Coco 500

December 6, 2006

Awhile back, Loretta Keller’s well-liked restaurant Bijou (also at the corner of 4th and Brannan) morphed into Coco 500, a cool, casual hotspot serving some of the well-loved items from Bizou, along with some newer, Cal-Med dishes that of course change with the seasons. Coco 500 is the stylish sort of place that might appear in the society pages of 7×7 Magazine. If you are a regular reader, you know that Short Exact is a big fan of small, family-run hole-in-the-walls, and we generally do not frequent these hip restaurants very much. Still, we’ve been meaning to pay Coco 500 a visit for quite some time, to see what the fuss is about, and an opportunity to do just that came up one evening. On our visit, Short Exact dined at the bar, where we were helped by a very friendly server named Peggy. She was quite helpful in pointing out interesting features of the menu, and she was generally a lot of fun to chat with throughout the meal. Meanwhile, the bartender made a pair of mean and delicious (non-alcoholic) citrus beverages for us: a wonderfully tart house lemonade, followed by a limeade with jasmine. The limeade was especially delicious, and the jasmine provided the perfect amount of sweetness to balance the lime.

Short Exact began with a nice, light salad


of arugula and frisee, featuring generous strips of duck prosciutto on top of the salad. The fuyu persimmons added a soft, subtle sweetness to the flavor of the salad, as did the pomegranate seeds, which also lent a bit of crunch. In general, there were nice colors and textures in this salad. The flavors, however, were understated; we would have preferred a stronger infusion of pomegranate and ginger, so that it would have had a bit more punch. Still, the salad was a refreshing way to begin the meal. We also ordered the flatbread


of parmesan and truffled cremini mushrooms. This flatbread had really nice flavors; the mushroom, the savory parmesan, and the smoky, charred flatbread perfectly complemented each other and combined into a strong, unified, delicious flavor. We ordered the flatbread as an entree, but it actually works better as a sort of shared appetizer, because the flavor does get a bit excessive after eating multiple slices. Nonetheless: this was quite tasty.

All in all, Coco 500 is a nice spot. We’ve heard others complain about the service, and perhaps the service is spottier at the tables, but we found the bar to be a charming experience. The food is good, but not outstanding; it is generally well-prepared, but we cannot say it is something we’d ever crave. Nonetheless, the creative and diverse assortment of dishes, combined with the hip (but not hipper-than-thou) atmosphere, makes Coco 500 a solid spot to start the evening’s entertainment.



500 Brannan Street (at 4th St.)
San Francisco, CA 94107
Phone: 415.543.2222
Hours: Mon-Thurs, 11:30 am – 10:00 pm; Fri, 11:30 am – 11:00 pm; Sat, 5:30 pm – 11:00 pm. Closed Sundays.

Cuisine: California, Mediterranean
Neighborhood: South of Market

How to get there: Coco 500 is located 1 long block from the Caltrain depot at 4th and Townsend streets, and is near Muni lines 9X, 10, 12, 30, 45, 47, 76, and T.

One comment

  1. “Flatbread of parmesan and truffled cremini mushrooms”? Dang Short Exact, you know how to order delicious food! Sounds like the restaurant was a great SOMA find.

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