Café des Amis opened in 2010 as a partnership between the Bacchus Management Group (Village Pub, Spruce, Mayfield Bakery and Café, Pizza Antica, etc.) and the owner of Perry’s. Now that The Left Bank is only located in the South Bay and Larkspur, Café des Amis fills the hole for a Parisian-style French Brasserie in the Marina. Yes, there are plenty of French restaurants and bistros in the City, but an all-day brasserie and bar with the Parisian-style casual ambiance is not that common.
We needed to pick up some items at the Apple Store, so a weekend brunch at Café des Amis was a good plan. We sat at the bar where the lovely bartendress Melinda and bar-back Brant took great care of us.
During the weekends, they offer a brunch “bottle service” for $22 which is a mix-to-your-liking Mimosa/Bellini kit, which includes a bottle of Champagne and carafes of fresh squeezed orange juice and peach purée. We thought that this would be better for us than bottomless Mimosas since we would stop at one bottle and be functional for the rest of the afternoon. At the very least, it made shopping at the Apple Store much more tolerable:
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Mayfield Bakery supplies all of their baked goods (with the exception of the brioche used for the French toasts). The brunch bread service offered a few slices of their banana bread with butter:
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Aside from the bottle service, the real reason to come here is for the $1 oyster special, available at brunch and Happy Hour. We each ate a dozen of these perfectly shucked bi-valves:
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We have been going to the Village Pub to eat their burger at the bar ever since they opened. Café des Amis’ burger is just as good (shown here with Gruyère cheese and fried egg options). Our only complaint could be that the french fries at the Village Pub are slightly better, but the burger itself was perfectly rare and the bun was soft and tasty:
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The Croque Madame was one of the better versions that we have had. Made with grilled ham and Gruyère cheese, it was set apart by the extra cheese in the Mornay sauce (in place of the typical Béchamel):
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Parking in the Marina is easier during the day than at night, so this could easily become one of our standard lunch/brunch spots. The $1 oysters and the bottle service is hard to beat, but it may be worthwhile to come back and try out their dinner menu and cocktails.
February 2014 Update: Cafe des Amis is sadly closed now.