American Express San Francisco Lounge Gets New Chef, Menu — and He’s Really There!

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I much enjoyed Christopher Kostow‘s food at the San Francisco American Express Centurion lounge when it opened. However his food, such as the pork shoulder, wasn’t super popular across the board. So he was out there after three months.

Earlier in the month American Express announced Daniel Patterson as the new executive chef.

Patterson is best known for his two Michelin-starred restaurant Coi in San Francisco which he is stepping down from he says because he’s too busy and isn’t comfortable with a role where he’s chef ‘in name only’. So I was surprised to see the American Express tie-in.

However reader Daniel W. spotted him in the kitchen of the lounge at lunch time yesterday. While I wouldn’t expect to see him there on a regular basis, he has other projects and Bay Area restaurants. But it’s good to see that he’s really engaged.

Credit: Reader Daniel W.

Here’s the new Daniel Patterson menu for the lounge:

The highlight of the lounge, for me, is the wine wall — self pours of wines better than those available in the other Centurion lounges, I remember being impressed on my first visit with the Grgich Hills Zinfandel, quite nice for complimentary.

Platinum Card from American Express cardholders receive complimentary access to Centurion lounges and everything – from food and alcohol and in some lounges spa treatments as well. Access is also complimentary for Centurion cardholders. Other American Express cardholders can pay-in.

Besides San Francisco, the other U.S. lounges open so far are:

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Since I never fly United I rarely have occasion to use the SFO lounge, but jeez, that lunch menu sure doesn’t make me want to check it out. I’d much rather pay to eat at Cat Cora.

  2. I have gone into the SFO lounge while flying American Airlines. I told security that I was going to the Centurion lounge and they let me through. Then when I went back to the American section, I had to go through security again. Since I am TSA approved, it was not that much of a hassle. They were having a champagne day when I went. Looking forward to trying out the new Chef.

  3. This menu and the new one in Houston seemed to geared toward vegetarians. I understand having some selection for vegetarians, but it seems like 75% of the menu is headed that way. One chicken dish for lunch and one sausage item for breakfast and that is it for the meat eaters. I like pork and ham and beef and you are not seeing those items in the new menus. I don’t know if this is to cut costs or what, but there is little on that menu that is of interest to me for lunch/dinner.

  4. Agree with the comments. To be honest, I’ve never particularly enjoyed any of the lunch/dinner menus. Consistently too heavy on vegetables and generally just too precious before getting on a plane.

  5. I think low meat is consistent with a climate-concerned N. California ethos.

    That said, in that photo he looks like he’s dressing down his staff, and that’s not consistent with any ethos!

  6. Centurion card holders also get an option for a complimentary top-shelf beverage, either some fancy champagne (I don’t remember the name) or a pour of Aberlour A’Bunadh. If you’re nice to the bartender, they might give you a pour anyhow. Just remember to pay it forward for the rest of us by tipping well.

  7. @Antonio last time I checked — which was a full year ago — the Centurion alcohol benefit was just veuve clicquot (meh). I should look into whether that’s changed

  8. GREAT! I’ll be there at 8 am tmrw. In honor of my hometown, i’ll try the hippy breakfast. Daniel i hope you are an early riser…

  9. I previously experienced three meals there and found them to be quite good but not exceptional. This phenomenal new menu almost makes me wanna get The Platinum Card again.

  10. Notice how the best two items: high quality breakfast sausages and crispy french toast have disappeared? “Farro Hash” sounds like some essence of chicken sausage was waved over potato chunks. Potatoes, bread, and rice are the cheapest foods on the planet so I always notice when these ingredients are used in prominence as a cost saving measure. Centurian lounge food continues to go downhill fast.

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