I Left My Heart in San Francisco Eateries…

slanted view
View of Bay from Slanted Door


It’s Tuesday so this week it is time for some San Francisco treats. I lived in San Francisco for 12 years and besides the views, restaurants were definitely on the list of must do’s. Here are a few recommendations, including one of my favorite restaurants in the entire world.  

Slanted Door is #1 on my foodie hit parade. The menu is a blend of Asian street food and California farmers market.  Located in the Ferry Building, the fine dining Vietnamese restaurant has wall-to-ceilings windows, affording a magnificent view of the Bay in a contemporary open space environment.  Slanted Door originally opened in the Mission district in 1995. Charles Phan, owner, designer and executive chef is a super chef in every sense, including being a super person. Twenty of Charles family member work at the restaurant. His sister Debbie, keeps the front of the house humming and is indispensable. Ryan, part of the non-related family, is the server extraordinaire and has been at Slanted Door since the beginning. You cannot go there without ordering the Shaking Beef, Grapefruit and Jicama salad, any organic vegetable dish, Daikon rice cakes, Imperial rolls, Vietnamese crepes and to close the meal, Vietnamese coffee either hot or cold. The desserts are fab, as well although I miss Justine’s blueberry cheesecake! You will not be disappointed. Reservations are a must. The bar is also conducive for a meal if you cannot secure a reservation.

Pizzetta 211 on 23rd Avenue near California Street in the Outer Richmond district represents the other end of the food spectrum…small and intimate with a limited menu…I hesitate to unveil this secret gem. The pizzas are amazing, salads so fresh, desserts (homemade flourless chocolate cake) and they pretty much dictate what you will eat as choses are limited. The cheese selections are stellar. You have to order the farm egg pizza. They usually offer ½ dozen pizzas, a calzone and a few salads. Limited inside seating and a few tables outside. If it’s prime time, be prepared to wait.

Buckeye Roadhouse-Mill Valley off the 101-I still crave their ribs.  The steaks, burgers, chicken, oysters, salads are very good and the Buckeyes sports a delightful lodge décor, but the ribs are fantastic. Hike Mt. Tam and then eat back all the calories you just burned at the Buckeye on the way back to the city. Without traffic it is 20 minutes from most SF ‘hoods.

Delfina/Pizzeria Delfina on 18th Street…everything is delish on the California-Italian menu. Certain entrees are classics and never go away such as the roast chicken with mushrooms and mashed potatoes ($22) and spaghetti with plum tomatoes and olive oil ($10) and Monterey Bay calamari on a bed of warm white beans ($11). Delfina’s has changed the SF dining landscape over the past decade and the owners, Craig and Annie Stoll, set the reasonably priced pace. I love that they made t-shirts inscribed with negative Yelp reviews…my kinda peeps!

Foreign Cinema in the Mission is a gas, showing movies outdoors…you will feel like you are in the Trastevere neighborhood in Rome. Their brunch is a must along with their savory Mediterranean fare and wonderful wine list. July’s features are “Notorious” and “Rebecca” and are screened in the covered outdoor courtyard. Bring your own popcorn and sneak in a make out session while the lights are dimmed.

San Francisco…take in the sights by day and pig out by night.

-My version of Slanted Door Grapefruit and Jicama Salad

-2 cups shredded red cabbage

-Kosher salt

-¼ low sodium soy sauce, but I add it slowly and keep sampling as soy can be overwhelming. Ponzu works, as well.

-1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

-1 tablespoon sugar

-1 teaspoon lime juice

-1 cup shredded jicama

-½ cup shredded carrot (optional along with minced garlic and Thai chile)

-2 teaspoons Canola oil

-Fresh ground pepper

-½ cup coarsely chopped mint leaves

-½ cup candied walnuts

-2 grapefruits, segmented, membranes remove

Place cabbage in a bowl and cover with salted water. Set aside. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and lime juice (garlic and chile optional). In a large bowl, combine jicama, carrot and oil. Drain cabbage and crush. Toss with jicama and soy dressing. Add salt and pepper. Divide and top with mint, nuts and grapefruit. I also add the extra grapefruit juice that is rendered after cutting up the grapefruit. Makes 4 scrumptious, healthy servings.

Close your eyes and you are dining in San Francisco at the Slanted Door.

Home Style Grapefruit and Jicama Salad

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *