Slanted Door – San Francisco

Wood oven roasted manila clams with thai basil, crispy pork belly and fresh chilies

The Slanted Door
1 Ferry Building #3
San Francisco, CA 94111

I had a few errands to run in San Francisco. All food-related so it was worth the drive up. My first stop was Omnivore Books on Food to pick up my signed Alice Waters book that I wasn’t able to get signed in person. Love that shop! Didn’t buy any other cookbooks because, well, I have soooo many and I exercised self-control.

I stayed and talked to Samantha at the book store for quite awhile and it was lunch time all of a sudden! Since I had to go to the Ferry Building anyway (I was out of Recchiuti Toffee!!), I decided to eat there to save time and parking woes. I ended up at Slanted Door because, well, it’s awesome!

Slanted Door always has a wait for a table but since I was by myself I easily snagged a seat at the first-come-first-serve bar. I was excited. I hadn’t been there in, wow, about 3 years! I over-ordered…somewhat on purpose. I wanted to get a good overview of proteins (fish, shellfish, pork, beef) and didn’t have anyone with me to share so I had to go it alone. I was determined to conquer the dishes!

Japanese yellowtail  with crispy shallots and thai basil
First up was the Japanese Yellowtail with Crispy Shallots and Thai Basil. I really tried to savor this. I wanted to taste every little shallot and the wonderful sourness of the lemon juice (or yuzu? not sure) drizzled over the top. I wanted these thin slices of heaven to last. Alas, I scarfed it down in about 30 seconds. I couldn’t help myself! This was incredible. So simple but so unbelievably good. I would have been happy to have only this for 4 courses.

Wood oven roasted manila clams  with thai basil, crispy pork belly and fresh chilies
The Wood Oven Roasted Manila Clams with Thai Basil, Crispy Pork Belly and Fresh Chilies came and I got over the loss of the yellowtail. Salty, porky, clammy, a little spicy but only slightly so all the other flavors still came through. The only problem with this dish is you really need some bread to sop up all that broth at the end. I did my best to just drink it! Maybe next time I’ll stop at Acme bread on the way so I have a secret little stash to use for mopping up!

Flank steak  with fresh ginger over rice noodles with roasted peanuts
Typically, I would have been fine with those two courses for my lunch. I was on a food-quest today though. I still had the Flank Steak with Fresh Ginger over Rice Noodles with Roasted Peanuts coming. I’m running out of adjectives to describe YUM! My waiter seemed to be getting a kick out of my voraciousness. I worked my way through the intensely flavorful beef and saucy, perfect noodles…very slowly towards the bottom of the bowl. I stared at that last bite for a while, not sure I could do it but I managed. I really didn’t want to leave any of that behind! I think I left a couple of noodles and a few strips of lettuce, the waiter asked, “What, you can’t finish?” Har har ;-)
Milk chocolate pot de creme toasted rice crunch
So, I was so full I could barely breathe…Dessert menu please! What was I thinking?!?!? Initially, I thought I’d just get some sorbet. Unfortunately it was coconut (blech) so that was right out. All the other desserts were rich. I asked the waiter what I’d have a better chance of finishing: the pot de creme or the creme caramel? He laughed at me…then suggested the chocolate. So up came the Milk Chocolate Pot de Creme with Toasted Rice Crunch. I think I would have finished this if it was dark chocolate…even though that makes it richer, the milk chocolate made it taste fattier and heavier. Still, I made a good-sized dent in it but couldn’t eat it all. The waiter said I couldn’t leave until I ate my rice crispy treat…I said I wasn’t going to get to leave then! I was destroyed!!

I didn’t eat dinner that night. That NEVER happens. I’m always hungry at meal times. The last time I was that full was when Kim Boekbinder and I had raviolis for dessert and then still had the pot de creme….I sense a theme.

So, not like this is a secret, but go to the Slanted Door! You won’t be disappointed…well, at least with the dishes I ordered…I’ll have to go back to taste the rest of the menu!