Bar Jules: Brunching at Buzz Worthy Hayes Valley Café [CLOSED]

  • Home
  • American
  • Bar Jules: Brunching at Buzz Worthy Hayes Valley Café [CLOSED]
Restaurant San Francisco

Jessica Boncutter created a charming San Francisco brunch experience.

This small café in buzz worthy Hayes Valley opened in November 2007. I’ve heard a lot of strange stories about restaurant names, but a restaurant named for an owner’s dog may be a first. Jules is the name of owner Jessica Boncutter’s basset hound. Her airy café features few seats, and zero reservations, so be prepared to wait. Depending on what’s available on the day’s market-driven menu, it might even be worth it.

Bar Jules offers a different blackboard menu every day. Today’s brunch menu didn’t offer much range. My father commented that I looked “tortured” when deciding what to order. Happily, Bar Jules made up for their lack of range with high-quality ingredients.

Eggplant San Francisco

A bowl of fresh eggplant was purely decorative. Other seasonal touches around the dining room included vases of orange flowers and lavender.

Brunch San Francisco

I nearly made the mistake of ordering a vegetarian dish, but righted the ship before the brunch chef could fire my order. I opted for baked eggs with short ribs and fresh shell bean ragout ($12). The short ribs were already cooked, as were the green shell beans. The chef added both to a white porcelain bowl and topped the dish with two raw eggs, then slid the bowl into the oven for about 15 minutes. The results were satisfying, with the beef getting crispy on top and juices from the beef infusing the beans. In case you’re wondering what happens to an egg when you bake it, the eggs were practically hard-boiled, firm in the middle.

My meal didn’t include enough beef, so I ordered a side of New York strip steak ($7), brushed with olive oil, sprinkled liberally on each side with salt and char-grilled on an applewood grill. The resulting steak was butter, with explosive flavor.

Pancakes San Francisco

Cornmeal buttermilk griddlecakes ($11) were thin and crisp at the edges, topped with raspberries and maple syrup.

Brunch San Francisco

Scrambled eggs with Marin Sun Farms chorizo ($12) were fluffy and subtly spicy from the chorizo. The eggs came with browned, skinless potatoes and wild arugula hand-tossed with light vinaigrette.

Meals at places like Chez Panisse or derivative restaurants like Bar Jules are market-driven rolls of the dice. Overall, Bar Jules delivered solid renditions of every dish, but the menu wasn’t especially Food GPS friendly to begin with. Maybe dinner would be more satisfying, as recent menus seem to indicate. At some point, I’ll probably find out for sure.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Leave a Comment