Sunday, December 25, 2005

The Slanted Door - San Francisco, CA
After arriving in SF on Friday, there were a couple places I've been craving for, one of them being the Slanted Door. I really love Vietnamese food, having been influenced by my madre, who's spent a half year or so in Saigon when she was a young globe-trotter. Now, onto the food.

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green papaya salad with tofu, rau ram and roasted peanuts

This salad was excellent. The papaya was fresh, and there was an abundant amount of fried shallots, which I love. The dressing, which was a subtle variation of fish sauce, was also the right mix of savory and sweet. I enjoyed this dish.

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Slanted Door spring rolls with shrimp, pork, mint and peanut sauce

These spring rolls were average. The rice paper wrap was way too thick, and the sauce should have been sweet hoison sauce with peanuts. The best spring rolls I've had are found at PPQ, where the wrap is soft and thin and the sauce is definitely not peanut. I always thought peanut sauce went with Thai satays and such..

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Vietnamese crepe with shrimp, pork, bean sprouts and onions (aka Bahn Xeo)

This was definitely one of the better bahn xeos I've had. The skin was crispy, and it wasn't overwhelmingly doughy or starchy with mung beans. My mom even said it lives up to the street stall bahn xeos in Vietnam. The only thing that tainted this nearly perfect crepe was the smelly pork. The pork is pan fried along with the dough, and it was overwhelmingly porky--I don't know how else to describe it.

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cellophane noodles with fresh Dungeness crab meat

This was a pretty good entree. There was a generous amount of crab meat, which was fresh. I was a bit weary of ordering seafood on a sunday morning, but thankfully, I didn't make a wrong decision. This seems a simple enough dish, but it was really delicately prepared. It wasn't overly salty at all, and the flavor was subtle and delicious.

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shaking beef - cubed filet mignon with garlic and organic red onions

This was the star of the meal. I'm a beef fanatic, and I have to say the beef was fantastic. It was tender and juicy, and medium rare to the level of pretty much perfection in my book. It looked pretty well-done when it arrived, which frightened me. I definitely wasn't disappointed. The onions were delicious, and the dish also came with a lime sauce for the beef. The shaking beef came with short grain rice, which I never really see in the US (I think I only had it once in Montreal). The rice was delicious, and we ordered some to go also.

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mesquite grilled pork chops with ginger-soy-shallot sauce and crispy potatoes

This was a huge disappointment. I have heard many a good thing about the pork chops, so I was disappointed to find them dry and with the unpalatable odor of bad swine. The meat was fibery, and literally hard to swallow. We didn't even finish a third of this one.

The Slanted Door is good in general, but some dishes were hit or miss. I enjoyed the shaking beef and broken rice, so I'll def be back for that.

We proceeded to just amble around the Ferry Building afterward. A display outside the Tsar Nicolai Caviar Cafe really caught my eye.

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If I hadn't been so full from the SD, I would have stopped in for some. It just looked too good to pass up.

Slanted Door
1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 861-8032

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