substituted the linguine for the fettuccine.
Scallop and Prawn Combo Sauté, served with tender carrots and asparagus, and scalloped potatoes. The scallop is very large and meaty and so is the delicious prawn, a true winner.
Chardonnay, Ferrari-Carano, Healdsburg, of course this wine paired with all of the fish dishes, just the perfect amount of depth in the wine to add to this scrumptious dish.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Prisoner, Oakville, this wine would do great with a steak, but it was a real winner with the soy notes in the Mike’s Wok Crab.
Betty Lou’s Seafood & Grill team takes great pride in being a warm, friendly San Francisco eatery with a top-notch seafood and Italian flair! I just adored Rosalyn Columbo, she’s been at Betty Lou’s since the beginning, she makes you feel like you are in her own dining room at home. In November Betty Lou’s Seafood & Grill will be celebrating their seven-year anniversary.
During the Pandemic they were open from 4-8pm daily, and San Francisco had a curfew at 10 pm. I asked Betty what she wants my readers to know about Betty Lou’s Seafood & Grill and she said, “The food is really really good”.
The one take away that you get is, eating at Betty Lou’s Seafood & Grill, you feel like you’re in your own Mothers home. They just make you feel so welcome, and deliver unique incredible food, that’s it in a nutshell.
Betty Lou’s Seafood & Grill
318 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133