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Food & Drink

The Outer Sunset channels the South of France at stylish new ‘beach bistro’ Galinette

Just in time for Bastille Day, a casual French bistro where you dine with sand between your toes.

A smiling woman in a white shirt holds a glass of white wine, leaning on a counter with a blue and red backdrop. Shelves of wine bottles and a mermaid painting are behind her.
The gregarious Julie Fulton is one of three owners, all of whom hail from coastal French cities. | Source: Camille Cohen for The Standard

This is Eat Here Now, where The Standard serves up the newest, hottest and buzziest—or simply the rediscovered—in SF food. If you can only pick one place to eat at this week—go here.

The evening I dined at Galinette, the new self-proclaimed “beach bistro” in the Outer-Outer Sunset was living out its own summer fantasy. And this seasonally scarred San Franciscan—who, for years, has reserved a soapbox for bitching about our city’s wind and fog—fell in love. 

That Tuesday, at 6 p.m. in the district that Google Maps insists on calling Parkside, was like an out-of-touch movie director’s romantic idea of our coastal city: There was not a whiff of fog. The sun, which had warmed Ocean Beach into the 80s, was casting a warm, maternal glow onto a whimsical mural of a red-nippled mermaid. The sidewalk tables along Taraval Street were full of diners drinking wine the color of apricots and swiping crisp radishes through salty-oily-fishy anchoiade ($14). Next to me, two women bantered in French as if they were well-planted extras. A few tables up, a sunburned mom in jean shorts and flip-flops, sand still on her calves, helped her kid slurp up spaghetti with goat cheese served up by a handsome, friendly French server. Was I in the South of France or SF? No matter.

A colorful mural depicts a blue, stylized woman with a red ball and a flying fish. People dine at wooden tables, and two servers work near shelves of bottles.
Customers have lunch at Galinette in the Outer Sunset on Tuesday. | Source: Camille Cohen for The Standard

Galinette opened in mid-June and it has already been embraced with la bise by the friendly neighborhood, joining Underdogs Too and White Cap, which are directly across the street. Julie Fulton, one of the three French owners (all longtime SF residents from coastal cities in France), also co-owns Bouche in Union Square. “I’m so surprised,” she says, gushing about their warm reception in the Outerlands. “It’s like, nuts. Downtown, it’s a war zone. But people here are just so nice, so genuine.” 

The bistro, in turn, is determined to return the feels, starting with breakfast, which they weren’t originally planning on serving. But when the people demand croissants and cappuccinos, you give it to them—daily. Fulton says they’ll also be introducing some oeufs soon, maybe even a French-style “wet omelet.” In fact, the menu is the same from 9:30 a.m. to close, and spans from jamon beurre to roasted chicken. “If you want your mussels at 9:30 a.m., you can have them,” says Fulton. “Have a bottle of wine at 3 p.m.!”

A wooden board holds a slice of pâté drizzled with a dark sauce, pickles, red onions, whole grain mustard, and toasted bread, against a blurred background of wine bottles.
A charcuterie board centered by chicken liver pate. | Source: Camille Cohen for The Standard
A sandwich on crusty bread with layers of sliced cheese, shredded meat, pickles, and mustard drizzled on the top half, served on a wooden board with extra pickles.
The jamon bueurre is made with seven-hour braised ham, aged Conté cheese, Dijon and sprightly, crunchy cornichon. | Source: Camille Cohen for The Standard

While the weather the day I dined was unbelievable, the casual food at Galinette is believably French and intentionally simple. It won’t knock your socks off, but it might turn you into a regular. A slice of sweet chicken liver mousse ($13) was perked up with pickled onions and seedy, nose-clearing mustard. Steak with a bordelaise sauce ($25) was cooked perfectly to a pink medium-rare and served with a pile of no-nonsense frites. The hefty bowl of bourride, the restaurant’s signature rustic, lightly saffron-infused seafood stew ($35), was topped with a thick filet of rock cod (known in French as Galinette), plus mussels, tiny squid, clams, chunky fennel and crostini smeared with rouille, a bread-thickened aioli. From my point of view, it could have used a little more punch, but then again, it hasn’t been called bouillabaisse’s “troubled half-sister” for nothing.

The image shows a bowl of seafood stew with mussels, clams, and fish, accompanied by seasoned fries, a small dish of sauce, and a glass of white wine on a wooden table.
Bourride, a rustic fish stew topped with crostini smeared with rouille, is Galinette's signature dish. | Source: Camille Cohen for The Standard

The only quintessentially French thing that Galinette did not serve when I was there was wine; it was still BYOB, which was fun. (However, just in time for Bastille Day, the restaurant got its beer and wine license and will be celebrating all weekend with rosé and a new kind of BYOB—”Bring Your Own Beret.”)

And since the fog has since returned like a bully to slap us in the back of the head, take note that the cozy dining room at Galinette will be waiting with open arms—and a large, very neighborly communal table. 

📍Galinette, 3554 Taraval St., Parkside