When you push open the heavy glass door and enter OOLA, you become part of a fast vanishing world of elegant dining, where food and atmosphere meld together. An understated, yet gracious staff seat you, take your order and serve you magnificent food, each dish a visual and gastronomic work of art. OOLA is in San Francisco at 860 Folsom Street between Fourth & Fifth Streets. It is the perfect place to bring your grandmother or your latest romantic interest for a dining experience
they will never forget because its appeal spans generations.

Good food is good food and when it is presented with an elegant flair, it is even better. After all, we eat with our eyes as well as our taste buds and OOLA's menu promises to nurture both. No wonder this tiny hide-away was voted one of the top fifty hot spots in the country by Bon Appetit in 2005, just one year after the restaurant opened its doors to the public.

OOLA is an American Bistro that features organic meats and produce, artesian cheeses and fine wines presented tastefully by a knowledgeable staff that never hovers, yet magically appears to remove each dish and produce the next exciting course. Waiters like Tommy Noshitsky are always ready with suggestions to help you choose from the unusual combinations featured on the menu
and quick to suggest the perfect side to make your meal memorable. "There is nothing like good food, good wine and a bad girl," the menu reminds us.

Oola's chef and its extensive wine list take care of the first two requisites. The patron must provide the third. The food combinations are unusual yet well priced when one considers the care in preparation and the artistic combination of ingredients that set each dish apart. You can selectroasted butter nut squash and caramelized onion soup served with a grilled cheese sandwich for $10.00 or, for heartier fare, try all natural baby back ribs with cilantro, ginger and soy glazed with a red cabbage-apple slaw in two sizes, entree for $25, or appetizer (which is more than enough for a meal) for $14. Another favorite is the chantarelle and portobella mushroom risotto served with a white wine and porcini butter for $22.00 and worth every penny, filled with subtle flavors and just the right touch of spice. There are lovely sides to enhance your choice of entree such as a surprisingly tasty sauteed swiss chard with crisp bacon for $6.00 or mac & cheese for $5.00.

Andrew Moore at the bar will help you select the perfect wine to accompany your meal, from an extensive selection of over 60 varieties, many by the glass. The Chardonnay, Louis Latour '06 is lovely at $12, if you like a white wine. If red is your preference, try the Pinot Noir, Seven Terrases '07 at $10. Should you prefer a bottle of your favorite, prices range from $28-$165, and each selection is well worth its cost.

When dining is the evening instead of something you grab on your way to something else, it is lovely to treat yourself to a special dessert. "Men can not live on chocolate alone, but women sure can," says the OOLA dessert menu. Perhaps, but both sexes will savor a Vanilla Creme Brulee at $8 or the house specialty, huckleberry and pear crisp with a maple pecan crumble and cinnamon gelato at $8. There is an extensive selection of after dinner dessert wines, sherries, an Italian Grappa and
single malts if you prefer a liquid finish to your meal.

Fine dining is worth any price. The experience at OOLA is unique and is available from 6:00 p.m.until midnight, every Sunday and Monday. Tuesday through Saturday, you can treat yourself to the perfect finish to your evening from 6 p.m. until 1 a.m. OOLA is open for drinks nightly from 5:00 p.m. until 2:00 a.m. For more information visit www.oola.com. Reservations: 415 995 2061.