After 32 years of business, La Folie and La Folie Lounge (2316 Polk St.) will soon shutter for good. Owners Roland and Jamie Passot announced in a statement that the two restaurants will close on March 14.
La Folie first opened in 1988, offering tasting ($175) and prix fixe ($150) menus with luxurious ingredients like butter-poached lobster and A5 Wagyu beef. The more casual La Folie Lounge, which debuted in 2009, offered dishes like truffle mac and cheese and Wagyu sliders.
La Folie, in particular, attracted positive notices from critics, including four-star ratings from the San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco magazine.
Roland Passot won a James Beard Award — the food equivalent to an Oscar — for Rising Star Chef in 1990, and the restaurant earned a Michelin star from 2007 to 2015. Bill Clinton and former French President Francois Hollande are among those who've dined there.
The Passots declined to comment to Hoodline on reasons for the closure, but Roland Passot told the Chronicle that advancing age (he's 65), a forthcoming rent hike, and a flood at La Folie Lounge last year (which forced a four-month closure) were all factors.
Changing tastes may also be partly to blame. On a 2019 visit to La Folie Lounge, Chronicle critic Soleil Ho praised the quality of the food, but noted that some dishes were "a little bit dated" and that the lounge was "way more fun than the restaurant that inspired it."
In a statement, the Passots said they plan to write a memoir, and will continue their partnership with the Vine Dining family of casual French/Mediterranean restaurants: Left Bank, Left Bank Brasserie, LB Steak, and Meso, which have locations around Marin and the South Bay. They also plan to host some pop-up dinners at Left Bank, LB Steak and Meso, and their home in Marin.
In the meantime, guests have a little less than two months to drop in for a farewell meal.
“We have had a wonderful run,” the Passots said in a statement. “Some of those years have been up and some down, but through it all, we are so proud of what we have built with our amazing team of kitchen and dining room staff."
“Thank you to all our guests and staff, who will always be in our hearts, and who have given us one of the biggest highlights and pleasures of our lives."