I'm going to interrupt my Los Angeles posts, since Bastille Day, my favorite of all holidays, came along. Fine, perhaps not my favorite per se, but it's a good excuse for hedonism--not that anyone ever really needs an excuse. Though I had to go to work, a leisurely 2-hour lunch in Belden Alley provided a good escape from the office.
Belden was quite bustling. Every restaurant was packed, but Plouf had one of the longer lines. We got some nice seats outside in the breezy, sunny weather.
Mussels Mariniere - Garlic, White Wine, Parsley
These mussels were deliciously juicy and plump. The broth had a healthy dose of wine, as well as an abundance of garlic. LuLu's mussels are considerably bigger, but Plouf's were more flavorful. However, I still maintain LuLu has perhaps the best mussel preparation in the city, with Plouf coming in pretty close. One problem I found was that once you got to the bottom of the pot, the soaked mussels, albeit more flavorful, had become too cooked and almost chewy. The broth, though, was ambrosia-esque and I soaked up many a drop with the bread.
Roasted Eggplant Tart with Feta Cheese and Cucumber Salad
The tart was surprisingly good. The puff pastry was really crispy and buttery, remaining light and flaky though we waited until the end to eat it. The eggplant salsa atop was light and refreshing, though I couldn't really discern the eggplant. The vinegared cucumber salad was delicious too.
Why can't all my lunch breaks be this great? Most of the time, unless I eat with the company, I get a salad or sandwich to go. I envy Europeans not only for their fine food, but the way they eat--leisurely and really savoring their food. I am one to eat slowly and to savor every bite, but my one-hour lunch really prohibits a good sit-down experience; a two-hour break would be much preferred. In any case, Happy Bastille Day.
40 Belden Place
San Francisco, CA
Labels: San Francisco